BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Book Description

“It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . . Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much.”

Luminous, haunting, unforgettable, The Age of Miracles is a stunning fiction debut by a superb new writer, a story about coming of age during extraordinary times, about people going on with their lives in an era of profound uncertainty.

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, 11-year-old Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

With spare, graceful prose and the emotional wisdom of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker has created a singular narrator in Julia, a resilient and insightful young girl, and a moving portrait of family life set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.

My Thoughts

3 of 5 FLEURS DE LIS

Julia is beginning the sixth grade and as an only child, doesn’t have too much to worry about. Then the rotation of the Earth starts slowing. Days and nights become longer, and every aspect of life on Earth changes.

Meanwhile, Julia is quietly dealing with changes personal to her. She’s not developing like some of the other girls are, her best friend has neglected her, and her previously happy parents are beginning to have marital issues. How can Julia handle not only worrying about the fate of the world, but her own life every day as well?

I’m so used to reading POST-apocalyptic novels, that getting into the groove of this book was difficult for me. After all, this is more of a chronicle of the slow apocalypse of the Earth as it was happening.

I had mixed feelings for Julia as a character. On the one hand, I have been an eleven year old girl and experienced the things she did: having to buy your first bra, losing a best friend, trying to decipher the intentions of boys. I feel for her in that she had to go through so many difficult situations basically alone. But part of me wishes she could have spoken out to someone…anyone. It’s like Julia was so quiet and reserved that she was scared to interrupt anyone’s life with her problems.

I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t totally understand how lengthening days and nights would affect the planet and its’ inhabitants in such a way. After all, as the book itself mentions, aren’t there parts of the world where 30 days of night is the norm? I tried hard while I was reading to wrap my head around why this concept would be so catastrophic, but I still didn’t get it. After all, isn’t time a malleable thing? It only can be quantified because humans made it so.

The read was rather slow for me even though the book was under 300 pages. The Earth was slowing its’ rotation, and the story unfolded in a similar manner. I didn’t actually feel there was much story to be told. I was a little disappointed that no reason was given for the slowing.

The main message I got from this book is that life goes on, even when you think there is no way it will. Even for an eleven year old girl who sees her world literally and figuratively crumbling around her.

View all my reviews

About the Author

KAREN THOMPSON WALKER holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University and is an editor of fiction and non-fiction at Simon & Schuster. The Age of Miracles is her first book.

For more information about Karen and The Age of Miracles, please visit the book’s website, www.TheAgeofMiracles.com, and Facebook page.

One commenter will win a paperback copy of The Age of Miracles!  I will pick a winner and email them on July 15.

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About Carrie

A SAHM who loves her life :)

Posted on July 10, 2012, in book tour, books, challenge, Dystopia challenge, free, Giveaway, Goodreads challenge, reading, review. Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. Thanks for your review. You have a good point about the rotation of the earth. actually, scientifically speaking, it does slow down, but extremely slowly, and yes, life exists on the poles, with long periods of light and night, though there’s not much vegetation, and not enough to feed billions.
    the problem highlighted in this book I think is what happens if the rotation slows a lot at the same time, and does not leave us time to adapt – which is what’s happening right now with global warming; there have been periods in our planet history with high temperatures, but a slow natural evolution, nature has time to adapt. These years, as this is mostly due to human activity, this phenomenon is too quick to let nature evolve and adapt.
    I enjoyed that book. here is my own review: http://wordsandpeace.com/2012/07/09/2012-33-review-the-age-of-miracles/

  2. This sounds pretty dang awesome.
    Awesome review and awesome giveaway! Thanks!

  3. Sounds like an awesome book! Thanks for the giveaway, Carrie! :)

    -Maddi

  4. Wow this book sounds really cool I would live the chance to read it!
    Danasquare3@aol.com

  5. melissaseclecticbookshelf

    This sounds like a great premise and a timely one with the effects of global warming upon us! Thanks for the chance to win this one!

    melissaseclecticbookshelf at gmail dot com

  6. Ooer! This looks amazing. Nice post! Thanks very much for the giveaway, too! :)

  7. KNOCK KNOCK…WHO’S THERE….BEATS….BEATS WHO….BEATS ME :D

    HOPE TO WIN!

    gaby891 AT YAHOO DOT COM

  8. Sounds like a wonderful book!

    valca85 at aol dot com

  9. Sounds interesting – I think I would have a hard time getting into the plot, too – but it’s certainly different than anything else I’ve read!

  10. I like the review.
    Thanks for this giveaway!
    botezatu_paula@yahoo.com

  11. Rachel Robertson

    This book sounds very good and is going on my TBR List :) Thanks for the review and giveaway! Rachel
    malibu311 at gmail dot com

  12. Sounds like a neat book and possible right up my alley. Thanks for the chance to win!

  13. Very interesting story. I have heard of this book. Would love to read it. Thanks so much for your giveaway.

  14. Apocalyptic novels are great in that they provoke thought, introspection, and hopefully change. It’s unfortunate that you felt as a reader that the narrative was as slow as the “slowing” of the earth, which is its central conflict. I’m more interested in the problems the main character has to face on top of the danger imposed on her and her family by the change in the environment. Will have to give this book a read. Thanks for your review and for the giveaway.

  15. Wow I Love It I Really Want This Book. Loved The Review Cant Wait To Read It And Thanks For The Contest.
    butterfli262002(at)yahoo(dot)com

  16. Thanks for the giveaway! This sounds like a really interesting book!

    stephward84(at)hotmail(dot)com

  17. Your review is honest AND made me want to read this book, I think the Age of Miracles sounds amazing on many levels!!
    Actually, I was 11 when my mother died many years ago, and I remember [as an only child] feeling so terribly lonely most of the time … just the description in the review kinda reminded me of those long-lost feelings … although, thank goodness, I didn’t have the added angst of the Earth’s rotation gone weird lol

    Thank you truly for such a neat giveaway!! <3
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

  18. This sounds like a must read! Thank you for the giveaway!

  19. this is the kind of book i could get into and then i would love to read and lbog on it and then see how a girl can change things around her

  20. Hira Hasnain (Enamored Soul)

    I’ve read a lot of dystopian books, with sci-fi settings, and this one has a unique premise. It just sounds like a book that would leave you with a lot of “what if” questions, as well as really keep you absorbed into the novel! :) Thank you SO very much for the change to win this amazing book…

  21. anovelreview1

    Sounds like an interesting book. I’ve read reviews where most reviewers are luke warm. I’d like to see for myself.

  22. oops forgot to say I would be interested in winning the book. Thanks for the giveaway! I was the first commenter here yesterday. Emma @ Words And Peace
    ehc16e at yahoo dot com

  23. I am interested to read this book. I too, may not fully understand the story however, I sure want to see. Good review! Thank you for this chance to win.

  24. Thanks so much for the review and giveaway! I’ve had this one on my Wish List since I first learned of it.

  25. This book has been on my “To Read” list for a while now. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

  26. What an interesting premise! Coming of age books are always interesting and I’m intrigued by the setting.

  27. I love this kind of story!

  28. Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  29. CLOSED! Random.org chose number 4, congrats Dana!!

  1. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves: My First One Ever! « Sweet Southern Home

  2. Pingback: Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Age of Miracles, on tour June and July 2012 | TLC Book Tours

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