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The Children Act by Ian McEwan

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One of the Top 10 Lovereading Reader Review Panel Summer Read selections.

The slow decline of a long and happy marriage set against the ascent of a young life recovering from a near fatal illness. The boy is a Jehovah’s Witness and his parents and church forbid blood transfusions. The hospital wants to save him and turn to the courts for a ruling. The judge is Fiona, the woman watching the decline of her marriage. Her relationship with the boy whom she visits in hospital before passing judgement is very surprising for them both. This is a short book from one of our most renowned authors, short but very powerful. It will remain with you long after you’ve finished it. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like Ian McEwan you might also like to read books by Michael Frayn, Kazuo Ishiguro and Jane Gardam.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. High Court Judge Fiona Maye presides over complex ethical cases. Just as she is presented with one of the most challenging cases of her career, her husband of thirty years announces that he is going to leave her for a younger woman. She launches herself into her urgent case involving a 17-year-old boy with leukaemia, whose Jehovah’s Witness parents are refusing a blood transfusion that could save his life. Her judgement has grave consequences for the boy and his family, but, as she contemplates her childless marriage, it comes back to haunt her. Taut, sparing and effortless, this is another exquisitely wrought work from the master of the novella.
~ The Good Book Guide


The Children Act by Ian McEwan

One of the Top 10 Lovereading Reader Review Panel Summer Read selections.

This book is a brilliant, emotionally wrenching new novel from the author of Atonement and Amsterdam. Fiona Maye, a leading High Court judge, renowned for her fierce intelligence and sensitivity is called on to try an urgent case. For religious reasons, a seventeen-year-old boy is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life. Time is running out. She visits the boy in hospital - an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. But it is Fiona who must ultimately decide whether he lives or dies and her judgement will have momentous consequences for them both.

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'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

About the Author

Ian McEwan

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 and Saturday.

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Book Info

Publication date

9th April 2015


Ian McEwan

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Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing


224 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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