I just finished reading Ian McEwan’s 1987 novel The Child in Time. It’s the first of his books that I’ve read that I haven’t loved automatically. Yet, the book poses questions that still has me thinking about it days after I’ve finished reading it.
The Child in Time deals with a compelling “McEwanesque” theme in which the protaganist’s life is irrevocably change by a single act not of his own doing. In this case, Stephen Lewis, a successful children’s author’s, three year old daughter disappears one Saturday morning when the two are grocery shopping. His attention is averted for less than a minute and when he looks up again, she’s gone. The extraordinary ordinariness of the events leading up to that horrific moment and how the rhythm of every day life resumes for everybody except him and his wife Julia, becomes the structure on which the narrative is based. Continue reading