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The Age of Miracles (a sneak peek)

The Age of Miracles (a sneak peek)

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Facebook.com/AgeofMiracles

With a voice as distinctive and original as that of The Lovely Bones, and for the fans of the speculative fiction of Margaret Atwood, Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles is a luminous, haunting, and unforgettable debut novel about coming of age set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, 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 she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.
Facebook.com/AgeofMiracles

With a voice as distinctive and original as that of The Lovely Bones, and for the fans of the speculative fiction of Margaret Atwood, Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles is a luminous, haunting, and unforgettable debut novel about coming of age set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, 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 she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

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Published by: Random House Publishing Group on Mar 12, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/13/2014

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Excerpted from
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker.
Copyright © 2012 by Karen Thompson Walker.Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproducedor reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
 
 
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e didn’t notice right away. We couldn’t feel it.We did not sense at first the extra time, bulging fromthe smooth edge of each day like a tumor blooming beneath skin.We were distracted back then by weather and war. We had nointerest in the turning of the earth. Bombs continued to explodeon the streets of distant countries. Hurricanes came and went.Summer ended. A new school year began. The clocks ticked asusual. Seconds beaded into minutes. Minutes grew into hours. And there was nothing to suggest that those hours, too, weren’tstill pooling into days, each the same fixed length known to everyhuman being.But there were those who would later claim to have recognizedthe disaster before the rest of us did. These were the night workers,the graveyard shifters, the stockers of shelves, and the loaders ofships, the drivers of big-rig trucks, or else they were the bearers ofdifferent burdens: the sleepless and the troubled and the sick.
 
KAREN THOMPSON WALKER4
These people were accustomed to waiting out the night. Throughbloodshot eyes, a few did detect a certain persistence of darknesson the mornings leading up to the news, but each mistook it forthe private misperception of a lonely, rattled mind.On the sixth of October, the experts went public. This, ofcourse, is the day we all remember. There’d been a change, theysaid, 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,” saida shy bearded scientist at a hastily arranged press conference, nowinfamous. He cleared his throat and swallowed. Cameras flashedin his eyes. Then came the moment, replayed so often afterwardthat the particular cadences of that scientist’s speech—the dipsand the pauses and that slight midwestern slant—would be for-ever married to the news itself. He went on: “But we suspect thatit
will
continue.”Our days had grown by fifty-six minutes in the night. At the beginning, people stood on street corners and shoutedabout the end of the world. Counselors came to talk to us atschool. I remember watching Mr. Valencia next door fill up hisgarage with stacks of canned food and bottled water, as if prepar-ing, it now seems to me, for a disaster much more minor.The grocery stores were soon empty, the shelves sucked cleanlike chicken bones.The freeways clogged immediately. People heard the news, andthey wanted to move. Families piled into minivans and crossedstate lines. They scurried in every direction like small animalscaught suddenly under a light.But, of course, there was nowhere on earth to go.

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