Sunday, January 18, 2015
The Children Act by Ian McEwan
The book handles this real life situation very well (there is a current case in the news about an almost adult who is refusing treatment for Hodgkin Disease), including the fallout that occurs when a child is forced to do something that their parents do not agree with. The legal system provides no support for that child who is now at odds with the beliefs of their family and can therefore no longer count on them, all the while they have a life threatening illness. The reader sees Fiona's dilemma in this, and sympathizes with her choices, but all does not end well, which is yet another realistic depiction.
The side bar to all of this is that Fiona's husband Jack is pursuing an affair with another woman, all the while telling her that he loves her and doesn't want anything to change with their relationship, which Jack describes as more like a relationship between siblings than a passionate one. The book does not deal deeply with the inevitable cooling of ardor over a decades long relationship, but does a good job of depicting Fiona's response to the situation put in front of her. All in all it is a compact book full of wit and insight.