Goodreads Summary– As a child, Kathy – now thirty-one years old – lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory.
And so, as her friendship with Ruth is rekindled, and as the feelings that long ago fueled her adolescent crush on Tommy begin to deepen into love, Kathy recalls their years at Hailsham. She describes happy scenes of boys and girls growing up together, unperturbed–even comforted–by their isolation. But she describes other scenes as well: of discord and misunderstanding that hint at a dark secret behind Hailsham’s nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of hindsight, the three friends are compelled to face the truth about their childhood–and about their lives now.
There is no denying that Kazuo Ishiguro is a talented writer. I was completely enraptured by his story telling. I adored the way that he weaved the story and slowly let the reader figure out for themselves what is happening.
All of the characters are very complex, flawed, and dynamic. I appreciated the fact that although we follow the perspective of only one character, we really get a lot of insight in to the people that surround her as well. These are characters that I am invested in, and they felt like real people.
It has been a long time since I read a book that had me asking myself so many ethical and moral questions. There are a lot of insights about what it means to be human, and how we are often willing to turn a blind eye to things that we may think are wrong if it means saving a loved one or ourselves.
If a book is atmospheric, then I am more likely to enjoy it and connect to it. There are few books that are more atmospheric than Never Let Me Go. I had this odd feeling the entire time I was reading it. It was almost like I was living the story and trying to put all of the pieces together. The world and the events that are occurring are completely believable, which adds a level of eeriness to the book.
I do not know that I truly bought in to the romance. I always saw the two of them as friends, and I almost felt like they were forcing the romance for reasons that I cannot explain without spoiling the book.
“What I’m not sure about, is if our lives have been so different from the lives of the people we save. We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we’ve lived through, or feel we’ve had enough time.”
“You have to accept that sometimes that’s how things happen in this world. People’s opinions, their feelings, they go one way, then the other. It just so happens you grew up at a certain point in this process.”
“All children have to be deceived if they are to grow up without trauma.”
Never Let Me Go deserves all of the hype and awards that it has received. This book is in my mind a masterpiece and truly brilliant. I can not wait to read all of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novels. Have you read Never Let Me Go? What did you think? Which of his books should I read next?