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 …
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 21 November 2017.]