Friday, July 6, 2012

Book Review: "The Age of Miracles" by Karen Thompson Walker

One day, the rotation of the Earth began to slow. The 24-hour day that people had known all of their lives increased more and more, until the clocks were meaningless. The gravitational pull was affected as well, throwing off birds in flight, air travel, sports, even stranding astronauts at the International Space Station because it is too risky to attempt space flight. And as the day continues to lengthen, panic grows about what these changes will mean for the future of the world.

For sixth-grade student Julia, the "slowing" couldn't have come at a more pivotal time. Not only has this change affected the world around her, it's wreaked havoc on her lifelong friendships, her classmates and soccer teammates are disappearing as their families flee California in search of safer ground, and she watches her parents' marriage begin its own disintegration. And as the world searches for answers, Julia is, too, only to different questions—Should she say something to the boy she likes? How does she figure out which bra to buy if her mother won't leave the house? Can she trust her parents if they don't know what's going on either?

Karen Thompson Walker's book, The Age of Miracles, is more than a book about a scientific phenomenon that affects the world. It's a book about coming of age into an uncertain world, an examination of how much we rely on routine and those who hew to accepted behaviors instead of question what we're told, and a look at how many simple joys we take for granted. I really enjoyed this book and found it very moving and thought-provoking. It moved a little slowly for me at times (I guess kind of like the Earth in the book), but this is a beautifully written book you'll keep thinking about.

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