In 2012 first time novelist Karen Thompson Walker introduced to our bookshelves an unimaginable concept, a hauntingly realistic tale, an unthinkable nightmare, and yet, not an impossible reality. Her futuristic tale of natural disaster stirred the imaginations of readers worldwide, and was noted as one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly, Oprah, Financial Times, and Booklist, as well as being The New York Times bestseller.
The Age of Miracles is a coming of age tale which sees the end of the world through eyes of a twelve year old girl. As the turning of the Earth slows the adult world is set into panic, anticipating endless nights of blizzards and deadly radiation carried in the heat-waves. However, the mind of Julia continues to prioritise friendship fallouts and family arguments as far and away more catastrophic than the mere growing of hours. The changes going on in the world around her are ever present and yet take to an eerie backdrop giving the novel a sense of silent urgency far more heart-wrenching than if told from the panicked perspective of an adult.
In words the effects of the visible changes on Earth leave a definite imprint on the readers mind, imagine what could be done in a cinema with the disturbing alterations in colour of our landscapes and lighting in the prolonged dawn and everlasting dusk. The Age of Miracles is set to be adapted for our cinema screens in the coming year with Catherine Hardwicke taking to the director’s chair. With past directorial credits including Twilight and Red Riding Hood, Hardwicke is well accustomed to bringing written fantasy to life in scenes of disturbing animation, and had her directorial claims not included the critically judged Thirteen I would have been sceptical that her approach to The Age of Miracles would prove too realistic to suit her style. As it is however, her direction of the 2003 semi-autobiographical American drama proved her capable of adapting to scripts beyond that of sparkling vampires and fairy-tale teenage romances. By combining her experience Hardwicke could undoubtedly prove to be the prefect director to reconstruct such a quietly moving tale as this.
So to those of you, who have not yet read this gripping novel, prepare to be swallowed by a story which will forever alter your perception of the world, for Walker’s words; “it never is what you worry over that comes to pass in the end. The real catastrophes are always different – unimagined, unprepared for, unknown”.
The Age of Miracles is written by Karen Thomas Walker and is distributed in U.K by Simon & Schuster.