We've all heard that time is relative. We learn in school how Egyptians established the 24 hour day. We learn in college (or as parents of newborns) about circadian rhythms and how much sleep we need to function. A majority of the world is active in the hours of sunlight and sleeps in the darkness. In Karen Thompson Walker's "The Age of Miracles" all of these established patterns are tested. A shift in the earth has caused the days to continuously grow longer. The people divide into two camps: those that follow the 24 hour clock and those that follow the light=active/dark=sleep routine. History teaches us that anytime humans divide into opposing factions, the outcome is conflict and this situation is no different.
The story makes the reader revert back to their own adolescence. How lonely afternoons felt as if they stretched on forever, how a great time with a friend or first love flashed by so fast. Our young adult concept of time does not fit into the "every-minute-of-my-day-is-scheduled" adults we have become.
Julia is 11. A very tender age of newly blossoming interest in the opposite sex, crumbling friendships, impending puberty and the realization that your parents are *gasp* "People"! While Julia is busy worrying about the end of the world, she is also navigating the torturous landscape of growing up. She is confronted with friends moving or running away. neighbors turning on each other, sickness, affairs, death and most importantly love.