The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
(Random House, 2012, 288 pages)
Julia is 11-years-old and seems to have a pretty happy life but then the world decides to mess everything up. Literally. There is sudden chaos when the Earth’s rotation starts slowing and the days and nights become longer and more dangerous. When the Earth starts slowing, suddenly Julia’s best friend won’t talk to her, her parent’s marriage is on the rocks, and interactions with her crush aren’t going the way she wants. Julia is lonely and confused and with the Earth continuing to slow, her life is spinning more and more out of control with crops unable to survive, solar storms causing panic, and animals dying when faced with slowing consequences. Julia is left to grow up while the world is crumbling around her.
I liked that Walker came up with such a different plot to her novel. It was unusual and it kept me guessing as to what would happen next with the Earth. But while the Earth was so unpredictable, Julia’s personal story lines were extremely predictable. I guessed what was driving a wedge between her parents and was unsurprised when my guess was right. This might be the way that Walker writes since her character is telling her story from the future but even that takes a little bit of the mystery away since you know she survives. Overall this was a quick read and definitely got me thinking. I mean, what would we do if the Earth started to slow its rotation?