Tuesday, October 28, 2014
The Children Act
The book lays out a number of the challenging cases before her and the burden to provide fair and impartial judgements. The decision she renders on one of these cases will have repercussions. At its centre is a teenage Jehovah's Witness who has leukemia and his parents who refuse a life saving blood transfusion for religious reasons. Fiona is asked for an emergency court order allowing doctors to transfuse the boy. She visits him in hospital and makes a decision based on what she feels is in his best interest.
Fiona's professional life and her troubled home life play out against each other and, as always, McEwan handles it all with skill and thoughtfulness. Fiona's character is fully developed in this short novel. The cases she is called on to adjudicate and the gradual repair of her cracked marriage ring true. It's another great read from a wonderful writer.