Ia McEwan's third novel, The Child in Time, is a political tale of an England where beggars are licensed and parents intructed that childhood is a disease to be treated with discipline. It is also an exploration of time and timelessness, full of the wonder of contemporary physics and the relativity of individual experience. Above all, it is an intimate tale of parental grief and marital atrophy. Profound and precisely written, with its feeling for the ravaging of the English landscape, magical fantasy, farce, deeply felt melancholy and sense of loss, this is a work of extraordinary imaginiative power. The Child in Time won the 1987 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award.