Happy Friday, everyone! How are you enjoying Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro? I, for one, am having a hard time putting it down. There’s something about it that keeps sucking me back in. I’d planned to discuss just through part one today. Even though I’ve passed that point in my own reading, I think I’ll stick to that stopping point. If you haven’t gotten that far, I’d probably say skip this post and come back to it later…I wouldn’t want to spoil anything for anyone! As always, feel free to talk about any part of the book in the comments; just be sure to warn about spoilers.
I knew before I even opened the book that there was a twist, that Never Let Me Go started out looking like one thing and ended up being quite different. So from page one I was on the lookout for things that didn’t seem quite right: carers and donors, the attention paid to student health, the emphasis on creativity, the apparent lack of real academic courses, the students’ inability to have children. I was shocked when, toward the end of part one, Miss Lucy came out and told the students what their purpose was, why they’d been created. I’d known Hailsham wasn’t your typical school, but I hadn’t expected something quite so controversial and difficult. I’m very interested to see where Ishiguro is taking us.
I get the feeling we don’t have the whole story. Not all the oddities have been explained; there are still plenty of mysteries surrounding Hailsham and its students. I feel like there’s more to be revealed. I love how Ishiguro reveals the tidbits about the Hailsham kids, sliding them into Kathy’s narration like they’re perfectly normal–which for her, they are. I think that makes the abnormalities stand out even more for me, the fact that they’re part of Kathy’s everyday life the way routines that would seem foreign to her are part of mine.
I think Ishiguro does a fantastic job capturing the relationships between kids and teens. The clique of girls, the bullying of the boys, the confused romances and on-again off-again friendships seem right on to me. I like Kathy and Tommy, though I’m not sure about Ruth yet. I also like Kathy’s narration, the way she’ll start off in one direction, say that’s not what she wanted to talk about, then get herself back on track. I like that she isn’t highly poetic or eloquent; the book reads like she’s just trying to get her thoughts and memories down on paper. I think that’s part of what draws me to the book.
Never Let Me Go is my first Ishiguro novel. Is it yours too, or have you read others? At this point, I definitely plan to read more of his works!