Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Narrator Julia recounts the year she was 11, the year the Earth began to spin slower and days became longer and longer.  The slowing, as it is called, was unexpected and leaves scientists baffled as to the cause.  But the effects of the slowing grow daily.  The first obvious problem is time.  With days no longer 24 hours long - and increasing every day - clocks lose their meaning.  Quickly the world becomes divided between those who decide to maintain a 24 hour day regardless of when the sun is shining, and the "real-timers" who decide to follow day and night patterns regardless of how long each of those periods is.  But other problems accumulate for humans as the slowing continues.  Animals die, plants perish and gravity increases, among other issues.  Despite the events around her Julia is mostly concerned with growing up, the state of her parents' marriage, and whether her crush Seth likes her.  Although the events of this story revolve around an 11 year old, the book reads as adult fiction to me, not young adult.  It is basically a slice of life story even though the genre is science fiction.  Reviews for it are great but I found it unrelentlessly bleak and depressing.