In The Age of Miracles, Karen Thompson Walker weaves a fantastic tale that hits just close enough to home that it makes you slightly uncomfortable.
It’s present day, a normal Saturday morning. Except this morning, everything changes. This is the morning that the world slowed. Literally. While citizens slept, the day gained fifty-six minutes. What follows reads as a first-hand account of the events following that first day, Walker providing a viewpoint into the human mind and showing us just how different, and similar, we can be in the face of uncertainty.
The story centers on Julia and her parents, and we see this new society blossom through her eyes. As a reader, I felt the fear, the uncertainty, and, oddly enough, the hope. As I read about the days getting longer and longer, I wondered to myself what I would do, or feel, or think, if this situation were to ever happen.
Walker provides insight to the human condition, reminding us that we are basic creatures. Even in the midst of confusion and uncertainty, people still go to school. They still go to work. They still love and hate, have affairs and celebrate birthdays.
The book ends with a look into the future – Julia is in college now, and admits that no one really knows what the world will be like when she graduates. But she still dreams. She still remembers. She doesn’t give up.
It’s something we can all learn from, whether the world is ending or not.