The Children Act

The Children Act


By (author) Ian McEwan

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  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 144mm x 222mm x 26mm | 395g
  • Publication date: 4 September 2014
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0224101994
  • ISBN 13: 9780224101998
  • Sales rank: 104

Product description

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.

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Author information

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.

Review quote

"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 "Fascinatingly complex and finally heartbreaking... A quite beautiful work of fiction." -- John Sutherland 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 "Another notable volume from one of the finest writers alive." -- Ron Charles Washington Post "A masterclass in the power of precision and restraint ... McEwan is brilliant on the details that form the backdrop to public and private tragedy." -- Christina Patterson The Sunday Times "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 classic McEwan novella, swift and compelling, asking to be read in a single sitting despite its 200-odd pages... He makes it look simple yet few other writers have anything like his mastery of such prose... So skillfully composed and fluently performed, it's a pleasure from start to finish, one not to be interrupted." -- David Sexton Evening Standard "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 "A compelling moral dilemma [with] a moving and heartfelt denouement." Tatler "A class act by one of our finest novelists." -- Viv Groskop Red "Shows McEwan as a master of fiction." -- Olivia Cole GQ "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 "Moving, sad and delicate." -- Joanna Kavenna Prospect "True to life [as well as] being well-written." -- Catherine Taylor, family solicitor Latest Homes