Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Publisher: Bond Books
Pages: 288
Received: Received from Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 26, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

“It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . . Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much.”

Luminous, haunting, unforgettable, The Age of Miracles is a stunning fiction debut by a superb new writer, a story about coming of age during extraordinary times, about people going on with their lives in an era of profound uncertainty.

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, 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. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

With spare, graceful prose and the emotional wisdom of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker has created a singular narrator in Julia, a resilient and insightful young girl, and a moving portrait of family life set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.

My Review:

I was very intrigued by the synopsis of the story, time is slowing down and everything is changing. How do you deal with normal circumstances throughout all this disarray? This book definitely is a beautiful coming-of-age story in world where nothing can be determined. Walker's story has an eerie truthfulness to her story, we don't know the future of our world and anything could happen, and people still have to deal with day-to-day problems.

When I started reading this novel I found the main character, Julia, to be quite younger than I expected her to be, but as I continued on through the story I came to terms with the age, it made for a great way to tell the story. The whole story is told through Julia's eyes as she learns to grow up, friendships change and all the while the world is slowing down, days are becoming longer. It's a contemporary novel set in a sort of dystopian world.

A lot of quotes in this book deal with both sides of not knowing how to deal with life, and also not knowing what will happen to the future of the world. My favourite quote from this book is when everyone is realizing what is happening to the world, Julia writes "I guess it never is what you worry over that comes to pass in the end. The real catastrophes are always different--unimagined, unprepared for, unknown."(pg.29). This one little saying encompasses so many different situations, and really is the beginning to what happens in Julia's life throughout the rest of the story. She is always worrying about one thing, and something else seems to come up behind her that she would not have expected. 

I enjoyed that Walker added in different religious opinions throughout the story. Many people had different beliefs in what was happening to the world and each family took different steps to prepare themselves. Watching as the world dealt with this new problem was definitely interesting. I was a little disappointed by the ending of this novel though. There was all this build up in the story, and in the end the reader is still not sure what is going to happen. I can see that the ending shows the uncertainty of life but was hoping for a little more to wrap up the story.

1 comments:

Liviania said...

I like that religion comes into it. Too many books are written in a strange religious vacuum. I'm sure many people would turn to religion in that situation.

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