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"The Child in Time"


"The Child in Time" is a novel written by the British author Ian Mc Ewan. The book was published in 1987.
 
Stephen Lewis, established writer of books for children, as often happens goes out shopping with his three year old daughter Kate. But this time she will come back home without her. A moment of distraction during a trivial payment transaction at the supermarket checkout is in fact fatal: the man turns and no longer sees the baby. Kate is gone, volatilized. The intervention of the police forces is useless, all the attempts to find it are vain. A nefarious event that inevitably will have negative consequences on the life of man and that of his wife Julie. The two spouses will be overwhelmed by an unspeakable pain to which they will react differently, he engaging with all his might in desperate as inane attempts at research, she abandoning herself to a grim and indolent solitude. At some point the separation will appear inevitable, but time will heal the wound. McEwan recounts the sentimental and psychological side of a heart-rending pain like what can be born of the loss of a child, entering the minds of the protagonists but always keeping a certain distance, a sort of coldness, of cynicism, which limits the empathy on the other avoids falling into easy and myelous dramatizations. The story is told through continuous temporal jumps, past, present and future intersect and mingle, maturity clashes with childhood now winning now succumbing and reminding us of the child that lies behind every adult. McEwan does not spare then poisonous arrows to the Thatcherian politics of the time and to the British society in general. There is no shortage of clichés, some steps may be obvious and the style is not the most virtuous, but the contents are valuable and important appears the final message that invites you not to get too close in difficult times, not to cancel in pain, because it could always getting a good chance to get up and be born again.
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