Nominated by:

Stadt Bibliothek Salzburg, Austria

Liverpool City Libraries, UK

Leipziger Stadtische Bibliotheken, Germany

Veria Central Public Library, Greece

Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek, Norway

Mestna knjižnica Ljubljana, Slovenia

Biblioteca Vila de Gràcia, Biblioteques de Barcelona, Spain

Publisher of nominated edition:

Jonathan Cape, UK

The Children Act

Ian McEwan    

2016 Longlist

Fiona Maye, a leading High Court judge, renowned for her fierce intelligence and sensitivity is called on to try an urgent case. For religious reasons, a seventeen-year-old boy is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life. Time is running out.

She visits the boy in hospital – an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. But it is Fiona who must ultimately decide whether he lives or dies and her judgement will have momentous consequences for them both.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Ian McEwan is a critically acclaimed author of short stories and novels for adults, as well as The Daydreamer, a children’s novel illustrated by Anthony Browne. His first published work, a collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His novels include The Child in Time, which won the 1987 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award, The Cement Garden, Enduring Love, Amsterdam, which won the 1998 Booker Prize, Atonement, Saturday, On Chesil Beach, Solar, Sweet Tooth and The Children Act.

Librarians’ Comments

Superbly crafted with an enthralling treatment of an unusual subject.

This short, beautifully written story is a perfect balance between research and imagination. Vivid scenes and characters are painted in elegant style. The novel keeps us in suspense until the end, which is tender and very moving.

An excellent novel with the power of poetry and music in it. It creates a flow of human emotions that will overwhelm the reader.

This is a deeply satisfying novel which debates some of the difficult moral questions which can arise in contemporary society. Running in parallel is the completely believable story of the protagonist’s reactions to the threatened break-up of her marriage. McEwan’s prose is, as ever, a pleasure.

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