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Word Count: 520
Although most remembered for his earlier work The Cement Garden McEwans more recent work of fiction A Child In Time offers a very different perspective into the theme of childhood - this time an adults understanding of a juvenile world The novel has been highly critically acclaimed since its first publication and despite its disjointed prose style and at times ambiguous thread of McEwans plot it consistently proves a popular literary work nearly five years later The book offers insight into one mans progress through the stages of grief as he mourns the loss of his only child an eight-year old named Kate As the protagonist Stephen seeks to understand his loss he turns towards science and philosophy to understand the very nature of time and understand where he and his now dysfunctional family unit have altered so drastically with times passing McEwan has clearly succeeded in creating an atmosphere of childhood as seen through an adults eyes - the simplistic beauty of his description of Kates relationship with her father is portrayed with extreme realism and the family units degeneration is charted with absolute clarity of detail throughout Despite the lucidity of Mc Ewans narrative voice the plot sometimes delves into the improbable As readers we witness the slightly dubious transition of Charles Darke one of the protagonists colleagues from respected mentor to overgrown schoolboy Although certainly not a dramatic twist to the plot it does come over as being a somewhat extravagant change and slightly superfluous to the overall plot McEwan has also developed his tale around a series of flashbacks and jumbled memories which although rather effective in conveying the subjective viewpoint of his characters makes for a slightly confusing read Despite this lapse is structural style the novel is certainly technically adept and philosophically questioning often enquiring into fundamental questions concerning the very nature of time within a very realistic framework McEwan seamlessly switches from tense emotional drama
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