Fiona Maye is a leading High Court Judge for the children’s court. Her professional success has come at a price to her home life but she manages to keep the two separated until one ethical case regarding a blood transfusion enters her court…
First Impressions: As has been the case with his other novels, I fell very easily into McEwan’s writing style and it was quite comforting knowing I would probably enjoy the story.
Highlights: I thought it was interesting that Fiona had such a detached personality when she was dealing with such passionate cases every day. In fact, as a reader McEwan keeps you at arm’s length from the fervor and feeling of both Fiona’s story and the ethical cases she has to decide for. It is all quite clinical and professional and I wonder if this is Fiona’s true personality or she had become this way through climbing the career ladder. I quite liked the objective summaries of Fiona’s various cases as it could have easily fallen into dramatic overload; there are enough novels that fall into this territory.
If I was an editor: I would think this novel was the right length. A perfect afternoon read for fans! I wondered if it was believable that the father of two girls who didn’t believe in education or careers for girls to hire a female to represent him, but perhaps he would. I can’t say I know enough about Charedim Jews to speak confidently on this matter… I have read some reviews that comment on McEwan being rather indulgent in including his various opinions about religion. Yes, I guess that is true but I just enjoyed the story and found it believable.
Overall: Classic McEwan. (His more recent works anyway…)
The Children’s Act: 4 stars
Thank you to Random House for a copy of the ARC to review.