Review of ‘The Age Of Miracles’ by Karen Thompson Walker
It’s an intense read and you’ve got to be fearless going into it because there are things that will scare you. It’s not a horror story or anything, it’s based on real life in the time of a great struggle which is as relevant now as it will be fifty years into the future. The only thing I found confusing about it was the tense changes. I understand that it’s Julia recounting her life through that time now she is twenty three but I did find the jumps a little unsettling. Either do it all in past tense or present tense; I understand why Karen did this; to express the things that had changed in the time we had spent away from Julia, that weren’t in the story.
I didn’t care about Seth Moreno at first, he was just a passing character in a crowd, but by the end of the story I was sobbing for him. I guess that’s like everyone you don’t know. Until you strike up that close bond with them, you never know who can touch your heart. Their love story is cut short by the catastrophe. The little time they get to spend together makes you grateful for the time you get to spend with the ones you love. It’s a meaningful and powerful book. Lines such as ‘They say that humans can read each other in a hundred subtle ways, that we can detect messages in the subtlest movements, in the briefest expressions of a face…’ are the type of lines that keep this book going. They make you eager for more. As if the plot isn’t enough to keep you going, these lines are thought provoking and really make you stop and think. The blurb reads:
‘For eleven-year-old Julia, it is the age of miracles; the age where kids shoot up three inches over the summer; that rough crossing, from childhood to the next life.
But it’s not just her own world that has turned on its head. Julia and her parents wake one ordinary Saturday to discover that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. No one knows why, no one knows how to deal with it. Their 24-hour day grows longer, first in minutes, then in hours, until day becomes night and night becomes day. As Julia’s family, then her community, fragments, she must navigate both the normal disasters of everyday day, and an ever-terrifying new world.’
I think fear takes precedence as you get more wrapped up in the story of Julia’s normal yet unstable life. It is remarkable to think of how little we actually need in this life, and this book might bring it to the forefront of your mind for the first time.