Book review: The Age of Miracles | The Life of K: Book review: The Age of Miracles

Monday, August 26, 2013

Book review: The Age of Miracles



I recently finished reading The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. It's an interesting concept: the planet starts spinning slower and slower, the days get longer and longer. At first, it's a few minutes here and a few there. Soon it's hours and hours added to each day. The days continue to lengthen and the world divides into two camps: those who follow the clock and those who follow the sun. The ones who follow the clock adhere to a 24-hour day that is sometimes all bright and sometimes all dark.

My favourite line is: Sometimes on white nights, as the sunlight crept in beneath my curtains, I tried to recall what it felt like to sleep in sync with the sun. How strange and peaceful it sounded to dream every night in the dark.

All that daylight and all that dark make for an interesting story. How the tides change and the Earth's magnetic field is changed, affecting every living being on the planet. The birds die off, the crops can't survive, whales beach themselves all over the world. 

The story isn't a cautionary tale though, it's the story of a young girl, and her life during this strange time. Her friendships change and she lusts after a boy. She watches as her parents struggle with their relationship.

I really enjoyed all the foreshadowing, all the times when the girl would speak of doing something, something simple like eating grapes, and how that would be the last time. Or how that last encounter was the last time she'd see that person again.

I was happy with the characters and their development, happy with how the author left things at the end of the book in that regard, but I found myself wishing she had delved more into what the world was like. Do the humans survive? Does the Earth ever stop slowing? Do they ever figure out what caused the slowing?

Because of that, I can't decide if I really enjoyed the book. I liked the concept and the characters, but I was left wondering about too many things. Have you read it? What did you think?



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