Thursday, January 15, 2015
The Children Act gets 4 Stars
Are you in a book club looking for a great book that can cause quite a bit of quality discussion? If so, The Children Act by Ian McEwan would be a good choice for your next read.
I give The Children Act 4 out of 5 stars. It's a good read. It caused me to think and feel for the characters. I mostly enjoyed the story line, and overall think it was interesting. This book brings up many ethical questions that involve you as a reader and great for discussing with others. All in all, a great adult fiction book that is mostly clean (only a little language and an adult concept of open marriage).
The only reason I took a star away from The Children Act is b/c the writing at times seemed a bit wordy. There were several times during my reading where I didn't see the point of a particular passage, for character or story development, and wanted to skip ahead. I found myself feeling like this more often than I'd like throughout the novel.
Overall, it's good read and worth your time.
Amazon had the following book description to give you a better idea of the story line:
"Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge who presides over cases in the family court. 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."
I had many thoughts and feelings during the reading of The Children Act, and I still think it is a worthy read especially for a book club.
I didn't want to expose too much of the story for those that don't like things to be spoiled, but I did want to include some of my thoughts in a bit more detail.
First, I found it to be a bit ridiculous that her husband wanted to have an open marriage just b/c it had been less than 2 months since they had had relations. Though, I went with it and understood to a point how she reacted. However, Fiona's lack of willingness to open up and talk with her husband about this major situation/issue bothered me, but I guess everyone has different relationships.
While reading, I found myself quite surprised by Fiona's verdict regarding the boy. I honestly did not see that coming, and I overall could not predict the story. I appreciated that and realize that is a sign of good writing; McEwan did a great job with that aspect of the story.
I may have been surprised by the verdict, but I was even more surprised the boy was somewhat stalking her. However, I do think Fiona, a judge, reacted to the stalking well and was able to stay calm. She appeared to at least attempt to keep things professional until the kiss. I was actually completely shocked and annoyed by the kiss, and appalled that it even happened. It just seemed gross to me.
Though, I think the end of the book where Fiona finally talks to her husband and tells him everything that happened and how she feels she played a role in the boys death seemed more realistic. I was happy to see her actually trying to have a good relationship with her husband.
I appreciated the realism of how their marriage started on the mend b/c they both needed to forgive one another and needed to rely on the other rather than be independent and selfish in feelings and thoughts.
In general, I think when we are focused on what we want we can't love another. However, we love and build the love when we focus and put the other's needs first.
Have you read The Children Act? What did you think?