The Children Act

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 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 more rigor than mere pragmatism, and Fiona is an 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.

Title:The Children Act
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780385539708

    The Children Act Reviews

  • 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 t...

  • 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...

  • Cecily

    FILM adaptation now out in UK, US, and elsewhere. I've appended a review/comparison of that to this review of the book.“ She felt shrunken to a geometrical point of anxious purpose .” This was my ...

  • 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 dea...

  • Lizzy

    From the first page, I realized Ian McEwan’s The Children Act would conquer me. This novel is more a character study than a simple courtroom drama, as it deals with marriage, religion, and life choi...

  • 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!Th...

  • 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 Ia...

  • Jim Fonseca

    The Children Act by Ian McEwan My seventh McEwan (Enduring Love, Nutshell, Amsterdam, Saturday, On Chesil Beach and Atonement).This one strikes me as a bit different from the others – almost like a ...

  • Katie

    You could argue that the character at the heart of this novel is dangerously close to being a misogynistic cliché - the career woman who deep freezes her feelings in order to succeed professionally. ...

  • 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 enormou...