She kept her mind off her situation by playing to her inner ear a piece she had learned by heart. Above the rush-hour din it was her ideal self she heard, the pianist she could never become, performing faultlessly Bach’s second partita.

– The Children Act, Ian McEwan

I read First Love, Last Rites and was taken aback by how crude and vulgar it was, and yet how oddly captivating. I wasn’t impressed at feeling compelled to read about such disgusting topics as it contained. It made me weary of reading anything more by the author, I feared what I would end up reading, and yet the summary of The Children Act drew me in. Just what would happen between this judge and the boy whose life she was ruling over?

In the end, the book was not as explicit as first loves, thankfully, but a rather dreary look at a marriage in trouble, set alongside the work of a judge, and how a certain case and the child involved would affect the judge’s life and marriage. The book felt short and a bit languid.

It felt like I’d been given a snapshot into the life of Judge Fiona Maye- incomplete and without a true beginning or end. I found the book interesting and the details of the law and the cases particularly fascinating, but the book was overly descriptive, I had to use the dictionary feature on the kindle too much, and I was often lost, not in the good way. I was never really on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happens. I read the book leisurely, picking it up and putting it down, over a long period of time. It was a melancholy book, that left me feeling saddened at the way it ended but also dissatisfied- it felt like it ended at the point where it seemed that it would really begin. It felt like I had read a long, very descriptive introduction and just as the action began…it stopped and cut me off. I feel disappointed although I still can’t hate the book. I have a feeling I’ll be mulling over it for a time; I could definitely see the themes and messages the author was trying to get across, and I find myself mulling over those.