What would happen if the time slowed down? Think about this question as you continue reading.
Title: THE AGE OF MIRACLES
Author: Karen Thompson Walker
Publisher: Random House
Released: June 2012
I'd like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this story for an unbiased review.
Favorite Line/Passage: Maybe it had begun to happen before the slowing, but it was only afterward that I realized it: My friendships were disintegrating. Things were coming apart. It was a rough crossing, the one from childhood to the next life. And as with any other harsh journey, not everything survived.
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.”
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.
BRING ALONG + 1
My Splats: A cautionary tale of time, how we use it, and what would happen if time as we know it changed.
Julia is the average eleven-year-old middle grader--awkward, questioning, and searching. Her voice is age appropriate, but her character is different from what I'm used of reading for this age. She's somewhat reserved for a tween, cautious, and has moments where I'd almost describe her as a loner. She has a best friend and, yes, meets an intriguing boy with plenty of tween baggage of his own. But as you might guess, it gets complicated.
At one point, I found myself thinking about Judy Blume and the way she described those middle grade years and the horrors that can accompany them.
The opening scene was powerful, presenting the reader with a world of yesterday--our present--and ponderings of what our future could gravitate to if the Earth ever slowed on its axis. There were moments of prolific wisdom and warnings throughout the story.
As the story evolved, real timers verses clock watchers emerges, segregating society and creating prejudice and discontent. With the passing of time, people become more and more divided. This is where the story really got me thinking. I could see people reacting like this, picketing and getting on their soapboxes in the public square.
I found the idea of the Earth slowing on its axis or more time being added to our 24 hour clock fascinating. The possible changes to life as we know it are endless. I imagined what I would do within this scenario, how my family and the world would react. Fear and curiosity plagued me as I continued reading.
One hesitation I had with this story was, despite the Julia being age appropriate for a middle grade tale, I felt some of the topic incorporated within the world building seemed too mature to follow, the growth of a middle schooler seemed too heavy. This melds with my only other issue with the story which was the science of it all. Some facts felt plausible, while others weren't all that believable. But overall, I'd recommend this story for older, more mature MG readers.
Now, can you answer my question from above? What do you think could happen if time slowed?