Time. You will need time. Because when you start Ian McEwan’s “The Child in Time” it will hook you from the very beginning and will only release you to your real life after you have read the very last word. At least that happened to me – and to be honest it always happens when I start a work of Ian McEwan I happily discover book by book both in English and in German (thanks to Diogenes who offers both brilliant translations and wonderful made copies).
In “The Child in Time” Ian McEwan tells the story of Stephen, author of children’s book, member of a committee dealing with children’s education, happily married to Julie and father of three-year-old Kate. The perfect life is turned upside down when Kate vanishes in a supermarket literally in bright daylight and under the caring eyes of her father. Realising that the worst nightmare of parents has come true, Stephen’s existence is lost somewhere in between memories of his parents and childhood, his every day life duties and the desperate search for his daughter. It is only after a while and the separation from his wife, he learns that he has to struggle with time itself.
“It’s got something to do with time obviously, with seeing something out of time.”
Hopping between different plots and different flashbacks could be confusing and boring for the reader who could be in danger to lose the plot if the author is unable to control all the lines. But it could be thrilling and exciting when it is done by a brilliant author that is Ian McEwan. He, being an amazing story teller, describes every single detail to create a world that seems both very familiar and very strange as things are unfolding for the thrilled and hooked reader. The only problem is that even brilliant books have an ending.
Ian McEwan: The Child in Time, Vintage Books, £8,99.
You can find my latest blog entry on IanMcEwan here.