You need to read: The Age of Miracles

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So what is going on?

In this fantastic debut novel from Karen Thompson Walker, 11-year-old Julia wakes up to find the apocalypse has already begun. Who knew? But rather than zombies or a nuclear winter, the earth’s rotation has slowed down – first by minutes and hours and then by days – with no sign of it stopping. Something that is considered universally stable and reliable changes abruptly and without warning [take that Farmer’s Almanac!]. The following days record the consequences and changes. But the world keeps on turning (albeit slowly) and life continues for young Julia. Relationships rise and fall; parents are driven apart and then back together; and the sun creates 3rd degree burns when you wander out at midday. You know, the usual teenage girl stuff.

Oh! Wonderful…did you like it?

Part of what makes this book so challenging and satisfying (which is saying much from me as I dislike YA with a passion) is the lack of a definitive resolution – nothing in the beginning, nothing in the end and nothing inbetween. Why is this happening? Why has the earth’s rotation slowed? Why do days spread to weeks? Nights last seemingly forever….why? Crops fail, earth moves, time slows. The “why” is left hanging on our minds but never released. This air of the mysterious leads to a much more frightening and engaging novel. The miracles are of a decidedly more calamitous type – heatstroke, sickness, suicide cults, new planets, old fears, love and forgiveness. Like the miracles of old, these are unexplained, inexplicable and full of mystery. It truly is an age of miracles.

OK…that was random. Anything else?

The writing and perspective was simple and straightforward. You catching small moments of a home and family that cling tightly as a planet slowly falls apart. She falls into calm complaisance and then into frenzied, manic movement and finally into resolve. Tender at moments but mostly a stoic recitation of past remembrances, The Age of Miracles gives a grim picture of the future without a dusting of hope and a wide array of the mundane. 

Wait…did that mean it was good?

Yes.

Nothing else?

No.
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