The Children of Men by P.D. James

The Children of MenSource: Own collection
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

The year is 2021. For 25 years no child has been born. Nor will there be any more children, for infertility has spread like the plague and the human race is facing extinction. Amidst the riots and the horrors a group of dissenters face the choices that may change the future of humankind.

I picked this book up because I saw the movie some years ago, and had enjoyed it. Well. Reading it was a revelation.

Firstly, different to the movie, the book is primarily set in Oxfordshire, something I really appreciated, having lived in Oxfordshire for the last seven years. And James even put some events in areas very close to some of my favourite spots – including a real village I didn’t even know about, right on the doorstep of where we used to live. I loved that.

Secondly, the reason for the title of the book, when it was revealed, was very ingenious, and a delight. Not something I would have thought even possible, but at the time of reading it, it totally made sense to me.

One doesn’t really get into the characters in this book. The emotional involvement of the reader is somewhat detached. But nevertheless, this was a compelling read – but also gentle, with atrocities being painted with a hazy stroke – and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. This being my first PD James novel, I will definitely read more of her work.

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