Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Children Act; Ian McEwan

The Children Act; Ian McEwan
Nan Talese - Recorded Books - 2014

Fiona Maye is a 59 year old High Court family law judge in London.  She’s been married to Jack for 35 years and as the novel opens, he tells his wife that at his age he needs to have, “one last passionate affair.”  He further reports that the two of them have not have sex for seven weeks and one day.  Her response to him is that if he chooses to follow through with the passionate affair, their marriage will be over.
With her marriage in trouble, and her emotions and anger running on high, work wise Fiona must deal with yet another hot issue. There is a petition presented to the court by a hospital to give a blood transfusion to a seventeen year old boy who has leukemia. The blood transfusion is needed to save his life.  The parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses and are refusing him the life-saving blood he needs.  Before deciding the case one way or the other Fiona visits the teen in the hospital.  Despite his grave illness, he is upbeat , creative and a young man with so much to live for, and Fiona, as a childless woman, finds herself deeply moved by the potential and talent of this young man.
This story raises a lot of questions regarding morals, religion and the legal system.  It's a relatively short audio book, and one that held my interest. The final pages were very moving. I think that this would make a great book for book club discussion.  The audio book was read by Lindsay Duncan who did a very good job narrating the story. The novel's title comes from the British law, The Children Act,  in which the court will determine cases where the upbringing or overall child's welfare is at issue. 
4/5 stars 
(audio book)

15 comments:

  1. This one is on my list, but am not sure whether I'll read or listen. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  2. I just got this book from the library, among other books, so not sure if I want to start it first. But, thanks to your review, I just might. Have a Merry Christmas, Diane, you and your family! -- Arti of Ripple Effects

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  3. I had trouble getting into this one - it was a little too slow for me. The ending was good though. I wasn't expecting that.

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  4. Sometimes short and good is just right!

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  5. It wasn't very well researched, though, in regard to Jehovah's Witnesses.

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  6. Hi Diane;
    I enjoyed your blog today and really like the way you list all the books you've read.
    If you get a chance, please stop over at my blog and say hi.
    Merry Christmas.
    Mike Draper http://mikedraperinguilford.blogspot.com

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  7. Glad you liked this one. I have yet to find time to listen to audio books.

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  8. Glad you liked it. It's on my "to read"list at my library. I just need to decide whether I want to read it or listen to it.

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  9. I've only read one McEwan book and I didn't like the ending at all so I've kind of avoided his work since then. This one's gotten such great reviews, though, I might give it a try.

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  10. It sounds like a good story. I would rather read about the ill teen than whether the married couple is having an affair or whatever. Some say it is slow getting into the plot but it might be just setting up the scene. Thanks for an honest opinion.

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  11. I either like his books or I don't. I've been on the fence and just may give this one a try.

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  12. Overall I did not like this book very much. Parts were good, I was given a review copy and don't plan now to read more of his work.

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  13. I'm torn about this one. I've read great things about his books but I've also read that a number of people have problems with his endings. I think the audio may be a good way for me to go on this one. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Not many authors can make my blood boil like Ian McEwan. I enjoyed On Chesil Beach, Saturday, and I will go to my grave wanting to slap Briony in Atonement. This one I haven't read yet, but I'm sure it will elicit some kind of emotion in me. Thanks for filling me in as to the content, for I wasn't quite sure what it was about although I've seen it for many months.

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  15. It sounds like a powerful story. Thanks for the review Diane. You read some very interesting books.

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