The Children Act by Ian McEwan

Post date: Oct 06, 2015 5:51:43 PM

The story begins with a middle aged lady judge, engaged in a damaging episode with her husband, and it ends a few months later with the judge recounting the disturbing changes to her life.

She is a successful high court judge presiding over complex cases, who rules in favour of medics giving an eighteen year old a blood transfusion, against religious objections. The consequences are unforeseen and alarming.

There are lots of secondary individuals introduced, but there are only two main characters who dominate the story and they are so skilfully detailed that I had no problem identifying with them and the gradual development of the situation.

The author is a talented storyteller who knows how to introduce a theme, then to advance the plot, so building to the finish without using artificial devices or shock disclosures. The twists and turns are subtle and sensitively handled and there is no unnecessary language as the vocabulary is carefully chosen.

The author has invited the reader to decide the final outcome, so it feels that the reader is still involved, even after the book has finished, which is a brilliant skill.