The Children Act

by Ian McEwan

Monday, December 1, 2014

Featured image for The Children Act

I suspect that when Ian McEwan gets up and scribbles his to-do list on the back of an envelope it is probably a literary masterpiece. This is the second of two books I’ve read in a row that have made me question why I read fiction. This is a scrap of a story is wrapped around a whole load of details concerning a few court cases mostly to do with the religious beliefs of parents and what they mean for their children when they fall outside those we consider to be normal. This time I felt that I would perhaps rather have read about the real life cases that inspired McEwan to write the book rather than these fictionalised accounts. And I got a bit annoyed at seeing Sally Clark’s downfall condensed into a quick anecdote.

In the end though I loved McEwan’s scrap of a story, fabulously told and with all the emotions pitch-perfect. Though I’d rather he wrote something else, I’m not going to stop reading or enjoying this kind of book from him anytime soon.