We didn’t notice right away.
We couldn’t feel it.
We did not sense at first the extra time, bulging from0 the smooth edge of each day like a tumor blooming beneath skin.
We were distracted back then by weather and war. We had no interest in the turning of the earth. Bombs continued to explode on the streets of distant countries. Hurricanes came and went. Summer ended. A new school year began. The clocks ticked as usual. Seconds beaded into minutes. Minutes grew into hours. And there was nothing to suggest that those hours, too, weren’t still pooling into days, each the same fixed length known to every human being.
But there were those who would later claim to have recognized the disaster before the rest of us did. These were the night workers, the graveyard shifters, the stockers of shelves, and the loaders of ships, the drivers of big- rig trucks, or else they were the bearers of different burdens: the sleepless and the troubled and the sick. These people were accustomed to waiting out the night. Through bloodshot eyes, a few did detect a certain persistence of darkness on the mornings leading up to the news, but each mistook it for the private misperception of a lonely, rattled mind.
On the sixth of October, the experts went public. This, of course, is the day we all remember. There’d been a change, they said, a slowing, and that’s what we called it from then on: the slowing.
“We have no way of knowing if this trend will continue,” said a shy bearded scientist at a hastily arranged press conference, now infamous. He cleared his throat and swallowed. Cameras flashed in his eyes. Then came the moment, replayed so often afterward that the particular cadences of that scientist’s speech— the dips and the pauses and that slight midwestern slant— would be forever married to the news itself. He went on: “But we suspect that it will continue.”
Our days had grown by fifty- six minutes in the night.
At the beginning, people stood on street corners and shouted about the end of the world. Counselors came to talk to us at school. I remember watching Mr. Valencia next door fill up his garage with stacks of canned food and bottled water, as if preparing, it now seems to me, for a disaster much more minor.
The grocery stores were soon empty, the shelves sucked clean like chicken bones.
The freeways clogged immediately. People heard the news, and they wanted to move. Families piled into minivans and crossed state lines. They scurried in every direction like small animals caught suddenly under a light.
But, of course, there was nowhere on earth to go.
Copyright © 2012 by Karen Thompson Walker
With a voice as distinctive and original as that of The Lovely Bones, and for fans of Margaret Atwood, The Age of Miracles is a haunting debut about coming of age in an utterly altered world.
On a seemingly ordinary day, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as Julia struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, she is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life, from her parents' failing marriage to her first love. But even as Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.
Hardcover Book : 288 pages
Publisher: Random House, Inc. ( June 26, 2012 )
Item #: 13-552428
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.72inches
Product Weight: 12.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
loved the book. bought several copies as holiday gifs. it is a book that stays with you when you finish the last page
A great set-up goes nowhere. We learn that teenage girls are the same whether they're facing a global crisis or just a trip to the mall.
Probably a good first exposure to science fiction for a young girl, but for no one else.
[Spoiler alert] And the worst part is, there is no explanation, no cause given for the change in the Earth's spin. I hate a story that just stops.
A young girl tries to explore the beginnings of adolescence while the world begins to come to an end, as the Earth's rotation slows, wreaking havoc with gravity, the environment, wildlife and people's minds. I was a bit put off by constant foreshadowing, otherwise I liked the way this story unfolded and the grace of the girl's voice.
Reviewer: Scott C
Great premise, but flat and boring execution. I read the first 70 pages then skimmed to the end. Very disappointing.