The Children Act

  • by Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by Lindsay Duncan
  • 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge, presiding over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude and sensitivity. But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now her marriage of 30 years is in crisis. At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: for religious reasons, a beautiful 17-year-old boy, Adam, is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents share his wishes. Time is running out. Should the secular court overrule sincerely held faith? In the course of reaching a decision Fiona visits Adam in hospital - an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Packs a memorable and rewarding punch

McEwen confronts the reader with a thought provoking issue presented with compassion and skill.

When should the state intervene in a family decision which has been based on strongly held religious beliefs: in this case, Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Adam, almost a legal adult, passionately, idealistically, agrees with his parents that, although dying from leukaemia, he must not accept a blood transfusion. Fiona, a judge, herself caught up in a personal crisis relating to the meaning of her marriage, fidelity and betrayal, must make a ruling on this matter.

This is a dynamic listen, beautifully read by Lindsay Duncan. It is concise, raw, disciplined. The language rich and melodious. The characters live, each travelling paths that the listener identifies with, participates in. What would I do? How do I feel about what happened?
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- Jane

A fascinating read, a bit disappointing in the end

Great reader. Wonderful incipit. Just a bit disappointing in its ending, but surely worth listening to.
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- Daniela

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-02-2014
  • Publisher: Random House Audiobooks