“The Children Act” by Ian McEwan

Genre: Courtroom Drama The Children Act
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Pub. Date: September 9, 2014

Mini Review

I read this book years ago.  Recently while surfing channels I noticed that it was turned into a movie.  Instead of watching the movie, I re-read the novel because remembered liking it. I had previously read McEwan’s “Atonement.”  I found in both novels that his writing skills are first-rate. As in “Atonement,” a single event sets off a chain reaction of consequences.  In “Children,” a female judge must make a life or death decision regarding a 17-year-old boy. The teen has leukemia and desperately needs a blood transfusion.  He and his family happen to be Jehovah’s Witnesses, a religion that forbids blood transfusions.  What makes this courtroom drama different from others is that the writer is not playing on the readers’ emotions. This book will not have you on the edge of your seat. ” It is not primarily about religious beliefs and saving a life. It is more about the judge and making difficult decisions in British High Family Court.   You will read about other brutal cases that she has proceeded over.  She does this daily, all while trying to keep her marriage together. You can’t help but admire her legal skills.  “This has been no easy matter to resolve. I have given due weight to A’s age, to the respect due to faith, and to the dignity of the individual embedded in the right to refuse treatment …” Her decision and its consequences throw her into confusion and self-doubt. Even though the author is writing about a female protagonist, don’t expect this to be a women’s fiction novel. This is a short (224 pages), concise, strong novel, where a judge’s ruling decision affects her life in ways she never intended or imagined.  Okay, there is a hint of a soap in the tale still, it remains a literary read that will make you think about the judge even after you have finished the novel.

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5 thoughts on ““The Children Act” by Ian McEwan

  1. I think I read about this book long, long ago. I would like to read this as I am kind of Jevovah’s witness not in my beliefs, but I didn’t want blood transfusion during my surgery.
    I will get this book sounds exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

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