The Children Act (2020)

The Children Act Ian McEwan The Children Act A fiercely intelligent well respected High Court judge in London faces a morally ambiguous case while her own marriage crumbles in a novel that will keep readers thoroughly enthralled until the last
  • Title: The Children Act
  • Author: Ian McEwan
  • ISBN: 9780385539708
  • Page: 344
  • Format: Hardcover
The Children Act Ian McEwan A fiercely intelligent, well respected High Court judge in London faces a morally ambiguous case while her own marriage crumbles in a novel that will keep readers thoroughly enthralled until the last stunning page.Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court She is fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuancesA fiercely intelligent, well respected High Court judge in London faces a morally ambiguous case while her own marriage crumbles in a novel that will keep readers thoroughly enthralled until the last stunning page.Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court She is fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuances of her particular field of law Often the outcome of a case seems simple from the outside, the course of action to ensure a child s welfare obvious But the law requires rigor than mere pragmatism, and Fiona is expert in considering the sensitivities of culture and religion when handing down her verdicts But Fiona s professional success belies domestic strife Her husband, Jack, asks her to consider an open marriage and, after an argument, moves out of their house His departure leaves her adrift, wondering whether it was not love she had lost so much as a modern form of respectability whether it was not contempt and ostracism she really fears She decides to throw herself into her work, especially a complex case involving a seventeen year old boy whose parents will not permit a lifesaving blood transfusion because it conflicts with their beliefs as Jehovah s Witnesses But Jack doesn t leave her thoughts, and the pressure to resolve the case as well as her crumbling marriage tests Fiona in ways that will keep readers thoroughly enthralled until the last stunning page.
The Children Act Ian McEwan

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    Published :2020-03-12T03:13:35+00:00

One thought on “The Children Act

  1. Emily May

    Do you like to people watch You know what I mean just sit somewhere in a busy place and watch people bustle past in all their colourful weirdness It s a habit I ve acquired with age Sometimes I think back to being a teenager and remember how I always wondered if I was strange in some way I guess a lot of teens wonder that same question am I normal I wonder, had I taken the time to people watch back then, if I would have felt so lost and strange I don t see how I could have People are all damn we [...]

  2. Sharon

    I have to stop reading McEwan s books, because I never enjoy them There s something clinical, removed, about the way he tells his stories I don t get the sense that he likes human beings, and he is writing about them to display his proficiency with structure and nuance rather than out of interest or sympathy This is probably a three star book, but a two star experience.

  3. John Grisham

    THE CHILDREN ACT is about the law and sensational cases, but it is not a legal thriller Rather, it is a beautiful and sad story of a High Court Judge forced to choose, literally, between life and death Her ruling, though proper and legally sound, leads to both.

  4. Lizzy

    From the first page, I realized Ian McEwan s The Children Act would conquer me This novel is a character study than a simple courtroom drama, as it deals with marriage, religion, and life choices The story centers on the family court Judge Fiona Maye as she faces a crisis in her marriage, questions her life choices and stumbles practically on the edge of both her personal and professional life Her judgment must be ready for printing by tomorrow s deadline, she must work Her personal life was no [...]

  5. Cecily

    She felt shrunken to a geometrical point of anxious purpose This was my eighth McEwan I rated On Chesil Beach as 5 , five others as 4 , and Black Dogs as 2 That track record gave me high hopes for The Children Act, raised further by the intriguing dilemma at its heart whether a bright and articulate Jehovah s Witness boy, very nearly 18, should be forced to have a life saving blood transfusion, against his religious based wishes and those of his parents.I was very disappointed Disappointed Becau [...]

  6. Julie Christine

    Perhaps it s best I read The Children Act in the space of a day, curled on my sofa Otherwise I might have been spied in my favorite cafe purring like a contented cat, stroked by the sublimity of Ian McEwan s prose Words adore Ian McEwan, submitting readily to his firm but empathetic hand They are sleek and gorgeous dancers to his choreography alone, the words are admirable, but under his direction they assume nuance and strength His works never fail to take my breath away It is a comfort to know [...]

  7. Katie

    You could argue that the character at the heart of this novel is dangerously close to being a misogynistic clich the career woman who deep freezes her feelings in order to succeed professionally Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in her late fifties At the beginning of the novel her husband, maddened by his wife s sexual detachment, leaves to embark on an affair with a much younger woman It s easy to forget every judge has a personal life and that her professional life will have repercussions on h [...]

