Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Balada de Adam Henry” as Want to Read:
A Balada de Adam Henry
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Balada de Adam Henry

by
3.7  ·  Rating details ·  51,861 Ratings  ·  5,798 Reviews
Poucos autores de língua inglesa são mais importantes na atualidade do que Ian McEwan. Em quarenta anos de carreira, ele compôs marcos da literatura contemporânea, como Amor sem fim (1997), Amsterdam (1998) e Reparação (2001).
Seus livros são conhecidos pela precisão da prosa, pela atmosfera de suspense e estranhamento e também pelas viradas surpreendentes da trama, que pux
...more
Paperback, , 200 pages
Published November 17th 2014 by Companhia das Letras (first published September 2nd 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Balada de Adam Henry, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jonathan My wife is a family law barrister and says it is pretty accurate - fiction, but based on detailed research and pretty similar to the kind of things…moreMy wife is a family law barrister and says it is pretty accurate - fiction, but based on detailed research and pretty similar to the kind of things she regularly deals with. (less)
Deb My sister's keeper and it's one of the best reads you will come across. People will debate you on this forever.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Emily May
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, 2014
Do you like to people watch?

You know what I mean... just sit somewhere in a busy place and watch people bustle past in all their colourful weirdness. It's a habit I've acquired with age. Sometimes I think back to being a teenager and remember how I always wondered if I was strange in some way - I guess a lot of teens wonder that same question: am I normal? I wonder, had I taken the time to people watch back then, if I would have felt so lost and strange. I don't see how I could have. People are
...more
Sharon
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to stop reading McEwan's books, because I never enjoy them. There's something clinical, removed, about the way he tells his stories - I don't get the sense that he likes human beings, and he is writing about them to display his proficiency with structure and nuance rather than out of interest or sympathy. This is probably a three-star book, but a two-star experience.
Cecily
FILM adaptation now out in UK, US, and elsewhere. I've appended a review/comparison of that to this review of the book.



She felt shrunken to a geometrical point of anxious purpose .”

This was my eighth McEwan. I rated On Chesil Beach as 5*, five others as 4*, and Black Dogs as 2*. That track record gave me high hopes for The Children Act, raised further by the intriguing dilemma at its heart: whether a bright and articulate Jehovah’s Witness boy, very nearly 18, should be forced to have a life-
...more
John Grisham
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE CHILDREN ACT is about the law and sensational cases, but it is not a legal thriller. Rather, it is a beautiful and sad story of a High Court Judge forced to choose, literally, between life and death. Her ruling, though proper and legally sound, leads to both.
Lizzy
From the first page, I realized Ian McEwan’s The Children Act would conquer me. This novel is more a character study than a simple courtroom drama, as it deals with marriage, religion, and life choices. The story centers on the family court Judge Fiona Maye as she faces a crisis in her marriage, questions her life choices and stumbles practically on the edge of both her personal and professional life.
"Her judgment must be ready for printing by tomorrow's deadline, she must work. Her personal li
...more
Debbie
I’m embarrassed to say that before The Children Act, I was a McEwan virgin. But now I’ve turned into a McEwan slut, anxious to read his earlier books. I can’t help myself. What a great writer!

This is the story of Fiona, a highly respected judge who presides over family court. She has to make hard decisions that determine the fate of families. She doesn’t seem to question her power or choices until her husband rocks her world and wants her to approve his plan to have an affair. Fiona, the ever ra
...more
Katie
You could argue that the character at the heart of this novel is dangerously close to being a misogynistic cliché - the career woman who deep freezes her feelings in order to succeed professionally. Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in her late fifties. At the beginning of the novel her husband, maddened by his wife’s sexual detachment, leaves to embark on an affair with a much younger woman.

It’s easy to forget every judge has a personal life and that her professional life will have repercussion
...more
Julie Christine
Perhaps it’s best I read The Children Act in the space of a day, curled on my sofa. Otherwise I might have been spied in my favorite cafe purring like a contented cat, stroked by the sublimity of Ian McEwan’s prose.

Words adore Ian McEwan, submitting readily to his firm but empathetic hand. They are sleek and gorgeous dancers to his choreography; alone, the words are admirable, but under his direction they assume nuance and strength. His works never fail to take my breath away. It is a comfort t
...more
Agnieszka

McEwan is, in my opinion, very uneven writer. I really enjoyed The cement garden , Enduring love and Sweet tooth ; The child in time moved me deeply while Amsterdam was rather disappointment and The comfort of strangers total disaster.

McEwan relishes quirk and macabre, likes to handling very disturbing and bizarre, not to say creepy behaviours and relationships in his novels. He is very efficient and his writer's skills are indubitable but there is some coldness about his writing. As
...more
Wen
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. For me a book by McEwan is a low-risk pick, as he would unlikely let me down. If all else failed, I’d always have his exquisite prose and his good ear for music to fall back on. It turned out, this skinny 221-page book was one of my favorites of his.

