September 2019

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan has been around for a long time and the list of his literary achievements, to date, is a testament to his skill as a writer. In fact, it was a surprise to find that he has only has one Booker to his name (Amsterdam, 1998). He is a craftsman. His writing is succinct and controlled with central themes of trauma, estrangement and sexual deviancy recurring to some degree or another throughout his body of work.
In The Children Act, Fiona Maye, a High Court judge, is blindsided by her husband’s announcement that he wants her permission to indulge in an extramarital affair with a much younger woman. During this emotionally charged confrontation in the kitchen of their home, Fiona receives a phone call from her clerk. She must break the impasse between the medical profession and Adam, a seventeen year old Jehovah’s Witness and his parents. Adam has leukaemia and without a blood transfusion, which he and his family refuse to contemplate, he will die.
To help facilitate her decision, Fiona organises a visit to Adam’s bedside where she encounters an artistic and sensitive boy. The repercussions of her verdict and the strained relationship with her husband is the basis of the ensuing narrative.
I have always appreciate McEwan’s skill as a writer rather than as storyteller. He writes with such controlled precision that pivotal moments in a story or salient points in a character’s backstory, can be completely overlooked or at least underestimated. James Wood describes him as a “distinguished writer of prose” who is a master of contingency. Leading the reader one way while all the way planning to take them in a totally different direction.

Ratings: Claudia 2, Gail 4, Diane 3, Janet 3.5, Kim 3, Linda 4 , Margie 3, Nicola 2.5, Pauline 3 and Sandy 3.

Our next meeting will be 14/10/19 at 6:30PM at Preece House, 50 Nerang St Bischof Pioneer Park, Nerang (next to 54 Nerang St. shops) to discuss Normal People by Sally Rooney.

Hope to see you all there and happy reading!

 

About Us

We are a group that gets together once a month to discuss good books. Each of us gets to choose a book on a rotational basis, preferably one outside our personal comfort zone – we try to keep the trash to ourselves. After the discussion, we comment on other books we read that month. Most of the time we remain friends after the meeting.

Preece HouseWe meet at the 1948 heritage Preece House, 50 Nerang St Bischof Pioneer Park, Nerang (next to 54 Nerang St. shops. This venue has no toilet but here’s one in the park) on the second Monday of every month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. excluding Public Holidays. A small contribution is required towards the rent of the room, but not if you are a first timer. The amount depends on the number of people attending.
One book title is chosen each month and we all read that book. There is a ‘host’ who introduces and co-ordinates the discussion. The role of host is rotated around the group so that each member has the opportunity to nominate their book (it could also be an author, theme or genre). The host also acts as chairperson for that meeting.
Although we are not a social club (we are readers), we occasionally attend literary events, relevant movies or plays here at the Gold Coast, Brisbane or Byron Bay. We conform to basic meeting practices and everyone has an equal opportunity to express their opinion. Everyone’s interpretation is valid, as long as it’s expressed respectfully.
We welcome any new members who share our aims and are happy to contribute to our group. Newcomers are not required to have read the book to attend the first meeting and no contribution is required from them.
Feel free to have a look at our Booklist for 2019 and Newsletters in the sidebar. If you are reading this blog in a mobile device, switch to desktop view.

CONTACT DETAILS

We meet from 6:30 to 8:30 PM on the 2nd Monday of every month at the heritage listed Preece House located at Bischof Park, Nerang Street (next corner White St), Nerang next door to shops at 54 Nerang Street. Please contact us for info on meetings that fall on Public Holidays.
For more information use the contact form.

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