Friday 56 & #BookBeginnings: The Children Act


London. Trinity Term one week old. Implacable June weather. Fiona Maye, a High Court judge, at home on Sunday evening, supine on a chaise lounge, staring past her stockinged feet toward the end of the room, toward a partial view of recessed bookshelves by the fireplace and, to one side, by a tall window, a tiny Renoir lithograph of a bather, bought by her thirty years ago for fifty pounds.
- the beginning (ARC, page may change)

For Friday 56:  
Jokes against the legal profession were what the legal profession loved the most.
- p. 56 (ARC, page may change)

Synopsis of The Children Act by Ian McEwan: Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She is fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuances of her particular field of law. Often the outcome of a case seems simple from the outside, the course of action to ensure a child's welfare obvious. But the law requires more rigor than mere pragmatism, and Fiona is expert in considering the sensitivities of culture and religion when handing down her verdicts.

But Fiona's professional success belies domestic strife. Her husband, Jack, asks her to consider an open marriage and, after an argument, moves out of their house. His departure leaves her adrift, wondering whether it was not love she had lost so much as a modern form of respectability; whether it was not contempt and ostracism she really fears. She decides to throw herself into her work, especially a complex case involving a seventeen-year-old boy whose parents will not permit a lifesaving blood transfusion because it conflicts with their beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses. But Jack doesn't leave her thoughts, and the pressure to resolve the case—as well as her crumbling marriage—tests Fiona in ways that will keep readers thoroughly enthralled until the last stunning page.



Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

23 comments:

  1. The drop of blood on the cover caught my eye, but I am not sure if this is for me. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.
    sherry @ My Friday 56

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't quite understand the cover but reading though, it's pretty clever! (PS -- but you have a knife on your Friday 56 ;))

      Delete
  2. I absolutely love the beginning! It sets the mood soo well and you can just see her sitting there, brooding. And I know for a fact that the F56 is true because my friends who study law love nothing more than jokes about their own degree! Thanks for sharing :) Have a great weekend!
    My Friday Post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm starting to develop a crush on Ian McEwan, Juli. I read Amsterdam and loved that. And don't get me started on Atonement ;)

      Delete
  3. This is author I have yet to read but fully intend to try at some point.I do like the 56 and the beginning sounds really interesting. I look forward to seeing the review for this one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's coming, Katherine. Just been busier than usual and the reviews are half finished. I hope you pick up something by McEwan so you can see what a wonderful writer he is!

      Delete
  4. I think my comment disappeared,
    That's a very visual opening. And there must be a gazillion jokes about lawyers.
    Here is my 56 - http://fuonlyknew.com/2014/09/19/the-friday-56-37-eating-sarah-by-jaret-martens/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura, your comment made it through! This isn't a very long book but the material covered is pretty intense, and the writing is really really good!

      Delete
  5. The blurb is enticing but the beginning didn't grab me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's certainly just the beginning. I couldn't put this down!

      Delete
  6. The short, choppy sentences in the opening turned me off at first. It would be hard to read a whole book written that way! But based on your Friday 56, it looks like that's just in the beginning. The story sounds fascinating.
    Here's the link to my Friday post: The Merry-Go-Round.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's one of those moral-ethical dilemmas that just suck you in. Have a great week, Sandra!

      Delete
  7. I recently downloaded this book...can't wait to read it! I like the "shorthand" in that beginning, as if she is too exhausted to think in complete sentences. I am familiar with that feeling!

    Here's mine: “CROOKED RIVER”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh! Can't wait to hear what you think of it!

      Delete
  8. Sounds interesting...I hope you are enjoying it.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

    ReplyDelete
  9. This looks like a good book, although I still have his Atonement sitting unread on my shelf.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read Atonement first, William. This is good, but I think Atonement is better.

      Delete
  10. I have this book on my TBR list. Can't wait to get to it!

    ReplyDelete