McEwan's third novel is thematically linked to but substantially different from his first two. Like The Cement Garden (1978), there is a central male protagonist, but also, like The Comfort of Strangers (1981), there is a concern with a couple in crisis. Again, childhood is a major preoccupation, and so are gender relations. The most noticeable change, after a six year gap since his last novel, is a widening of social interest. The novel takes place over a few years but is initially set in the “last decent summer” of the 1990s, a projected future (at the time of writing) in which beggars are licensed by the government and schools are offered for sale to private investors.
The Child in Time (1987) is the story of Stephen Lewis, a young married man with a 3-year old daughter,
Citation: Childs, Peter. "The Child in Time". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1282, accessed 04 December 2023.]