When The Children of Men (the movie) came out a few years ago, I was intrigued by its premise. Sometime in the near future human beings will no longer be able to have children. As hope dies out, one woman becomes pregnant and holds the key to the future of mankind. My son saw the film and told me I would hate it for its violence and profanity. So that was that.
Then I saw the book on a friend’s bookshelf and purposed to read it while skimming over the less savory parts. I’m glad I gave it a chance. Although P.D. James is a bit gritty for me, she’s an outstanding writer and I was immediately enthralled with the story.
Yes, profanity and violence occur, but they are nothing compared to the movie (according to the review I read here.) It’s too bad the film played up the books negatives and completely missed the positives. Although not a Christian novel, biblical themes run throughout the narrative. The most obvious is the hope of the world resting on a baby, but there are many instances of people struggling to find faith in a bleak world.
I was fascinated by James portrayal of sexuality (always discreetly done) in this “brave new world”. You would think the public would welcome sex without the danger of pregnancy, but James proposes the opposite to be true: Without the possibility of procreation, sex has no ultimate meaning and the people lose interest in it.
The Children of Men is a well-written page-turner that offers much food for thought.