The Children Act (Hardcover)

By Ian McEwan

Nan A. Talese, 9780385539708, 240pp.

Publication Date: September 9, 2014

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Description

Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judgewho presides over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude, and sensitivity.Buther 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.


About the Author

IAN McEWAN is the bestselling author of fifteen books, including the novels Sweet Tooth; Solar, winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize; On Chesil Beach; Saturday; Atonement, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the W. H. Smith Literary Award; The Comfort of Strangers and Black Dogs, both short-listed for the Booker Prize; Amsterdam, winner of the Booker Prize; and The Child in Time, winner of the Whitbread Award; as well as the story collections First Love, Last Rites, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, and In Between the Sheets.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

  1. How did The Children Act affect your perception of family courts? What makes it so challenging for parents and the courts alike to follow the deceptively simple mandate that “the child’s welfare shall be the . . . paramount consideration”?generic viagra price canada
  2. How would you react if your spouse made a proposal like Jack’s? Is Jack’s interest in Melanie purely sexual? When he asserts that couples in long marriages lose passion, is he right?generic viagra price canada
  3. How would you have ruled in the first case described in The Children Act, regarding the education of Rachel and Nora Bernstein? Does Fiona approach religious freedom the same way in her ruling for Adam’s case?generic viagra price canada
  4. How did your impression of Adam and his parents shift throughout the novel? How does his childhood exposure to religion compare to your own?generic viagra price canada
  5. At the heart of Adam’s testimony is a definition of scripture, secured by faith in his religious leaders to interpret scripture perfectly. How should the government and the court system consider religious texts?generic viagra price canada
  6. Both Jack and Adam are drawn to romantic ideals, albeit at opposite stages of life. Are their dreams reckless or simply passionate?generic viagra price canada
  7. As Fiona reflects on her life, which choices bring her solace? How does she reconcile her childlessness with her notions of the ideal woman? How does her personal history affect her decisions in court?generic viagra price canada
  8. As Fiona reflects on her life, which choices bring her solace? How does she reconcile her childlessness with her notions of the ideal woman? How does her personal history affect her decisions in court?generic viagra price canada
  9. What does “The Ballad of Adam Henry” (page 187) reveal about the nature of youth, and the nature of mortality?generic viagra price canada
  10. What is Fiona able to experience through music that she can’t access any other way? For Mark (possibly with a new lover to impress), and for the Gray’s Inn community, what is the significance of the Great Hall concerts?generic viagra price canada
  11. In the novel’s closing scene, what transformations do Jack and Fiona undergo?generic viagra price canada
  12. How does The Children Act enhance your experience of Ian McEwan’s previous novels? What is unique about the way his characters approach moral dilemmas?generic viagra price canada
  13. Explore a few of the recordings of Benjamin Britten’s setting for “Down by the Salley Gardens” that are available online. How do the melody and the verses affect you? In your experience, what does it mean to take love and life “easy”?generic viagra price canada


Coverage from NPR

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