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The Children Act -

Review from a Transgressive Fiction Fan

The sixth book in my ongoing Ian McEwan binge and it has only given me a craving for more. The Children Act weaves a story of Fiona Maye, a 59-year-old British High Court judge in the Family Division, through her rocky marriage and her cases.

Once again, I am bowled over by McEwan’s exquisite portrayal of human truths and subterfuges to avoid truth. Also his masterful storytelling technique. I found myself reading like a student, noticing his artful pacing and the way he moved between narrative and scenes, always driving the plot forward to its wrenching ending. I am in love with his ability to understand and convey what can never be said between the words. He never oversteps the necessary synapses. Like the rests in music, they make the story vibrate.

McEwan’s work inspires me as a writer and entertains me as a reader.

“Insightful” Review from a Mainstream Reader

Infuriating, boring and predictable.

Infuriating because Ian McEwan’s portrayal of the betrayed woman’s reactions are far from credible.

Boring because of the long passages describing weather, landscapes, buildings, geology and other court cases that are irrelevant to the plot and merely serve to pad out a short novel.

Predictable because it is plainly obvious how the book will end.

Thankfully it is a short novel that is quickly read if you skim the interminable descriptions. I haven’t wasted too much time on it.

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