03 December, 2014

#BookReview :: The Children Act by Ian McEwan

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. 

At the very beginning I have to say that I just do not have enough words for this novel.

The Children Act follows the life and everyday nuances of Fiona Maye, who is a High Court judge in London and presides over cases in family court. She is well respected, smart and intelligent woman who is completely dedicated to her work. She often takes that extra step that no one else would take in order to give out a fair ruling. As the story opens, handle a great turmoil in her personal life. Her husband wants an open marriage, which is something that she is not prepared for. They have an argument and he moves out leaving her wondering about her situation and decision. During this time, a particularly sensitive case is presented to her and she throws herself into it. The case is that of a boy, who is a Jehovah's Witness, suffering from leukemia. He wants to refuse a live saving blood transfusion but is not yet eighteen. 

Since this is the first time I have picked up an Ian McEwan Novel, I had no idea about what to expect. So I was caught totally unprepared and got completely immersed in Fiona’s world. The author has done an amazing job with the character development, whether it is his protagonist Fiona or the young boy Adam. I particularly enjoyed reading the court scenes that were well set up and well followed through.  I also enjoyed the interaction between Fiona and Adam. And while there were no twists and surprises waiting in the pages, the book kept a good hold on me throughout. The book is high on emotional quotient and some parts of it will touch your heart while the others will force you to ask yourself a few questions. The language and narration style is flawless and the story flows smoothly keeping together the two parallel storylines. 

This is an amazingly well written novel that explores the many aspects of marital life, influence of parents over their children, and the religious influence on people’s lives. 

1 comment:

  1. Liked that you loved your first McEwan. There are more treasures by him that you need to explore more. I think Fiona's character is the soul and essence of this story and McEwan truly captures everything about her.