Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

There’s a book club nearby which I have been trying to go to ever since I found out about it. But, for several different reasons I haven’t been able to make it to any of the meets. Never Let Me Go was the book for the June meet. So I picked up the book, determined to finish it and make it for the discussion at the end of the month. As soon as I got the book, I dove right into it without even reading what it was about.

As I started reading, I felt like that this wasn’t set in a world that we live in now and there was something abnormal when the narrator Kathy H., a thirty something “carer” started talking about “doners” and people “completing” after making three or four donations. This was the point where I went back and read the synopsis of the book. That’s when I realized that this was a sci-fi dystopian sort of book. I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. I can’t believe I didn’t read this sooner. It was only after reading the book that I saw that it has been out for more than ten years and has been on many must read book lists. Ever so often you read a book that have you thinking about it days and weeks after you have finished it – this is definitely one such book.

“All children have to be deceived if they are to grow up without trauma.”

I’m not going to get into the details of the book itself since talking about anything related to the plot would be a major spoiler. But let me tell you some themes in the book which might whet your appetite: how much an identity given when younger defines how you think, how much is pre-determined and how we turn a blind eye to things which are inevitable, how we learn to live within our constraints and how we try to no matter what not let go of those who share a part of our life.

I know that this is a cryptic review. But trust me that this is a book which you have to read, experience and ponder over in order to enjoy it and cherish it like I did and will in the future. I am definitely going to be re-reading it at some point.

“Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.”

Read this if you like: Dystopian Sci-Fi and enjoy shows like Black Mirror
Title: Never Let Me Go
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Publication Date: April 5, 2005


From the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and author of the Booker Prize–winning novel The Remains of the Day comes a devastating novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. 

As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special—and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is modern classic.

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