The Children Act, Ian McEwan


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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 thirty years is in crisis.
the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: for religious
reasons, a beautiful seventeen-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.