I have had The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker on my wish list for a while and I finally bought it with Christmas money. This middle grade novel is a coming-of-age and apocalyptic narrative all in one. Walker tells the story of Julia who is, an eleven-year-old sixth grade girl when the earth’s rotation begins to slow. Days break the limits of twenty-four hours at an increasing rate, causing geological, agricultural, and climatic disasters. (Sidetone: Did you know the slowing of the earth is a real thing? Though, of course, in reality it’s not nearly such a dire situation as the novel shows.)
The Age of Miracles is a well-crafted novel. Walker perceptively portrays that difficult period of adolescence where friendships and social norms can change overnight and loneliness can define years. Her juxtaposition of growing up at the end of the world is clever. When a child is experiencing great upheaval, Julia is also faced with her own mortality. The plot explores the question of what life is worth even though destruction looms. I also found the description of the deterioration of society throughout the novel very interesting as most novels in this genre begin after the apocalyptic event. It was an insightful and creative novel, as well as a quick read.