Thank goodness for Ian McEwan. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump, I’ve been dipping in and out of Hilary Mantel’s A Place of Greater Safety (so slowly that I’m effectively experiencing the French Revolution in real time) and have read a couple of easy trashy books that I’m yet to write up, but I’ve just not had the concentration to read anything that requires brain power. Until last night I decided not to waste time in front of the internet or tv and sat down with The Children’s Act.
In McEwan’s typically cool, effortless style we are introduced to high court judge Fiona Maye. Confronted by marital breakdown at home she focuses on her morally complicated cases in the family court, particularly one in which a young Jehovah’s Witness is refusing a blood transfusion and she is required to decide if it must go ahead against his will. The boy in question leaves a lasting impression on Fiona as she navigates both her difficult career and personal life.
As with every Ian McEwan novel, it has been meticulously researched and the reader becomes instantly and totally immersed in this world. Questions of faith, different types of love, aging, the role of the law… all come together in this thought provoking short book.