The Children Act

The Children Act Summary

A brilliant, emotionally wrenching novel from the Booker Prize winner and bestselling author of Atonement about a leading High Court judge who must resolve an urgent case—as well as her crumbling marriage.

Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge who presides over cases in the family division. 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: Adam, a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, is refusing for religious reasons the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents echo his wishes. Time is running out. Should the secular court overrule sincerely expressed faith? In the course of reaching a decision, Fiona visits Adam in the hospital—an encounter that stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both.

Don’t miss Ian McEwan’s new novel, Lessons.

Book Reviews

kris 32

Affair3 star

He had an affair cause he wasn’t ‘close’ to his wife for 7 weeks? The self regulation of an 18 year old. Better than the movie, as usual. I found the boy’s story more interesting than hers.35


Awfully disrespectful and distasteful1 star

I don’t know exactly what this book/ movie was trying to portray concerning strong faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but you simply cannot invade someone’s religion and give it a disgusting twist as if to convey that all humans are the same even inspire of faith. If that was the case all humans would intend to worship and believe the same. If you’re going to try and build a story around anyone’s faith, the very least you could do is respect it. Any religion for that matter.15


Disappointed4 star

This book was beautifully written. I enjoyed the thoughts and characters until the author inserted the kiss, it didn't fit and ruined the book for me. I read it completely but was disappointed with that twist in the story, it could have been developed with much more grace and thought and still dealt with the complexity of relationships and perceptions.45


The Dead Retread1 star

An attempt to rewrite Joyce's "The Dead" that fails miserably. Sentimental and silly as it tries to be moving and profound.15


The Children Act5 star

One of the most moving and well written books I have had the pleasure of reading this year. Ian McEwan has once again shown what prose as an art form was meant to be. This is a novel not to be missed.55

Other Books by Ian McEwan

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