The Age of Miracles
by Karen Thompson Walker
“On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, 11-year-old Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow.” (from the book blurb).
Intriguing, right? I thought so, too, so I put myself on the wait list for this soft sci-fi/coming of age story from the library. And it was interesting. The narrator is only 11 years old, so there’s a good deal of the discovering boys/feeling awkward/growing up stuff. But she also had a unique perspective on how the earth’s slowing was affecting everyday life. Her observations on how different people dealt with the shift in time (when days/nights are 60 hours long and growing), how the slowing affected things like the ozone layer and crops and wildlife – it definitely makes you think. But overall I only gave it 3 stars for two reasons: the slowing is never explained, and the end is very abrupt. It feels like it’s just getting going, and then there’s a 10+ year jump in the story for a few pages, and then it ends. So, it’s good for a bit of a thought experiment and is beautifully written as far as prose, but for me personally this wasn’t the most satisfying of reads.
I give it 3/5 stars.