Tonight I finished reading The Age of Miraclesby Karen Thompson Walker – an extraordinary book that I hope gets turned into a film.
The story follows a middle school student named Julia in a time when the earth’s rotation begins to slow, resulting in complete disarray. While the world falls into chaos, Julia is confronted with the dramatic changes that come along with the beginning of adolescence – her own navigation of this life stage paralleling the demise of the earth itself.
As with pretty much any story, there’s a love story (actually multiple love stories) but they do not dominate. Julia’s romantic love story is somewhat predictable, but still cute and not without reflection of the chaos that is the world around them.
I absolutely love reading stories with child narrators – they frustrate and inspire me. Early on in high school English (often with the first reading of To Kill a Mockingbird) we learn not to trust a child narrator. This holds true for this narrative as well, but there’s something about that innocence, the longing to understand and the isolation that comes from not really knowing what’s going on, that I can’t help but connect with. Let’s face it, the teenage years are no picnic and much of Julia’s daily life mimics my own experiences, so I can’t help but empathize and connect with her and the deep, pervasive loneliness she feels. This adolescent angst, coupled with the pending apocalypse is amazingly balanced throughout and both events intertwine to create a truly incredible story.