The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

image-mediumThis book was a complete surprise to me. I read it as part of a book club and when I received the book the cover really did nothing for me. It certainly would never be a book that I would have chosen to read ordinarily.

However, as we know you should never judge a book by it’s cover. I started the book on a Saturday morning and a few hours later I finished it. And I loved it.

This book manages to fuse together two very different elements really well. The first is a ‘what if?’ scenario. The worlds turn is slowing and days are getting longer, firstly only by minutes but over the progress of the book to hours. What would this do to society and to people’s everyday lives?

The stories protagonist is Julia who is aged 11 at the start of the book and the story centres round her family and neighbours. The author writes with such authority about the changes in society and everyday practicalities to deal with the world slowing that you are right there with them, imagining what you would do to cope, wondering if you would revert to ‘clock time’ or be a ‘real-timer’?

The second element to the book is the coming of age story of Julia. The author deals with how difficult it is to be 11 so well. The everyday struggle it is to say and do the right things, to remain in with the right crowd, to deal with your feelings about the opposite sex and not being invited to your first dance party. During the story Julia loses her best friend, falls in love and discovers her parents aren’t as perfect as she had thought and we see this through Julia and it is done beautifully.

This book is a superbly well written debut novel for the author and I really look forward to anything else that she writes.

Alison Millar

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2 thoughts on “The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

  1. I loved it too, would recommend to anyone, really made me think! The author’s approach was so realistic you could imagine this actually happening and even though it disturbed me at times I got lots out of it and would definitely read another of her books.

  2. It waS fantastic, one of the best books I’ve read this year, the concept of the days and nights becoming longer was intriguing, I cried at the end! Fiona

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