June 2, 2012

The Age of Miracles

The Age of Miracles
author:  Karen Thompson Walker
publishing date June 2012
publisher Random House
source:  NetGalley

Have you ever said, "I need more time in the day?"
I have, especially when deadlines loom.
Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

The Age of Miracles opens with people not noticing the extra time in their day.   Some night-workers did, but they thought it was because of the loneliness and darkness.  At the beginning, the disaster was invisible.

Then it is announced on television ---  the days had grown by 56 minutes.   Panic in the world ensues.  Time to stock up.   Or move. 

Our narrator, Julia, is only eleven years old.  She states "we kids were not as afraid as we should have been.  We were too young."  She describes her parents' reactions -- mother pours more Scotch, dad goes to work delivering babies. 

The world changes, not just the people.   Climate, animals, plants are affected.     People divide into two camps:  those who live in 24-hour-time according to the clock and those who behave according to day-and-dark.  Rarely the twain shall meet.

Julia grows.  She has a crush on a boy at the school bus stop.  She enters middle school, "the age of miracles," a time of change, when kids shot up and regarded their parents differently.  Her life is slow-moving, which is true for kids that age -- we know time drags for kids (as opposed to us older people).   Because of the Slowing of Time,  her narration is perfect.

Highly recommended.    Unusual to read dystopia in the eyes of a 11-year-old.   Poignant.  I would have loved to read more.

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