Posted in books

First Day of School and The Children Act by Ian McEwan

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School started really early this year. August 13th!!!! We got back from vacation late on August 10th. So, for the math challenged, that gave us two days to get school supplies, haircuts, and check in at the schools (since we missed orientations). The last wasn’t a huge deal, since both girls had previous experience at their respective schools. The hardest part, though, was recovering from jet lag — but we didn’t fly, so, multiple time zone lag? Since we traveled across two time zones in two days, it was tough.

My girls are night owls, pretty much. Libby, my older daughter, is truly a creature of the night and always has been. When she was little, I mean around two, I would put her to bed at 8:00, but she would lie in bed until 10 or so. She would entertain herself by talking to herself or making up games, but she wouldn’t go to sleep at a regular time. I would get her up early, not dice.Take away naps, no dice. Finally, I kind of gave up trying, figuring she wasn’t hurting anyone. Now that she’s 11, it hasn’t changed. She gets up a little before 7 and is very productive in school, but she still doesn’t go to bed until 10:30 or later.

My younger daughter is less a night owl than her sister. She’s more pliable. Our rule with her is bed at 8:30, Kindle off at 9:00 (I will let her listen to a book). We fight over this every night. She wants to watch her shows to fall asleep. But she doesn’t go to sleep that way. It used to be one episode of a kid show and she would be out, so I let it go. Not so much anymore. But she will fall asleep.

Any way, the traveling across the country and not really having time to readjust took its toll. The last two days we got up at 8 and were on the road at 9, traveling until 11 at night, with a couple breaks for lunch and stretching. There was no time to adjust. The day after we got back, I let them relax until it was time to get haircuts and visit schools. The next day I got them up a little earlier, but still. The first day of school was tough. But I think the excitement overcame them, and they both pulled through.

Of course, I celebrated. I have a friend who does a back-to-school brunch, complete with Mimosas. We all celebrate the freedom (although some mourn the loss of their kids to kindergarten). After the brunch I came home to an empty house (I told the hubs not to be home that day–I needed my space). I worked, but quietly, without having to make lunches, without arguments, without interruption. It was GLORIOUS.

At the writing of this article, It has been two weeks. Amazing, but true. We’re in the groove. My girls, especially Libby, love school. They’re both happy and seem to be doing well. And that is a good thing.

And now, onto The Children Act by Ian McEwan.


Note: I read this book as an advanced reader’s copy. It will be available for purchase on September 9th, 2014.

I’ve loved Ian McEwan’s books for quite awhile. Atonement was the one that got me first, so much that I never saw the movie, as I was afraid it would ruin the book. Sweet ToothAmsterdam, and Solar are also really good. So I was very excited when I got a chance to read The Children Act. And, for the first half of this book, that excitement was warranted.

Fiona May is a family court judge in England. She is highly esteemed and has overseen high profile cases. Her intelligence and acumen are known throughout the legal community. So, when she is called on to decide the case of a 17 year-old Jehovah’s Witness who is rejecting a blood transfusion that could save his life, no one questions her ability or her decision. Not even the 17 year-old.

That’s the first half of the book. The second half of the book is relegated to Fiona’s personal life. Her husband has left her after she refused his request for an open marriage, and she wonders if she cares out of love or out of a need for respectability. The boy does come into play, and he does play a small part in her personal life. I wish the two would have been more intertwined, and that his story and his decisions were a bigger part of the book.

All in all, this is a book worth reading. It’s not as good as I hoped, but it is still worthy of your time. I give it three stars out of five.

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Author:

I love to read; writing is my outlet. My blog is my way to combine the two, with a some life stories thrown in for good measure.

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