The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Published February 21, 2023

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Book info

  • Title The Age of Miracles
  • Author Karen Thompson Walker
  • Year 2012
  • Genre Science Fiction

What if our 24-hour day grew longer, first in minutes, then in hours until day becomes night and night becomes day? What effect would this slowing have on the world? On the birds in the sky, the whales in the sea, the astronauts in space, and on an eleven-year-old girl, grappling with emotional changes in her own life...? One morning, Julia and her parents wake up in their suburban home in California to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth is noticeably slowing. The enormity of this is almost beyond comprehension. And yet, even if the world is, in fact, coming to an end, as some assert, day-to-day life must go on. Julia, facing the loneliness and despair of an awkward adolescence, witnesses the impact of this phenomenon on the world, on the community, on her family and on herself.


This was a really interesting science-fiction novel, a really gentle dystopian fiction that was no less horrifying for its slow and steady pace. The world is starting to turn more slowly and we gradually see the impact of that, on the wider global scale but also on very personal levels. Through the eyes of a pre-teen girl, there are still friendship and boy dramas alongside the huge worldwide problems and discoveries.

There was a small tendency to foreshadow everything, which felt like there was going to be a big payoff, where there wasn’t. ‘This was the last time I…’ ‘If only I’d known I would never do this again…” etc. But it’s a small thing. Mostly the book draws you in, makes you feel woozy with the descriptions, and leaves you thinking about life in many different ways.

Rating: 4 / 5

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