REVIEW: Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go. Kazuo Ishiguro

I picked up this book in the airport on my recent trip out to Gozo. I chose it because I'd been desperate to see the film version at the cinema, but just hadn't got round to it.  I'm sure whether you've seen the film, read the book, or not, most of you will know the basic plot from all the recent press surrounding the the movie.  Well somehow, other than a few trailers, I'd managed to avoid hearing much about the story at all.  And having now read the book, I'm very glad that I had been oblivious to it all!

A lot of this book seems to be the charming yet simple story of children who you know from the start are obviously different, growing up in an English boarding school in the 1990's.  Again, there is something very different about England and the school as they are described by the main character, an ex-Hailsham student and now 'carer', Kathy.  Told entirely from Kathy's view point, we are brought into her world as she relates her experiences to the reader as though we are already know her world and have had similar experiences ourselves, albeit not as a student of the prestigious Hailsham School.  Kathy shares stories of her childhood, the love and strife in her relationships with friends Tommy and Ruth, and her ambiguous present job as a carer, but never quite gives us the full picture of her limited existence as she drops in terms such as donations, guardians, completing, carers and galleries.

Without saying much more, this book is definitely a page turner.  Although you get an inkling as to the situation Kathy and her fellow students are in, you find yourself desperately seeking confirmation of theories and answers to the many questions both you and the characters are asking.  What exactly are these donations?  Where did these students come from?  What are the 'guardians' preparing them for?

What is slowly revealed leads to a realisation of a situation that is in reality horrific and morally disturbing.  The frustrating aspect, like with all great books, is that just as the story concludes, you have a full understanding and a ready to enjoy the story aware of all the facts, it ends.

Have you read Never Let Me Go?  Seen the film?

What did you think?



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