The Age of Miracles is eleven year old Julia’s story of a year in which the earth’s rotation slows and the length of days increases. It is a story of the people in her life, not a science fiction/Twilight Zone-ish story. When the world is first alerted, the length of a day has increased by 56 minutes. Over the course of the coming year, the length of a day almost triples.
Julia calmly talks about her unreturned crush on Seth Moreno, a cute skateboarder and her broken friendship with Hanna, whose Mormon family chooses to flee to Montana from California as the days lengthen and the ‘end of the world’ approaches. She describes how those people who choose to live a ‘sun up to sun up’ day are totally out of sync with those adhering to the government mandated 24 hour ‘clock’ day, in which some mornings are pitch black and some nights are sunny. And she emotionlessly, it seems, describes how the increased gravitational pull makes it impossible for birds to fly and causes whales to beach themselves.
And that is both the beauty and the flaw with The Age of Miracles. There is no mass rioting or looting, there is no overpowering fear that food supplies will run out as crops are ruined by lack of sun or too much rain or California snows. Power outages are taken in stride. Clearly the ‘slowing’ causes psychological issues and breaks in the ozone layer cause dangerous radiation levels, but these too are dealt with in the normal course. In other words, nothing that you would expect to happen actually does occur. The Age of Miracles is merely Julia’s story, isolated to her small town and her immediate family.
If you’re looking for armaggedon,The Age of Miracles is not for you. If you’re looking for the world through an eleven year old’s mind, give The Age of Miracles a try.