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  • Published: 29 October 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784705572
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $26.00
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The Children Act




Ian McEwan's brilliant, emotionally wrenching novel, now a major film starring Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci

Fiona Maye, a leading High Court judge, renowned for her fierce intelligence and sensitivity is called on to try an urgent case. For religious reasons, a seventeen-year-old boy is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life. Time is running out.

She visits the boy in hospital – an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. But it is Fiona who must ultimately decide whether he lives or dies and her judgement will have momentous consequences for them both.

  • Pub date: 29 October 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784705572
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $26.00

About the Author

Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan is the critically acclaimed author of seventeen books. His first published work, a collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His novels include The Child in Time, which won the 1987 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award; The Cement Garden; Enduring Love; Amsterdam, which won the 1998 Booker Prize; Atonement; Saturday; On Chesil Beach; Solar; Sweet Tooth; The Children Act; and Nutshell, which was a Number One bestseller. Atonement, Enduring Love, The Children Act and On Chesil Beach have all been adapted for the big screen.

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Praise for The Children Act

“Compulsively readable... McEwan’s prose keeps its cutting edge and his books are the ones the reading public still crave… A masterly balance between research and imagination… One feels an immediate pleasure in returning to prose of uncommon clarity, unshowiness and control”

The Times

“Classic McEwan… It’s a pleasure from start to finish, one not to be interrupted”

Guardian

“A powerful, humane novel”

Evening Standard

“One of the finest writers alive”

Sunday Times

“McEwan writes as beautifully and elegantly as ever, his prose quintessentially English in its restraint, one meticulously chosen word hinting at depths of emotion”

Washington Post

“A finely written, engaging read… Poignant, challenging and lyrical”

Sunday Express

“A class act by one of our finest novelists.”

Viv Groskop, Red

“A compelling moral dilemma [with] a moving and heartfelt denouement.”

Tatler

“Shows McEwan as a master of fiction.”

Olivia Cole

“It is one most extraordinary, powerful, moving reading experiences of my life. It is an utterly remarkable novel, delicately balanced, perfectly crafted, beautifully written.”

Alberto Manguel

“Every word counts: one has the sense of a complicated piece of music played by a master soloist.”

Christina Hardyment, The Times

“Fascinatingly complex and finally heartbreaking… A quite beautiful work of fiction.”

John Sutherland, The Times

“A great writer. One of the most acute chroniclers of modern life and its discontents ... The Children Act is both gripping and highly topical…Entirely entrancing”

Andrew Marr

“Prose of uncommon clarity, unshowiness and control … Masterly”

Kate Kellaway, Observer

“Another notable volume from one of the finest writers alive.”

Ron Charles, Washington Post

“A masterclass in the power of precision and restraint … McEwan is brilliant on the details that form the backdrop to public and private tragedy.”

Christina Patterson, The Sunday Times

“Although thrillingly close to the child within us, McEwan nonetheless writes for, and about, the grown-ups. In a climate that breeds juvenile cynicism, we more than ever need his adult art.”

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

“McEwan brings to the analysis of justice a distinctive combination of literary skill, empathy and legal knowledge… A welcome addition to the class [of novels about judges].”

David Pannick QC, The Times

“A classic McEwan novella, swift and compelling, asking to be read in a single sitting despite its 200-odd pages… He makes it look simple yet few other writers have anything like his mastery of such prose… So skillfully composed and fluently performed, it’s a pleasure from start to finish, one not to be interrupted.”

David Sexton, Evening Standard

“A brave and enormously interesting subject.”

Amanda Craig, Independent on Sunday

“A dazzling tapestry… Another magnificent work by McEwan, important and meticulously crafted.”

James McNair, National

“A svelte novel as crisp and spotless as a priest’s collar.”

Ron Charles, Washington Post

“Pacy and gripping, with a fascinating premise… McEwan skillfully brings complexity and depth to the characters.”

Stylist

“Beautifully told with pared-down emotional honesty, this 13th novel from the Booker Prize-winner is fiercely clever and incredibly moving.”

Hello!

“A gripping new novel which brings into question morality, religion and the very nature of life itself.”

Hunts Post

“McEwan masterfully weaves a gripping personal story.”

Peter Donaldson, Gazette (Colchester)

“I feel that both Fiona and the boy somehow sort of transcended naturalistic character”

Mark Ravenhill, Saturday Review

“Emotionally wrenching and visceral.”

Elle

“Gripping.”

Mail on Sunday

“A short novel of great subtlety and tenderness.”

UK Human Rights

“Executed in his trademark elegant prose and is evidently meticulously researched.”

Carla McKay, Daily Mail

“Incredibly moving, intriguing and quite perfect as piece of fiction.”

Bath Chronicle

“Yet another worthy addition to his canon.”

EasyJet Traveller

“The small morning scenes between husband and wife are superb.”

Catholic Herald

“Moving, sad and delicate.”

Joanna Kavenna, Prospect

“True to life [as well as] being well-written.”

Catherine Taylor, family solicitor, Latest Homes

“Very deft, urgent and morally plangent.”

Lewis Jones, Oldie

“Impeccably crafted.”

