I am currently reposting all of my reviews in order, copying them from the program I used for my blog for the last few months. Spammers attacked it, like nasty spammers do. So I'm switching back to blogger, wish I had never left. That's why the times and order might get messed up.
Originally posted January 6, 2006 at 22:41.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
This is going to be a very short review, because there isn't much that can be said about Never Let Me Go without going too far into the plot and circumstances of the story.
And that is something that is a detriment to the reader's enjoyment. I think the best way to read the book is with as little expectation as possible. It pulls you in very well on it's own.
Not to mention that a review on Amazon ruined a rather important plot point for me when I was glancing at the star ratings.
The novel is told almost like a memoir, and at first I was worried that it would jump around in the chronology. I can take something that moves backwards, forwards, or even in discernable patterns like The Blue Girl did. But often acclaimed novels are trying to hard to do something different and I just can't follow it.
But in the end, the story starts more or less in the now, jumps back to around age 13 and moves pretty steadily forward.
It is for stories like this one that the word bittersweet was created for. The basic plot is that Kathy H., our narrator, is coming to the end of her career as a carer. She begins to look back on her childhood growing up in Hailsham, an estate in England. It seems to be mostly like a boarding school, but you can tell that it isn't exactly a school and not exactly a "children's home" or anything like that.
Kathy takes us through her life, specifically her interactions with a best friend Ruth, and a close male friend Tommy. The story does one thing well, Kathy presents you with her life very matter-of-factly. She doesn't artificially introduce things, like being a carer, with little explanations for those of us "not in the know." That is refreshing as a reader.
You would think it would be frustrating, but instead you just wait to put the peices together because you know they will fall together. Though I admit the book leaves you with unanswered questions, in the end they fall under "things I wish I knew" instead of "things I should have been told."
Never Let Me Go is absolutly worth reading. I'm anxious to be able to discuss it with others that have read it.