This book had two main themes running in parallel: the marriage crisis between 59-year-old high court family division judge Fiona and her geology professor husband Jack, and the emotional entanglement between Fiona and a 17-year-old boy Ad
...more
Angela M
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don’t let the fact that this is a pretty short novel deceive you into thinking that there is not much substance here. When I finished reading this book, I couldn’t stop thinking about the enormous power that Family Court judges have over the lives of so many young children whose families are in crisis and then even if the decision seems right, what happens to these children afterwards? Fiona Maye, a High Court Judge in the Family Division of the Courts in England (and this could be anywhere) ha ...more
Kalliope
May 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition



Not long ago, while having my morning coffee and while perusing GR, I encountered Fionnuala’s review of this book. It immediately drew my attention because not only am I a fan of Fionnuala’s takes on books and have liked several of McEwan’s books, but also because I was going to attend a trial in court within the next few hours.

Children and parents. Parents and children. Oof!. What should be only a love relationship can easily, and too often, turn into a thorny one, charged with distressing emo
...more
Suzanne
Not having read this author before, I’m very glad to have picked this one off of my 300 plus owned books. It will be easy to miss many great books this way won’t it?!

Fiona holds an immensely important job being a highly regarded High Court Judge presiding over families. She’s at a crossroads, or rather her husband is, and we see a fine story unfold as a marriage is being questioned and a brilliant woman teeters on the edge. At the same time Fiona has to decide how to apply a life and death judge
...more
Ron Charles
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Believers of a millennial bent might consider this a sign: It’s not every summer that we get two dark and serious novels focused on Jehovah’s Witnesses. The first was Scott Cheshire’s “High as the Horses’ Bridles” about a boy preacher who drifts from the faith. And now, the second coming: Ian McEwan’s “The Children Act,” which puts the church’s beliefs on trial. Surely, members of this small Christian sect would prefer, instead, to get their own hilarious Broadway musical, but authors work in my ...more
Fionnuala
One of the Ian McEwan books I've most enjoyed and a book which inspired the most vigorous debate my book group has ever had - a debate which felt like a day in court as all the 'barristers' present argued their cases; one, for the rights of children; another, the rights of parents; a third the letter of the Law; a fourth, the rights of the characters; a fifth, the rights of readers; a sixth the wrongs of the author.
No, scratch that last one off the record, court secretary; the conclusion was th
...more
Iris P
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers interested in the Justice system and social issues
The Children Act

I read this book in two days, which for a slow reader like me is quite an achievement.
There's a certain "stream of consciousness" vibe on McEwan's writing, at least on this novel, but I absolutely adore his graceful, elegant prose.
Not sure why this book is classified as a mystery/thriller, it's nothing of the sort. However, if the idea of a novel featuring a strong female family court judge in charge of handling complex ethical issues sounds intriguing, this novel might be for yo
...more
Marialyce
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How truly utterly perfect was this story! The story was of a family court judge, her husband, her "on the rocks" marriage and the young man so tragically ill who came into her life and offered her love and the chance for redemption.

It was a beautiful story and one that sent goosebumps down your spine as the ending approached and try as you might you could not change it. Caught up in the turmoil that parents and religion can oftentimes put children through, the novel captures the true element of
...more
Elyse Walters
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"My Lady is Captivating"!

"Adam Henry is Captivating"

This entire story is """CAPTIVATING"""!!!

Delicate Situations!!!!!!

Written with real energy --totally 'ALIVE'....

I've been a long time fan of Ian McEwan --and this small novel (with 5 parts) --confirms the depth and breadth of Ian's talents!
Maciek
As I began to read The Children Act, I thought that it would be the antithesis to McEwan's other novel, On Chesil Beach, where the marriage of a young newlyweds is damaged beyond repaid in a single moment, by what essentially is lack of communication.

In The Children Act the couple is much older and has been married for decades - Fiona is a 59 year old court judge, and is married to Jack, a 60 year old professor of ancient history. They have been together for 35 years, and led what could be desc
...more
Margitte
Fiona Maye is a High Court Judge in London, married to Jack, and an experienced pianist. Her fierce intelligence and immersion in her cases rendered the opinion of the Lord Chief Justice himself describing her as"Godly distance, devilish understanding, and still beautiful."

Almost sixty years old, Fiona finds herself in a failing marriage while presiding over a case in which a multi-talented 17-year-old teenager, a member of the Jehova's Witnesses religious group, refuses to receive blood transf
...more
cameron
Sep 11, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I could just strangle Ian McEwan. I said the same thing after reading On Chesil Beach. While reading that book, which I bought NEW, I realized it had been a short story in the New Yorker to which he had added a few pages and then called it a book. It was a good short story but never enough for a book. I wrote him and chided him for the switch but to no avail.
The Children Act felt the same way to me. Maybe he's putting his kids through college and needs some quick dough. I thought the marriage p
...more
Betsy Robinson
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The sixth book in my ongoing Ian McEwan binge and it has only given me a craving for more. The Children Act weaves a story of Fiona Maye, a 59-year-old British High Court judge in the Family Division, through her rocky marriage and her cases.

