I’m not sure who or what told me to read “The Age of Miracles.” And let me be clear—I am not disappointed I did. But seriously …. what the hell?
This debut novel from Karen Thompson Walker was as disturbing as it was entertaining. And by entertaining, I mean that it swallowed up my day whole. I didn’t want to put it down, mesmerized by the desperate plot line. Sixth-grader Julia narrates a year in her life, beginning with a cataclysmic event—the slowing of the Earth’s rotation.
I drew an immediate connection from this book to Tom Perrotta’s “The Leftovers”—easily one of my favorites in the last couple of years. It’s the end of the world as most everyone knows it, and of course, people handle that news differently. Some deny, others accept, still more adapt. Julia’s family is a representation of those who freak, those who falter and those who simply put one foot in front of the other for no other reason that that’s really all there is to do, besides stock up on canned goods.
For fear of giving too much away, I can’t delve much more into the story. Julia’s story—the pain of adolescence, only to be exacerbated by “the slowing,”—intersects with so many others struggling to find their way. Her parents, her crush—the sad, sad Seth Moreno—her grandfather, those bitchy middle school girls you hated when you were in middle school, the “real-timers” …it’s a sad story and heartbreaking in so many ways, but so incredibly well-written and one that book clubs would love to dissect.
Go get it, read it, and someone call me to debrief! Argh!
The Age of Miracles
Karen Thompson Walker