  8. Agnieszka

    McEwan is, in my opinion, very uneven writer I really enjoyedThe cement garden ,Enduring loveandSweet tooth The child in timemoved me deeply whileAmsterdamwas rather disappointment andThe comfort of strangerstotal disaster McEwan relishes quirk and macabre, likes to handling very disturbing and bizarre, not to say creepy behaviours and relationships in his novels He is very efficient and his writer s skills are indubitable but there is some coldness about his writing As if he only was doing his [...]

  9. Kalliope

    Not long ago, while having my morning coffee and while perusing GR, I encounteredFionnuala s review of this book It immediately drew my attention because not only am I a fan of Fionnuala s takes on books and have liked several of McEwan s books, but also because I was going to attend a trial in court within the next few hours.Children and parents Parents and children Oof What should be only a love relationship can easily, and too often, turn into a thorny one, charged with distressing emotions N [...]

  10. Debbie

    I m embarrassed to say that before The Children Act, I was a McEwan virgin But now I ve turned into a McEwan slut, anxious to read his earlier books I can t help myself What a great writer This is the story of Fiona, a highly respected judge who presides over family court She has to make hard decisions that determine the fate of families She doesn t seem to question her power or choices until her husband rocks her world and wants her to approve his plan to have an affair Fiona, the ever rational [...]

  11. Suzanne

    Not having read this author before, I m very glad to have picked this one off of my 300 plus owned books It will be easy to miss many great books this way won t it Fiona holds an immensely important job being a highly regarded High Court Judge presiding over families She s at a crossroads, or rather her husband is, and we see a fine story unfold as a marriage is being questioned and a brilliant woman teeters on the edge At the same time Fiona has to decide how to apply a life and death judgement [...]

  12. Angela M

    Don t let the fact that this is a pretty short novel deceive you into thinking that there is not much substance here When I finished reading this book, I couldn t stop thinking about the enormous power that Family Court judges have over the lives of so many young children whose families are in crisis and then even if the decision seems right, what happens to these children afterwards Fiona Maye, a High Court Judge in the Family Division of the Courts in England and this could be anywhere has had [...]

  13. Iris P

    The Children ActI read this book in two days, which for a slow reader like me is quite an achievement.There s a certain stream of consciousness vibe on McEwan s writing, at least on this novel, but I absolutely adore his graceful, elegant prose.Not sure why this book is classified as a mystery thriller, it s nothing of the sort However, if the idea of a novel featuring a strong female family court judge in charge of handling complex ethical issues sounds intriguing, this novel might be for you.I [...]

  14. Ron Charles

    Believers of a millennial bent might consider this a sign It s not every summer that we get two dark and serious novels focused on Jehovah s Witnesses The first was Scott Cheshire s High as the Horses Bridles about a boy preacher who drifts from the faith And now, the second coming Ian McEwan s The Children Act, which puts the church s beliefs on trial Surely, members of this small Christian sect would prefer, instead, to get their own hilarious Broadway musical, but authors work in mysterious w [...]

  15. Fionnuala

    One of the Ian McEwan books I ve most enjoyed and a book which inspired the most vigorous debate my book group has ever had a debate which felt like a day in court as all the barristers present argued their cases one, for the rights of children another, the rights of parents a third the letter of the Law a fourth, the rights of the characters a fifth, the rights of readers a sixth the wrongs of the author No, scratch that last one off the record, court secretary the conclusion was that the autho [...]

  16. Marialyce

    How truly utterly perfect was this story The story was of a family court judge, her husband, her on the rocks marriage and the young man so tragically ill who came into her life and offered her love and the chance for redemption.It was a beautiful story and one that sent goosebumps down your spine as the ending approached and try as you might you could not change it Caught up in the turmoil that parents and religion can oftentimes put children through, the novel captures the true element of the [...]

  17. Maciek

    As I began to read The Children Act, I thought that it would be the antithesis to McEwan s other novel, On Chesil Beach, where the marriage of a young newlyweds is damaged beyond repaid in a single moment, by what essentially is lack of communication In The Children Act the couple is much older and has been married for decades Fiona is a 59 year old court judge, and is married to Jack, a 60 year old professor of ancient history They have been together for 35 years, and led what could be describe [...]

  18. Elyse

    My Lady is Captivating Adam Henry is Captivating This entire story is CAPTIVATING Delicate Situations Written with real energy totally ALIVE.I ve been a long time fan of Ian McEwan and this small novel with 5 parts confirms the depth and breadth of Ian s talents

  19. Saleh MoonWalker

    Onvan The Children Act Nevisande Ian McEwan ISBN 385539703 ISBN13 9780385539708 Dar 240 Safhe Saal e Chap 2014

  20. Betsy Robinson

    The sixth book in my ongoing Ian McEwan binge and it has only given me a craving for The Children Act weaves a story of Fiona Maye, a 59 year old British High Court judge in the Family Division, through her rocky marriage and her cases.Once again, I am bowled over by McEwan s exquisite portrayal of human truths and subterfuges to avoid truth Also his masterful storytelling technique I found myself reading like a student, noticing his artful pacing and the way he moved between narrative and scen [...]