Once again, I am bowled over by McEwan’s exquisite portrayal of human truths and subterfuges to avoid truth. Also his masterful storytelling technique. I found myself reading like a student, noticing his artful pacing and the way he moved between narrative a
...more
Lynne King
Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Given the unique circumstance of this case, I’ve decided that I would like to hear from Adam Henry himself. It’s not his knowledge of scripture that interests me so much as his understanding of his situation, and of what he confronts should I rule against the hospital. Also, he should know that he is not in the hands of an impersonal bureaucracy. I shall explain to him that I am the one who will be making the decision in his best interests.

I had never read any of this author’s books before, in
...more
Diane S ☔
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An author, I believe, takes a risk when he centers his novel around one character. So often a reader will rate their enjoyment of the book on whether or not they can relate to the character. In this story the main character is Fiona, approaching sixty she is a high court judge in the family court. She had given up the idea of having a child, concentrating on her career. She is long married to Jack, but their marriage has now hit a big road block.

In the beginning I felt a huge distance from the c
...more
Orsodimondo
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inglese
THE INNOCENT
McEwan è bravo, molto, è un grande della letteratura contemporanea, e questo suo breve romanzo è un autentico pezzo di bravura.

Un tema penetrante, dati sensibili raccolti dopo acute ricerche, il tutto condito con la sua qualità di scrittura: ed ecco una narrazione che scorre e cattura, anche con i momenti di stasi, di ‘noia’.
Ma di quella noia che è stimolante (il più sublime dei sentimenti, la definì Leopardi).

description
New York Times, illustrazione di Keith Negley.

Anche questa volta siamo i
...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Fiona is a successful, middle-aged, Family Court judge who finds herself being confronted by her husband about his desire to have an affair. In the midst of her marital turmoil, she must also preside over one of the most important cases in her career – that of a 17-year old Jehovah’s Witness who wishes to take his chances of surviving leukemia without receiving a life-saving blood transfusion due to his religious beliefs. Can she save
...more
❀Julie
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m a big fan of Ian McEwan’s and found this to be another great read. The Children Act is more of a character study than courtroom drama, involving a family high court judge named Fiona and a difficult and sensitive medical case she is faced with regarding treatment that could save a seventeen-ear-old boy’s life. The consequences of her ruling of the case are at the heart of the story, but despite the sobering topic I did not find it to be a difficult read. In addition to Fiona’s career dilemma ...more
Liz
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes it's the smallest books that dig the deepest. Admittedly, this one didn’t grab me right away, but at some point I did find a significant amount of meaning in its pages. The character of Fiona seems at first difficult to know, some might even say cold, but as I read, I began to understand her.

Fiona Maye is a judge in Family Court who keeps herself very formal and somewhat distant from the people around her. She wields great power over the lives of the people who appear before her in co
...more
Paula Kalin
This is the first of Ian McEwan's books that I have read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Children Act centers around Fiona Maye, a high court family law judge in London. Two story lines develop. In court, a moral dilemma with religious beliefs of parents versus the medical treatment needed for their son, and the less than passionate marriage of Fiona and her husband, Jack.

This is a lovely short book with the 2 stories interwoven expertly. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated quite we
...more
Maxwell
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Perhaps an unconventional first McEwan novel to read, The Children Act is a tightly constructed, parable-like story of morality, religion, science and the decision of one woman amidst a marital crisis. We follow Fiona Maye, a London high court judge, who must make the decision of whether or not to treat 17-year-old Adam, a Jehovah's witness, with a blood transfusion; a decision that would go against his religious beliefs, but due to his being a minor, falls on the court's shoulders.

We focus muc
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: The Children Act / Ian McEwan - 3*** 6 22 Oct 23, 2017 04:17PM  
http://rhinorx90eveningblog.com/activatrol/ 1 7 Jul 17, 2017 02:56AM  
Play Book Tag: The Children Act by Ian McEwan, 4 stars 3 16 Nov 03, 2016 10:59AM  
Around the Year i...: The Children Act, by Ian McEwan 3 43 Jan 31, 2016 02:57PM  
Der "Erwachsenen-...: Kindeswohl - 2. Abschnitt 6 20 Oct 02, 2015 11:09PM  
  • The Man in the Wooden Hat (Old Filth, #2)
  • The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher
  • Thirteen Ways of Looking
  • Eyrie
  • The Children's Crusade
  • The Zone of Interest
  • The Lighthouse
  • Nora Webster
  • Mr Mac and Me
  • Instructions for a Heatwave
  • Thirty Girls
  • Levels of Life
  • A History of Loneliness
  • Clever Girl
  • A Map of Betrayal
  • Stone Mattress: Nine Tales
  • Friendswood
  • I Saw a Man
8,954 followers
Ian McEwan studied at the University of Sussex, where he received a BA degree in English Literature in 1970 and later received his MA degree in English Literature at the University of East Anglia.

McEwan's works have earned him worldwide critical acclaim. He won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976 for his first collection of short stories First Love, Last Rites; the Whitbread Novel Award (1987) and
...more
“Blind luck, to arrive in the world with your properly formed parts in the right place, to be born to parents who were loving, not cruel, or to escape, by geographical or social accident, war or poverty. And therefore to find it so much easier to be virtuous.” 29 likes
“Everyone knew the urge to run from the world; few dared do it.” 13 likes
More quotes…