Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
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.
It takes some determination to stay with Part One of this novel. Some of our readers felt it was worth it in the end but others in our group didn’t think it worth the effort.
The story is narrated throughout by Kathy, a young woman who grew up in a secluded boarding school. The tone of the telling, however, is more like that of a young teen trying to work out life, as she knows it in the school, and dealing with relationships.
The students are totally removed from the real world, are well cared for physically, receive a limited education and their emotional needs are met by each other. As Kathy continues to reflect on her life, the fate of the students is revealed as a degree of integration into society takes place in their late teens. This is when the shocking rationale for their lives is discovered.
This is not a book to like but rather to make us think. It skilfully asks some important questions about what makes us human. It also questions the progress of science and the deep and important ethical and moral challenges for an all too possible future. We all found it to be a sad story.
The group rated this book 7/10.
Read by Dundas Readers