Stephanie Cross, Lady

“The Children Act is in part a tribute to the best of the legal profession and, as a wordsmith, his deep respect for the best of their prose… The book has some landmark McEwan features of skillfully created tension.”

Lancet

“He offers the reader a masterful study of a mind devoted to fairness… The Children Act is also a fascinating, painstakingly researched look inside the judicial process… Conveyed in crisp prose, this attention to detail elevates the moral conundrums…beyond the sensationalism lesser authors might have pursued. It is, in all respects, a novel that is carefully judged.”

Irish Examiner

“It explores the tension between cool-headed secularism and ardent belief. It is at times preposterous – and yet it has a magical readability and is slender enough to read in one intense, absorbing sitting.”

Jason Cowley, New Statesman

“In typical McEwan style, The Children Act is unputdownable and hauntingly beautiful.”

Sushmita Bose, Khaleej Times

“The Children Act is a…sophisticated exploration of how society treats children and how children’s welfare can be considered in the complex world in which we live, where issues about how children should be raised are not subject to consensus.”

Carol Storer, Legal Action

“If you have any unanswered letters on your desk, McEwan’s latest will have you grabbing your pen pronto.”

Independent

“The Children Act shows McEwan as a master of fiction who strives to teach us how to live.”

Olivia Cole, GQ Magazine UK

“Powerful and moving.”

Sir David Bell, Times Higher Education

“Taut, sparing and effortless, this is another exquisitely wrought novel from the master of the novella.”

Good Book Guide

“A subtly musical arrangement of urgently topical issues…it may be read at a sitting, but resonates for much longer.”

Lewis Jones, Spectator

“It’s absorbing and, almost a novella, it doesn’t outstay its welcome.”

Nick Bevan, Times Higher Education

“Definitely one of the best books I have read this year.”

Natalie K. Watson, Church Times

“This is a wonderful read with sharp, crystalline prose and, together with a superb moral dilemma, this is a beautiful and moving story.”

Bath Chronicle

“Offering a window into a compelling world of life or death dilemmas, this is told in prose as polished as you’d expect.”

Daily Mail

“The book is bursting of beautiful writing. You’ll want to read it all over again.”

Kirsty Brimelow, The Times

“A story of human behavior told in a raw, uncluttered, unforgiving way.”

Cambridge News

“Renowned author McEwan manages to surprise throughout this book, right to the last page.”

Mayfair Magazine

“A story of human behavior told in a raw, uncluttered, unforgiving way – and we could all have done with another couple of hundred pages.”

Cambridge Magazine

“McEwan writes in taut, sparing and effortless prose.”

Good Book Guide

“Ian McEwan writes stories of exquisite precision and clarity. This one is ace.”

William Leith, Evening Standard

“A page-turning novel”

John Koski, Mail on Sunday

“As one has come to expect, McEwan sets up the moral issues with delicacy and precision.”

John Sutherland, The Times

“Ian McEwan is at his most compelling with the story of Fiona Maye… Awesome”

Marcus Field, Independent

“A wonderfully readable and thought-provoking book”

Kathryn Atkins, Bristol Magazine

“A short novel that will linger in your mind for a long time”

Woman’s Weekly

“Another beautifully written masterpiece”

Beyond

“relevant, emotive, moving, this is beautifully written and a guaranteed page turner”

Matthew Smith, H Edition

“One of our best authors at his best.”

Murray Neil, Hertfordshire Life

“One of my favourite authors… McEwan’s fascination with judicial issues, with music and poetry, and with the moral conundrum of how far you place your religious beliefs above the life of someone you love, all feature in this book which will leave you thinking long after you have finished it.”

Frances Colville, Frost Magazine

“It's an enjoyable and often surprising novella.”

Charlotte Heathcote, Daily Express

“It asks fundamental questions in a sober, intelligent way about the choices we make and our blindness when it comes to our beliefs.”

Francois Ozon, film-maker, Observer

“Here he is again: vulnerable, insightful, passionate and utterly in control. He’s amazing.”

Robert Webb, Mail on Sunday

“Compulsively readable... McEwan’s prose keeps its cutting edge and his books are the ones the reading public still crave… A masterly balance between research and imagination… One feels an immediate pleasure in returning to prose of uncommon clarity, unshowiness and control”

The Times

“Compulsively readable... McEwan’s prose keeps its cutting edge and his books are the ones the reading public still crave… A masterly balance between research and imagination… One feels an immediate pleasure in returning to prose of uncommon clarity, unshowiness and control”

The Times

“Classic McEwan… It’s a pleasure from start to finish, one not to be interrupted”

Guardian

“Classic McEwan… It’s a pleasure from start to finish, one not to be interrupted”

Guardian

“A powerful, humane novel”

Evening Standard

“A powerful, humane novel”

Evening Standard

“One of the finest writers alive”

Sunday Times

“One of the finest writers alive”

Sunday Times

“McEwan writes as beautifully and elegantly as ever, his prose quintessentially English in its restraint, one meticulously chosen word hinting at depths of emotion”

Washington Post

“McEwan writes as beautifully and elegantly as ever, his prose quintessentially English in its restraint, one meticulously chosen word hinting at depths of emotion”

Washington Post


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A memorable book club choice: Ian McEwan’s The Children Act.

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