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The Age of Miracles

A Novel

by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker X
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
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There are currently 27 member reviews
for The Age of Miracles
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  • Beverly J. (Huntersville, NC)
    Coming-of-age in Extraordinary Times
    This promising debut novel explores the textures of daily life in a time of a time of unanticipated disaster of the earth’s rotation slowing. While there were many things I liked about this book – the premise of the rotation of the earth suddenly slowing on a daily basis and the related consequences, lyrical writing, great pacing, and brilliant voice/tone, this was just an okay read for me. I attribute this to being a lover of speculative fiction, and wanted more on the speculative fiction side and less on the coming-of-age side. I would recommend this book to adult and young adult readers who enjoy coming-of-age stories as the unique voice will captivate this audience.
  • Linda W. (San Ardo, CA)
    The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
    Humans are complacent when it concerns the way our earth spins and rotates on it's axis.
    When something causes the earth's rotation to slow down, days get longer, tides change, the force of gravity changes and environment is drastically altered.
    This is what happens in The Age of Miracles.
    The books voice is Julia, a sixth grade girl. She, and her parents live in southern California, near the ocean. She is the only child of her doctor father and housewife mother. This book details how this catastrophe affected their lives.
    It is a coming-of-age story
    The author does a great job of making the characters real and the writing is well done.
    The story pulls you in and keeps you reading.
    This book would make a great movie.
  • Judy C. (Brooksville, FL)
    The Age of Miracles
    This book is well-written, and would be appealing to adolescent readers. The protagonist is a young teenage girl who grapples with teen issues (like fitting in, first love, and family conflict) amid a cataclysmic earthly event. The plot held my attention, and there were sufficient surprises to keep my interest. The writing is conversational, and the plot is complex enough to invite thought. The writing style is consistent with young adult novelists like William Sleator.
  • Annie F. (Dallas, TX)
    The Age of Miracles
    I found this book to be more depressing than I anticipated. Like many dystopian novels, it frames a cataclysmic event that will change the Earth forever, in this case, the slowing of the Earth’s rotation. But unlike other dystopian novels, there is no dire action in the book, no wars being fought, no cannibals to be avoided, no urban strife to survive, no evil government to rebel against. Nothing to do and nothing to divert the mind from the realization of the inexorable disintegration of the Earth as we currently know it—the death of birds, the withering of green things, the increase of radiation.

    It's well written. The voice of the narrator, a young California girl, is very authentic and is the strongest aspect of the book. She is focused on what every 11 year old is concerned with—her friendships, her crush on a boy, her family life. She registers the catastrophe, but does so almost peripherally. Life goes on, everyone adjusts. It's this helplessness and acceptance I found depressing.

    This would be a good crossover, discussible book for teens.
  • Judy K. (Sunland, CA)
    A dreamy, introspective dystopian tale
    For a story of future dystopia, The Age of Miracles has a dreamy, introspective tone. Events are related from the viewpoint of a sixth-grade girl, an aware and intelligent only child, giving the impression that kids handled the changes better than the adults. In fact, the whole story was as much a study in adult weaknesses and flaws as it was about middle-school antics. Karen Thompson Walker writes with a unique imagination and great skill. Her straightforward style conceals a deeper subtext of insight into our current world. I think mature teens would enjoy the novel as well. It would make a good graduation present.
  • Dee H. (Greenfield, CA)
    Age of Miracles or Age of Impending Disaster...
    The is the story of a young girl on the edge of adolescence whose world is changed by an unprecedented global event. The rotation of the earth has begun to slow and no one knows why it began nor how to stop it. Julia is a sensitive girl whose loneliness suffuses this book with a gentle sadness. It is neither science fiction nor post-apocalyptic fiction, though it borders on both. One feels that the apocalypse has begun, but the end is not yet in sight. I really liked this book, but wanted more answers to the scientific questions it raised. I realize it is more about the sense of loss and confusion of people who can no longer take day and night for granted, but it left me hanging somehow, with no sense of conclusion. I would recommend this book to others for both enjoyment and discussion.
  • Becky H. (Chicago, IL)
    A YA book for adults?
    As a former 4 - 12 school librarian I was intrigued by this novel that follows a middle schooler - Julia - and how the changes, both internal (she is growing up) and external (the world's rotation is slowing down), affect her actions and reactions to her life, her friends and her family. I could not decide if this was a YA (young adult) novel that would appeal to adults or an adult novel that would appeal to teens. Many of the topics covered - illness, adultery, death, loss of friendships, ecological disaster - are adult topics conveyed in a very adult manner and yet the narrator is a 6th grader dealing with these topics over the course of perhaps two years. There is a certain hopelessness and inevitability to the novel that may be very disturbing to the reader. This novel might be appropriate for a parent/child book group.
    I appreciated the work on the part of the author to give reality to the science fiction part of the novel. The response of the world and its inhabitants to the rotational slowing felt logical and "real."


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