'The Cement Garden' by Ian McEwan
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The Cement Garden
By Ian McEwan

This novel is about a family of children whose father died, and then their mother dies, leaving them orphans. It's spooky and disturbing, with the children aping adult life even though they're not ready for grown-up responsibilities. I love how McEwan writes: it's so spare, and every word is so perfect. This novel made me see how lovely life is for a child who doesn't have to deal with things beyond her depth—how divinely innocent my daughter's world is. It's a bit sad for me, though, because, with my father's early death, I don't have a map for a normal childhood beyond her age.

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