The Age Of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

72%

40 Critic Reviews

The Age of Miracles is a pensive page-turner that meditates on loss and the fragility of both our planetary and personal ecosystems.
-NPR

Synopsis

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
People ∙ O: The Oprah Magazine ∙ Financial Times ∙ Kansas City Star ∙ BookPage ∙ Kirkus Reviews ∙ Publishers Weekly ∙ Booklist

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
“A stunner.”—Justin Cronin
 
“It’s never the disasters you see coming that finally come to pass—it’s the ones you don’t expect at all,” says Julia, in this spellbinding novel of catastrophe and survival by a superb new writer. Luminous, suspenseful, unforgettable, The Age of Miracles tells the haunting and beautiful story of Julia and her family as they struggle to live in a time of extraordinary change.
 
On an ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia awakes to discover that something has happened to the rotation of the earth. The days and nights are growing longer and longer; gravity is affected; the birds, the tides, human behavior, and cosmic rhythms are thrown into disarray. In a world that seems filled with danger and loss, Julia also must face surprising developments in herself, and in her personal world—divisions widening between her parents, strange behavior by her friends, the pain and vulnerability of first love, a growing sense of isolation, and a surprising, rebellious new strength. With crystalline prose and the indelible magic of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker gives us a breathtaking portrait of people finding ways to go on in an ever-evolving world.
 
“Gripping drama . . . flawlessly written; it could be the most assured debut by an American writer since Jennifer Egan’s Emerald City.”—The Denver Post
 
“Pure magnificence.”—Nathan Englander
 
“Provides solace with its wisdom, compassion, and elegance.”—Curtis Sittenfeld
 
“Riveting, heartbreaking, profoundly moving.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.
 

About Karen Thompson Walker

See more books from this Author
Karen Thompson Walker is the author of The Age of Miracles, which was a New York Times bestseller. She was born and raised in San Diego and is a graduate of UCLA and the Columbia MFA program. A former editor at Simon & Schuster, she wrote The Age of Miracles in the mornings before work-sometimes while riding the subway. She currently lives in Iowa with her husband.
 
Published June 26, 2012 by Random House. 289 pages
Genres: Other, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon19
Peak Rank on Jul 15 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Age Of Miracles
All: 40 | Positive: 27 | Negative: 13

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Christopher Priest on Jul 13 2012

It will mostly be sold at substantial discounts in supermarkets and online. It will find a kind of success, but in almost every other way it is a sorry and pallid failure.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Edward Docx on Jun 08 2012

...is a delicate and emotionally sophisticated coming-of-age tale – shame about the clunky sci-fi contrivances

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Jun 18 2012

“The Age of Miracles” is not without its flaws. There are moments when the spell the author has so assiduously created wobbles, and moments when a made-for-Hollywood slickness seeps into the story.

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Jul 02 2012

The Age of Miracles is a pensive page-turner that meditates on loss and the fragility of both our planetary and personal ecosystems.

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Toronto Star

Excellent
Reviewed by Emily Donaldson on Jul 07 2012

Elegant, elegiac and powerfully resistant to the gravity of being put down, The Age of Miracles is one of the year’s strongest debuts. Enjoy it, but unless you’re the type to bring Jaws to the beach, don’t read it during a heat wave.

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Toronto Star

Excellent
Reviewed by Emily Donaldson on Jul 07 2012

Elegant, elegiac and powerfully resistant to the gravity of being put down, The Age of Miracles is one of the year’s strongest debuts.

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Washington Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Jackie Stewart on Jul 27 2012

...really shines as the coming-of-age tale of Julia, an awkward child enduring her middle school years and her slowly deteriorating home life.

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National Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Robert Wiersema on Jul 06 2012

The Age of Miracles is dazzling and powerful. It’s a fundamentally human, utterly realistic novel not of a disaster, but of lives lived in the face of disaster.

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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by Becky Toyne on Jun 29 2012

Touching and harrowing, but above all magical, The Age of Miracles is an impressive debut.

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Entertainment Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Melissa Maerz on Jul 03 2012

...one that's lovely because of its simple writing and quiet moments. You might not love it immediately. But it will grow on you.

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The Washington Post

Below average
Reviewed by Ron Charles on Jun 22 2012

Random House may somehow earn back its advance. Thousands of people are duped into reading perfectly ordinary books just to see what all the fuss is about.

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AV Club

Excellent
Reviewed by Rowan Kaiser on Jul 23 2012

The Age Of Miracles is beautifully written, conveying Julia’s personal struggles and her growing understanding of life as an adult via simple, precise prose in a formal structure.

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Claudia Yusef on Jun 21 2012

The Age of Miracles is a gentle reminder of what adolescents learn and adults try to forget – that the world is alarmingly mysterious...

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Huffington Post

Below average
Reviewed by Michael Giltz on Jul 02 2012

Next time, hopefully, she'll rein in the desire to spell out what should be implied and let the vivid voice of her characters ring out unmuffled.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Susanna Sonnenberg on Jul 02 2012

The Age of Miracles reminds us that we never know when everything will change, when a single event will split our understanding of personal history and all history into a Before and an After.

