Friday, September 19, 2014

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NY1 teams with contributors from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Slate.com and Essence Magazine to review the latest books and book-related trends.

The Book Reader: 'The Children Act'

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Patrik Henry Bass of Essence Magazine reports on newly released book titles and the world of publishing in "The Book Reader."

Good news for Ian McEwan fans!

The English novelist and screenwriter is back with "The Children Act," his twenty-first book, and one of his best in years.

McEwan delicately threads "The Children Act" into a complex emotional tapestry in the vein of his unforgettable novels including "Enduring Love," "Amsterdam," and his masterpiece, "Atonement."
 
Each story shares a signature McEwan touch—the author mines a single event—sometimes deceptively subtle; most times seismic—that upends the lives of ordinary people coping with extraordinary circumstances; and extraordinary people betrayed by ordinary human nature.

Take Fiona Maye, the British judge who drives much of the nail-biting (and I’ll admit it) tear-jerking action in The Children Act. Fiona has the unenviable task of ruling on the possible life and possible death of teenager Adam Henry, who is diagnosed with a terminal illness and abstains a blood transfusion for religious purposes.
 
That’s not all. Soon, Fiona begins to develop an emotional attachment to Adam, wreaking havoc on her marriage, and causing the intelligent Magistrate to question her decision not to have children.
 
It’s a doozy of a plot. In fact, "The Children Act" is spellbinding, suspenseful, and lyrical.
 
You wish that you could hand Fiona an Ian McEwan novel so she would know that children aren’t always as innocent as we want to believe (think Briony in Atonement) and that trying to save a child can sometimes lead to devastating consequences for adults (two words: Enduring Love).
 
No such luck that Fiona has read these two books. But just as Adam’s fate is in her hands, Fiona and Adam’s fates are in McEwan’s hands. And in "The Children Act" he has a near magical literary touch.

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