The Children Act

The Children Act

Large Print - 2014
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"Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She is fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuances of her particular field of law. Often the outcome of a case seems simple from the outside, the course of action to ensure a child's welfare obvious. But the law requires more rigor than mere pragmatism, and Fiona is expert in considering the sensitivities of culture and religion when handing down her verdicts. But Fiona's professional success belies domestic strife. Her husband, Jack, asks her to consider an open marriage and, after an argument, moves out of their house. His departure leaves her adrift, wondering whether it was not love she had lost so much as a modern form of respectability; whether it was not contempt and ostracism she really fears. She decides to throw herself into her work, especially a complex case involving a seventeen-year-old boy whose parents will not permit a lifesaving blood transfusion because it conflicts with their beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses. But Jack doesn't leave her thoughts, and the pressure to resolve the case--as well as her crumbling marriage--tests Fiona in ways that will keep readers thoroughly enthralled until the last stunning page"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine :, Wheeler Publishing,, 2014
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781410474643
Characteristics: 279 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
large print.,rda


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Dec 07, 2018

A stunning narrative of one woman's journey into self-how her professional life converges with the personal, more importantly for me, how the unconscious dictates choices we make and the resultant consequences of those choices.

Nov 11, 2018

Excellent book. Story of a Judge facing her own personal problems but who has to deal with family court cases involving really serious family issues. Good portrayal of the difficulties of applying the law to deeply complex human problems and the unintended consequences.

ontherideau Sep 22, 2018

Intelligent and deeply important

Aug 19, 2018

The first part is slow going and depressing. Childless middle aged Fiona seems self-absorbed and way too proud of her status as a judge. Jack, asking her permission to have an affair, seems barely worthy of her. The details of the court are truly fascinating. Fiona notes that a bunch of cases in a row have to do with families in turmoil over religion, though she's careful to use the details of the law and morality in her rulings. Then comes the case of Adam, a member of a Jehovah's Witness family, who's dying of leukemia, just 3 months shy of 18, when he'd be an adult and free to make his own decisions. His doctors say he'll be dead by then, and needs immediately the transfusions forbidden by the Witnesses. For the first time, she finds she can't make her decision without visiting the patient. She is entranced with his beauty, intelligence, willingness to die for the principles of his faith, which he defends with great articulateness and passion. He reads her his poetry, and plays the violin, which he's learned passably in only four weeks. She recognizes one of the songs he plays, and she sings it to his accompaniment. He's delighted. He asks her to come visit again, appearing to believe they'll be friends. I won't give the spoiler of the decision she makes, but it's momentous for them both. I didn't think I'd read McEwan until looking through his listings to rate this one, to find I'd read "Atonement." I remembered the book, just not the title. Now I'll read others. A tone of sadness hangs most of "The Children Act" except for that interview between Fiona and Adam in the hospital. The writing is definitely top notch, and I read it in 24 hours.

Jan 14, 2016

Very thought provoking about moral issues. Well written and absorbing.

Jan 01, 2016

Interesting diatribes of the health decision of young adults, the influence of adults.
Well written as usual.
I found the marital parallel story is a bit artificial, as well as the part of the young boy following the judge outside of the city.

patcumming Aug 28, 2015

This is a highly thought provoking book that presents a number of moral dilemmas. Fiona is an multi-faceted character and the layers of ambiguity make this a good choice for Book Clubs.

Jul 02, 2015

I quite liked the spare writing in this little book. Fiona Maye is a leading high court judge handling cases in the family court. She has many years experience and is now asked to pronounce on an urgent case. After careful consideration she delivers a verdict that she is convinced best fulfills the Children Act directive to ensure the welfare of the child. Consequences always arise and, in this instance, the case is not over for her. Fiona has always been in control of her predictable ordered life but now she must come to terms and deal with upsetting upheavals. The story proceeds at a measured pace marching to an ending that I expected. For me, a satisfying conclusion to an engaging story.

Catmamakim Jun 22, 2015

This turned out to be a page-turner for me and I found the writing to be intelligent and morallly stimulating. I was somewhat disappointed by the ending which I found to be anti-climactic but this did not reduce the quality of the read regardless.

brianreynolds Jun 07, 2015

Not a big fan of Atonement, I was pleasantly surprised to find McEwan's The Children Act a delightfully delicate adventure into the dilemma of personal and social responsibility. With a careful brushstroke, he dispassionately paints the reader into several different corners from which the letter and the spirit of the law, the wisdom of age and the desires of youth, the rational appeal of competence versus the need in the end to act with passion and bravery—all of these things that trap the reader somehow appear with such simplicty and clarity that I both envy the writing and wonder, like Adam, if the protaginist won't stay with me for a very long time.

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