  21. Margitte

    Fiona Maye is a High Court Judge in London, married to Jack, and an experienced pianist Her fierce intelligence and immersion in her cases rendered the opinion of the Lord Chief Justice himself describing her as Godly distance, devilish understanding, and still beautiful Almost sixty years old, Fiona finds herself in a failing marriage while presiding over a case in which a multi talented 17 year old teenager, a member of the Jehova s Witnesses religious group, refuses to receive blood transfusi [...]

  22. cameron

    I could just strangle Ian McEwan I said the same thing after reading On Chesil Beach While reading that book, which I bought NEW, I realized it had been a short story in the New Yorker to which he had added a few pages and then called it a book It was a good short story but never enough for a book I wrote him and chided him for the switch but to no avail The Children Act felt the same way to me Maybe he s putting his kids through college and needs some quick dough I thought the marriage plot was [...]

  23. Lynne King

    Given the unique circumstance of this case, I ve decided that I would like to hear from Adam Henry himself It s not his knowledge of scripture that interests me so much as his understanding of his situation, and of what he confronts should I rule against the hospital Also, he should know that he is not in the hands of an impersonal bureaucracy I shall explain to him that I am the one who will be making the decision in his best interests.I had never read any of this author s books before, in fact [...]

  24. Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at 52bookminimum Fiona is a successful, middle aged, Family Court judge who finds herself being confronted by her husband about his desire to have an affair In the midst of her marital turmoil, she must also preside over one of the most important cases in her career that of a 17 year old Jehovah s Witness who wishes to take his chances of surviving leukemia without receiving a life saving blood transfusion due to his religious beliefs Can she save both her marriage and thi [...]

  25. Diane S ☔

    An author, I believe, takes a risk when he centers his novel around one character So often a reader will rate their enjoyment of the book on whether or not they can relate to the character In this story the main character is Fiona, approaching sixty she is a high court judge in the family court She had given up the idea of having a child, concentrating on her career She is long married to Jack, but their marriage has now hit a big road block.In the beginning I felt a huge distance from the chara [...]

  26. Liz

    Sometimes it s the smallest books that dig the deepest Admittedly, this one didn t grab me right away, but at some point I did find a significant amount of meaning in its pages The character of Fiona seems at first difficult to know, some might even say cold, but as I read, I began to understand her Fiona Maye is a judge in Family Court who keeps herself very formal and somewhat distant from the people around her She wields great power over the lives of the people who appear before her in court, [...]

  27. Orsodimondo

    THE INNOCENT McEwan bravo, molto, un grande della letteratura contemporanea, e questo suo breve romanzo un autentico pezzo di bravura.Un tema penetrante, dati sensibili raccolti dopo acute ricerche, il tutto condito con la sua qualit di scrittura ed ecco una narrazione che scorre e cattura, anche con i momenti di stasi, di noia Ma di quella noia che stimolante il pi sublime dei sentimenti, la defin Leopardi.New York Times, illustrazione di Keith Negley.Anche questa volta siamo in presenza del ti [...]

  28. ❀Julie

    I m a big fan of Ian McEwan s and found this to be another great read The Children Act is of a character study than courtroom drama, involving a family high court judge named Fiona and a difficult and sensitive medical case she is faced with regarding treatment that could save a seventeen ear old boy s life The consequences of her ruling of the case are at the heart of the story, but despite the sobering topic I did not find it to be a difficult read In addition to Fiona s career dilemma, the f [...]

  29. Maxwell

    Perhaps an unconventional first McEwan novel to read, The Children Act is a tightly constructed, parable like story of morality, religion, science and the decision of one woman amidst a marital crisis We follow Fiona Maye, a London high court judge, who must make the decision of whether or not to treat 17 year old Adam, a Jehovah s witness, with a blood transfusion a decision that would go against his religious beliefs, but due to his being a minor, falls on the court s shoulders We focus much l [...]

  30. Kim

    After being traumatised by The Child in Time when I read it in the late 1980s, I spent than twenty five years avoiding Ian McEwan I overcame my unreasonable fear of reading his work in the last couple of years and very much enjoyed On Chesil Beach and Sweet Tooth So I embarked on this novel with some confidence that I would like it a lot The main protagonist, Fiona Maye, is a married woman in her late 50s An English High Court judge in the Family Division, her day to day work requires her to ma [...]

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