Ian McEwan - Children's Act, 2014Random thoughts about the novel:
1. This is that kind of book that reminds you what justice is about.
2. Another of Ian McEwan's introspections into what is life and how we use it.
3. A quite predictable silent switch for McEwan 's interests. This time the focus is on what some times ago it would have been called elder age. But in OUR contemporary world, being in your sixties is to live a second youth. I would say that this is the main message of the book: longer life doesn't mean a calm and long retirement; new challenges are to answer, new things to experiment, new situations to cope with, and love, fears, wisdom are always there, since we are still human and ... pretty much alive .
4. As always, McEwan's book is a fresco of small things that makes the real life lovely. I do wonder how my daughter would read this book 20 years from now, knowing what her parents went through , maybe understanding them better than they actually do right now, and knowing how society changed since.
5. Yes, McEwan would deserve a Nobel ;). However, not for this novel, which I found less convincing. The theme is exciting, but McEwan did not manage to accomplish a text of the same high level that we were used to retrieve in its novels. Some more refinement of the intrigue would have been required in my opinion.
Now, if you need a spoiler, read these keywords: 60 years old couple, divorce, euthanasia, children, custody, justice and religious beliefs, childlessness, children rights, justice and ethics, life as a judge, open marriage.
The book is structured on several plans, but they simply interpenetrate and support each other in building a coherent argument and delivering the main messages. Nevertheless, McEwan does net provide solutions, but rather formulates questions and points to fundamental dilemmas that humankind is currently facing.
If you are prone for more spoilers, check out these links : transblawg (includes reference to the enthusiasm with which the British legal community received the book), Maggie Galehouse's Bookish, and a video presentation by McEwan himself.
My rating for the book: 6 out of 10.