The Children Act by Ian McEwan

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

Fiona Maye is a High Court judge specialising in family law and is very well respected in her profession. She’s known for her piercing intelligence and expertise in giving rigorous verdict for cases sensitive to religion and culture. One day, her husband, Jack, asks her to consider an open marriage then they start arguing and Jack accuses her for being too dedicated to her career.

In the middle of their fight, she receives a call about an urgent case of a young boy with leukaemia, Adam. He and He and his parents refuse to receive blood transfusion because of their religious belief. Hospital thinks the parents’s strong belief in religion is threatening the boy’s life. Although Adam is under eighteen, he is only a few months away to reach the legal age. He can then decide for himself but his health is deteriorating and the blood transfusion must be done within a couple of days to save his life.

Fiona tries to immersed back to her work but she can’t help but thinking about her marriage, her childlessness, and her life. After studying the case punctiliously and upon hearing arguments from both sides—the family and hospital—Fiona decides to give a visit to Adam herself before giving the verdict. She meets with Adam, has a conversation with him then she returns to court and gives her verdict. However, the case doesn’t end there.

McEwan always has a way with his writings. As much as I enjoyed his ethereal narrative, I felt this is a bit too beautiful with extra adornments. He might be using extravagant words and posh phrases to portray the life of a sophisticated judge, but it’s a tad daunting for me. Nonetheless, it was an exciting read and I enjoyed how the story evolved.


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