by Karen Thompson Walker
When there’s a lot of buzz about a book, I can get contrary and think I don’t want to read it. Thing is, when I do decide to read a book getting a fair amount of attention, I usually like it. (There’s something to not picking up that many buzzed about books for this to be true, I think.)
The Age of Miracles is a different take on an end of the world story, both in how the world as we know it know ends, and who the story focuses on in the telling. What would happen if the world literally slowed down, spinning on its axis at a different and unpredictable speed? What does growing up look like to an eleven year old girl when the rules of world as she is coming to understand it are being rewritten?
I read this quickly — despite the obviously grim subject matter, it wasn’t a grim book. I was surprised it was a page turner, because, well, I knew how it wasn’t going to end: traditionally happy. This isn’t a story about violence, looting, and the utter collapse of society. It’s more about uncertainty inside and out, forces you can’t control limiting options, and the stubbornness of hope.
I suppose that makes it a kindler, gentler apocalypse story: one where the humans are staying human, at least long enough for one girl to grow up.