(Goodreads) From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Daycomes a devastating new 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.
The Short Story? - Set in dystopian England, Never Let Me Go is the coming to age novel of three freinds named Kathy, Ruth and Tommy. Filled with an air of mystery, Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go is a heartbreaking novel about love, hope and loss. Unlike other works of science fiction, Never Let Me Go isn't about cool gadgets or invading species, Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go is a grim interpretation of what the future could hold. Well written and different, Never Let Me Go is a must read for those who like extraordinary stories.
(Artwork from The Folio Society Edition of Never Let Me Go)
The Long Story? - This is definitely not a novel for everyone, especially if you feel out of your comfort zone with adult fiction however Never Let Me Go was a beautiful story. Very nostalgic and bittersweet, the novel pans over Kathy's entire life. Starting from her days growing up with Ruth and Tommy in Hailsham, their boarding school to her adulthood as a carer. It's a very passive novel, very slow and at times - boring. There is also this mystery element, we found out very early in the novel that these kids don't have parents so at first I thought they were orphans but the truth is so much worse. I didn't really fully understand what was going on until almost half way through the novel so I'm either slow and Ishiguro is a cracker at keeps things on the hush hush. Never Let Me Go is one of those novels that makes you feel things whether it be anger or grief or love, we're living through Kathy's memories. The ending was absolutely heartbreakingly, to hold out for hope and then for all of it to come crashing down - it's truly bittersweet. Definitely not your typical dystopian!
The characterisation wasn't the best that I've seen but it wasn't bad either. There was someone to love and someone to hate, there were characters that complete the story and more importantly there was a protagonist that was relatable. Kathy was a fabulous narrator but more than that, she was such an easy character to connect with. You can't help but feel a little sorry for her, for Ruth and for Tommy. Ruth wasn't the most likeable character to begin with, she was bossy and selfish and not a very good friend to Kathy and her relationship with Tommy just wasn't what it should have been but as Ruth grew up, I started to understand her. Tommy and Kathy had chemistry from the very start, they were meant to be yet they waited so long to finally get together. It's so sad to see two people who are very much in love being broken apart by life's injustice. I think it was their relationship that really sold me the novel.
I'm not really sure how to go about reviewing this book because it's so different from what I'm used to reading so I have nothing to compare it to. I'm not a huge reader of adult fiction but I did enjoy Never Let Me Go despite the slow pace. It wasn't my favourite book by any standards but it was different and somehow very touching. I completely understand why people would enjoy this novel, it's not everyday that you read something so raw and hopeless. Never Let Me Go is a very powerful novel, not everyone's cup of tea but you won't know until you've picked it up!
What's it Worth? - Squeeze Into The Budget
Badass Bookie xx