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The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker Book Review

“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.”

Many things in life run like clockwork, the seasons come, the breeze blows, and the earth rotates. Only until one day, it didn’t. The earth begins to slow, making the days and nights longer; gravity, birds, whales, tides, and human behavior is all affected. Disarray overcomes the earth. Julia, a normal girl used to her California life, now faces a dangerous earth full of loss. Between her parents, her friends, first love, a growing sense of isolation, and self-discovery, her personal world is just as disheveled as the physical one.

“Maybe loneliness was imprinted in my genes, lying dormant for years but now coming into full bloom.”

Can you imagine dealing with teenage girl issues when all hell breaks loose? From your first crush, the fact you don’t need a bra but you want a bra (why won’t my mom just buy me a bra?), friends that aren’t really friends, and a whole new world of feelings. Well, that is exactly what Julia is dealing with. A lot like Cassie in the Fifth Wave, she has her own drama to deal with and now, the planet’s too.

“Sometimes the saddest stories take the fewest words.”

A lot of the horror of this new world, takes place in the background. You have “the real timers”, those believing everyone must live as the earth intended, daylight for your days, and darkness for you night. However, everyone else is still running on Clock Time – 24 hour days. This means investing in black out currents and solid flashlights. Tension grows between the two sides, causing vandalism and prejudice. Meanwhile, Julia’s mother stocks up on food, her father buys a gun, countries are in famine as their crops die, mass suicide cults spring up, people are disappearing and getting sick, animals are dying, and radiation is slowly killing the earth.

“How much sweeter life would be if it all happened in reverse, if, after decades of disappointments, you finally arrived at an age when you had conceded nothing, when everything was possible.”

Karen Thompson Walker writes like a poet. Each word flowed like a paintbrush on the canvas. She painted a picture so real, it touched my soul. I felt and saw the world as Julia did. It is an intoxicating read – full of rich detail and emotion.

“Even beauty, in abundance, turns creepy.”

This story is slow-moving but I think that is the point. If you’re looking for a book with twists and turns, that leaves you on the edge of your seat, then this book isn’t for you. This is a story of a girl trying to make her way in this strange new world. It is showing the value and celebration of life while simultaneously crushing it. This story is haunting in a different sense, by playing on your fears but assuring that facing death is something everyone will have to face, no matter how it happens.

“And as with any harsh journey, not everything survived.”

So yes, I loved this story and I highly recommend it, but I also recognize it is not going to be for everyone.

“And this one fact seemed to point to other facts and others still: Love frays and humans fail, time passes, eras end.”

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