Age of Miracles (Walker) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
[A] moving tale that mixes the real and surreal, the ordinary and the extraordinary with impressive fluency and flair.... Ms. Walker has an instinctive feel for narrative architecture, creating a story, in lapidary prose, that moves ahead with a sense of both the inevitable and the unexpected.... Ms. Walker maps [her characters’] inner lives with such sure-footedness that they become as recognizable to us as people we’ve grown up with or watched for years on television… [A] precocious debut…one of this summer’s hot literary reads.
Michiko Kakutani - New York Times


If you begin this book, you'll be loath to set it down until you've reached its end… 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.
San Francisco Chronicle


The perfect combination of the intimate and the pandemic… Flawlessly written; it could be the most assured debut by an American writer since Jennifer Egan's Emerald City.
Denver Post


Simply told, skillfully crafted and filled with metaphorical unities, this resonant first novel [rings] with difficult truths both large and small.
Kansas City Star


Both utterly realistic and fantastically dystopian…The big miracles, Walker seems to be saying, may doom the world at large, but the little ones keep life worth living.
Minnesota Herald Tribune
 

Walker’s tone can be properly [Harper] Lee-esque; both Julia and Scout grapple with the standard childhood difficulties as their societies crumble around them. But life prevails, and the stunning Miracles subtly conveys that adapting.
Time Out New York


Part speculative fiction, part coming-of-age story…The Age of Miracles could turn Walker into American literature's next big thing.
NPR
 

Walker creates lovely, low-key scenes to dramatize her premise…The spirit of Ray Bradbury hovers in the mixture of the portentous and quotidian.
The New Yorker

(Starred review) [Walker] matches the fierce creativity of her imagination with a lyrical and portentous understanding of the present.
People


Quietly explosive.... Walker describes global shifts with a sense of utter realism, but she treats Julia’s personal adolescent upheaval with equal care, delicacy, and poignancy.
O, The Oprah Magazine


This haunting and soul-stirring novel about the apocalypse is transformative and unforgettable.
Marie Claire


(Starred review.) In this gripping debut, 11-year-old Julia wakes one day to the news that the earth’s rotation has started slowing. The immediate effects—no one at soccer practice; relentless broadcasts of the same bewildered scientists—soon feel banal compared to what unfolds. “The slowing” is growing slower still, and soon both day and night are more than twice as long as they once were. When governments decide to stick to the 24-hour schedule (ignoring circadian rhythms), a subversive movement erupts, “real-timers” who disregard the clock and appear to be weathering the slowing better than clock-timers—at first. Thompson’s Julia is the perfect narrator. On the brink of adolescence, she’s as concerned with buying her first bra as with the birds falling out of the sky. She wants to be popular as badly as she wants her world to remain familiar. While the apocalypse looms large—has in fact already arrived—the narrative remains fiercely grounded in the surreal and horrifying day-to-day and the personal decisions that persist even though no one knows what to do. A triumph of vision, language, and terrifying momentum, the story also feels eerily plausible, as if the problems we’ve been worrying about all along pale in comparison to what might actually bring our end.
Publishers Weekly


(Starred review.) In Walker’s stunning debut, a young California girl coming of age in a dystopian near future confronts the inevitability of change on the most personal level as life on earth withers … She goes through the trials and joys of first love. She begins to see cracks in her parents’ marriage and must navigate the currents of loyalty and moral uncertainty. She faces sickness and death of loved ones. ... Julia’s life is shaped by what happens in the larger world, but it is the only life she knows, and Walker captures each moment, intimate and universal, with magical precision. Riveting, heartbreaking, profoundly moving.
Kirkus Reviews




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