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Dallas News

Below average
Reviewed by Ted Gioia on Jul 06 2012

There are no thrills and chills in this novel. Once I got beyond the halfway point, and Julia was debating whether to quit the soccer team — “I’d lost interest in the sport.

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The Boston Globe

Below average
Reviewed by Jenny Hendrix on Jul 15 2012

If these promising metaphysical reflections were allowed to proceed, Walker might have created something that could strike a chord beyond its novelty. Instead, she raises questions ...only to fall back on apocalyptic rubbernecking.

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Express

Excellent
Reviewed by Charlotte Heathcote on Jun 24 2012

Walker melds a disorientating take on global catastrophe with the story of a lonely young girl watching her life spiral out of control...

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The Uncustomary Book Review

Above average
Reviewed by Kat Kiddles on Sep 02 2012

It may not be great literature but I’ll admit, there’s something about this book—something riveting. Every so often, I have to remind myself, ‘Wait. We still have twenty-four hour days. Earth didn’t really slow down. Days are bright and nights are…

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Denver Post

Below average
Reviewed by John Broening on Jun 17 2012

Looked at as a social commentary, though, it is incoherent and half-hearted.

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Independent.ie

Excellent
Reviewed by ANNE MARIE SCANLON on Aug 05 2012

...aside from being a great storyteller Thompson Walker is a genius at crafting words into beautiful sentences.

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Huntington News

Excellent
Reviewed by David Kinchen on Jun 25 2012

I loved this book from the first page. Walker perfectly captures the feelings of her young protagonist and her friends and, with the experience that comes with being an adult...

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Newsday

Below average
Reviewed by SAM THIELMAN on Jun 28 2012

"The Age of Miracles" isn't perfect -- it closes with some unnecessary flourishes and a longer peek into the future than feels necessary.

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Chamber Four

Below average
Reviewed by SEAN CLARK on Jul 16 2012

But for all The Age of Miracles brings in terms of originality, style, and even a little bit of heart, it fails to find congruity between its various parts, and ultimately it’s fairly boring.

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Tulsa World

Excellent
Reviewed by Connie Ogle on Aug 12 2012

...is a poignant hybrid, a sci-fi/coming-of-age novel that celebrates human resilience even as it breaks your heart.

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Austin Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Kimberley Jones on Jun 15 2012

But make no mistake: This book cuts bone-deep with a creeping kind of terror. There are horrors here common to end-times fiction...

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Time Out Chicago

Excellent
Reviewed by Jen Nails on Aug 02 2012

...life prevails, and the stunning Miracles subtly conveys that adapting, extending kindnesses and enduring rites of passage together will always be the things that matter most.

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Full Stop

Below average
Reviewed by Emma Schneider on Jul 30 2012

Written as a flashback, The Age of Miracles loses some of the exhilaration that comes from never knowing when the end might arrive...

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Willamette Week

Excellent
Reviewed by PENELOPE BASS | on Jul 18 2012

...The Age of Miracles manages to weave an endearing story about both the value and irrelevance of time.

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Murphreesboro Pulse

Excellent
Reviewed by Sarah Porterfield on Oct 03 2012

After putting this book down, the light of day and the dark of night never quite look the same.

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Tottenville Review

Excellent
Reviewed by Sophia Pfaff-Shalmiyev on Oct 25 2012

The Age of Miracles gives us a smart, lonely girl narrator, an outsider, who somehow, amid the horror of it all, manages not only to survive, but to thrive.

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The Book Smugglers

Below average
Reviewed by Thea on Jul 04 2012

...it lacks emotional resonance and characters with heart. Thus, The Age of Miracles is a good novel, but not a particularly miraculous one.

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Literary Treats

Good
Reviewed by Jaclyn on Aug 01 2012

...takes a terrifying science fiction idea and turns it into a touching coming of age story.

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Novelicious

Good
Reviewed by Amanda Keats on May 17 2012

...a book that is hauntingly realistic in its catastrophe because it happens so gradually.

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Reeder Reads

Good
Reviewed by Reeder Reads on Jun 25 2012

...you’re going to want to read this book, because it’s unlike anything you’ve read before.

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Poetry to Prose

Good
Reviewed by Stephanie on Jun 26 2012

...but Julia’s uncertainty as she grows up is universal and it’s what truly makes The Age of Miracles a haunting and gripping novel.

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Bookosaur

Good
Reviewed by The Bookosaur on Jun 26 2012

...I was fascinated by the idea that in this world, it’s next to impossible to predict the fall-out of The Slowing.

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Isabel Costello

Good
Reviewed by Isabel Costello on Jun 21 2012

It has a highly original hook and an extremely powerful opening that grabbed me instantly.

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Art Animal

Below average
Reviewed by Elizabeth Coleman on Aug 16 2012

...Walker is trying to show us that we derive meaning in our lives in different ways... Unfortunately, because of its lack of emotional resonance with the characters, The Age of Miracles fell short in showing this meaning.

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Sans Serif

Good
Reviewed by Michelle on Jul 28 2012

The Age of Miracles is a very sweet, engaging story, one which stayed on my mind as I went about my day.

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Reader Rating for The Age Of Miracles
72%

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Mohit Aggarwal 16 Feb 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

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Terri McGinty 23 May 2013

Rated the book as 2 out of 5

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