Author(s): Ian McEwan
Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge, presiding over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude and sensitivity. But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now, her marriage of thirty years is in crisis. At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: for religious reasons, a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, Adam, is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents share his wishes. Time is running out. Should the secular court overrule sincerely held faith? In the course of reaching a decision Fiona visits Adam in hospital - an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both.
Ian McEwan fails to disappoint with his latest novel The Children Act. It is written with an economic but beautiful style, delving into individual lives while discussing wider issues. In this case the individual is Fiona Maye, a family court judge, who, in the pursuit of her career, has inadvertently missed the opportunity to have a family of her own. As a crisis in her marriage plays out she is involved in various court cases, making judgements within the legal system on a number of thought-provoking and often religious-based issues where religion is impacting on the care of children: the provision of blood to a Jehovah’s Witness child, separation of Siamese twins, and custody cases. After reading this I developed a new respect for some areas of the legal system, while becoming more aware of some of its inadequacies and the responsibility adults have to care for children. - Sarah
A brilliant, emotionally wrenching new novel from the author of Atonement and Amsterdam.
"Compulsively readable... McEwan's prose keeps its cutting edge and his books are the ones the reading public still crave... A masterly balance between research and imagination... One feels an immediate pleasure in returning to prose of uncommon clarity, unshowiness and control" The Times "Classic McEwan... It's a pleasure from start to finish, one not to be interrupted" Guardian "A powerful, humane novel" Evening Standard "One of the finest writers alive" Sunday Times "McEwan writes as beautifully and elegantly as ever, his prose quintessentially English in its restraint, one meticulously chosen word hinting at depths of emotion" Washington Post "A finely written, engaging read... Poignant, challenging and lyrical" Sunday Express "A class act by one of our finest novelists." -- Viv Groskop Red "A compelling moral dilemma [with] a moving and heartfelt denouement." Tatler "Shows McEwan as a master of fiction." -- Olivia Cole GQ "It is one most extraordinary, powerful, moving reading experiences of my life. It is an utterly remarkable novel, delicately balanced, perfectly crafted, beautifully written." -- Alberto Manguel "Every word counts: one has the sense of a complicated piece of music played by a master soloist." -- Christina Hardyment The Times "A great writer. One of the most acute chroniclers of modern life and its discontents ... The Children Act is both gripping and highly topical...Entirely entrancing" -- Andrew Marr "Prose of uncommon clarity, unshowiness and control ... Masterly" -- Kate Kellaway Observer "Although thrillingly close to the child within us, McEwan nonetheless writes for, and about, the grown-ups. In a climate that breeds juvenile cynicism, we more than ever need his adult art." -- Boyd Tonkin Independent "McEwan brings to the analysis of justice a distinctive combination of literary skill, empathy and legal knowledge... A welcome addition to the class [of novels about judges]." -- David Pannick QC The Times "A brave and enormously interesting subject." -- Amanda Craig Independent on Sunday "A dazzling tapestry... Another magnificent work by McEwan, important and meticulously crafted." -- James McNair National "A svelte novel as crisp and spotless as a priest's collar." -- Ron Charles Washington Post "Pacy and gripping, with a fascinating premise... McEwan skillfully brings complexity and depth to the characters." Stylist "Beautifully told with pared-down emotional honesty, this 13th novel from the Booker Prize-winner is fiercely clever and incredibly moving." Hello! "A gripping new novel which brings into question morality, religion and the very nature of life itself." Hunts Post "McEwan masterfully weaves a gripping personal story." -- Peter Donaldson Gazette (Colchester) "I feel that both Fiona and the boy somehow sort of transcended naturalistic character" -- Mark Ravenhill Saturday Review "Emotionally wrenching and visceral." Elle "Gripping." Mail on Sunday "A short novel of great subtlety and tenderness." UK Human Rights "Executed in his trademark elegant prose and is evidently meticulously researched." -- Carla McKay Daily Mail "Incredibly moving, intriguing and quite perfect as piece of fiction." Bath Chronicle "Yet another worthy addition to his canon." EasyJet Traveller "The small morning scenes between husband and wife are superb." Catholic Herald
Ian McEwan is a critically acclaimed author of short stories and novels for adults, as well as The Daydreamer, a children's novel illustrated by Anthony Browne. His first published work, a collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His novels include The Child in Time, which won the 1987 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award, The Cement Garden, Enduring Love, Amsterdam, which won the 1998 Booker Prize, Atonement, Saturday, On Chesil Beach, Solar and Sweet Tooth.