Title: Never Let Me Go
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Release date: January 5th, 2006
Publisher: FABER & FABER
This week I have been completely engrossed in this story, I just finished reading it and I really want to tell you about it. The book I am talking about is Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. This book follows our main character Kathy H. A now thirty-one-year-old woman who recollects memories from her youth spent at Hailsham, a boarding school somewhere in England. This book jumps through time as it shows the course of Kathy’s life up until her present day.
Like I already said, we follow our main character Kathy H. as she tells us about her experiences starting at Hailsham all the way to her thirty-one-year-old self’. I found Kathy to be a very pleasant narrator as she took her time to not only tell us her story, but also reflect on the events that took place.
Next we have Tommy. He is one of Kathy’s closest friends and I enjoyed his character a lot, he definitely felt real and three-dimensional. He is a flawed person which added to his personality and made me feel for him.
Just like Tommy, Ruth is one of Kathy’s best friends and she too felt realistic. I didn’t, however, like her as much as I did Tommy. She was flawed in different ways and I found her to be a rather despicable person. I can see how she had some redeeming characteristics, but I personally felt like they didn’t make up for all the horrible situations she caused.
One of the elements I enjoyed most about this book was the writing style. I know this is a subject that can be up for debate as it is one of the biggest points I’ve seen made in negative reviews, but I for one really liked it. It felt very conversational, honest and real. I can see that Kathy jumps around a lot in the timeline of her life, but I thought this was part of the charm of this novel. You feel like you reside in Kathy’s brain; thoughts aren’t linear, one memory will remind you of something else which in turn might bring you right back where you started. Actually, I found it pretty impressive how Ishiguro managed to get all the needed information to the reader in this manner.
Another element I liked was the plot, I know that seems like a very general statement but hear me out. Ishiguro definitely did a great job of keeping me on my toes. Even though I had seen parts of the movie years ago I was still surprised at the ending (to be fair, I do forget movie plots really quickly).
The only real dislike that I have is a spoiler of sorts. It doesn’t give away anything about the plot, but if you haven’t read this book and want to go into it not knowing anything then skip to my final thoughts.
So my one issue with this book was Tommy and Ruth’s relationship. We didn’t get to see a lot of the initial phase of their relationship and how they fell in love, which I think is weird as Kathy is really close friends with both Tommy and Ruth so you would think they’d at least share some superficial details… In my opinion, their romance played a pretty big part in the story arc so I would have liked to see it develop a bit more. As it stands right now I don’t understand why they were even in a relationship cause they did not fit together very well at all. It really didn’t make sense to me.
a part of us stayed like that: fearful of the world around us, and – no matter how much we despised ourselves for it – unable quite to let each other go.
Overall, I absolutely adored this book. Apparently, I was in the mood for a slow and detailed book with a lot of self-reflection that raised moral questions. I would 100% recommend it to anyone, just be aware that it is a slow burner.