Yesterday, I finished reading Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. For me, I had to spend a lot of time in quiet spaces by myself to read this. It’s very involved, so I had to allow myself some time to let it all settle in.
Never Let Me Go is the story of a young woman named Kathy H., her experiences at an exclusive school called Hailsham, and her complicated relationship with her friends Ruth and Tommy. The book is written in first-person, with Kathy recalling stories of her life from about age 7 to her current age, 31. She did not experience what we would call a common upbringing, and her life will not be lived or end like most of ours do.
The students of Hailsham spend most of their lives learning about how important and special they are, with very light knowledge about their futures as carers and, eventually, donors. Since this is the only life they really know, they go about their business as anyone would. Despite the somewhat fantastical/sci-fi aspect behind the truth of their lives, we are still reading about a young girl growing up, dealing with a bossy cliquey friends and ever-changing hormones. At it’s core, it’s a story about friendship and love and coming to term with ourselves.
I really enjoyed this book. I am now anxiously waiting to watch the movie.
One quarrel I had with the book is it’s winding storytelling. It is as if Kathy H. is actually attempting to have a conversation with the reader. I don’t know about you guys, but I have a tendency to run myself in circles, lose track of my thoughts, and get focused on one small detail of a story before getting to the point. This is exactly what Kathy does. It can be frustrating, but I suppose it really helps the reader connect with her every feeling and thought, and that can be helpful (even though it hurt for me a little bit).
Regardless, it’s such a beautiful story and it leaves you with a lot to think about.
I just wish I had a book club to discuss this one with!