“My name is Kathy H. I’m thirty-one years old, and I’ve been a carer now for over eleven years. That sounds long enough, I know, but actually they want me to go on for another eight months, until the end of this year.” ~p. 3
Never Let Me Go is the story of Kathy’s childhood at Hailsham, a boarding school in the English countryside, and her young adulthood at the Cottages. There is something a bit strange about Kathy’s school–she and her classmates are all encouraged to create art, write poems, and above all, keep themselves in excellent health. They are told what their future lives are going to be like from a very early age, but somehow, sheltered by guardians and isolated in the English countryside, it doesn’t seem to matter that they won’t have the same kind of life as ordinary boys and girls. It doesn’t seem to matter to Kathy, until, all too late, she might have a second chance to be with the boy she always loved.
For me, more than anything, this novel is all about memory. I found Kathy’s meandering narration to be above all realistic, poignant, and poetic. There are parts that Kathy doesn’t remember, or parts that Kathy records her friends have a different version of, but that she chooses to remember it in the way that she wants. Never Let Me Go is a science fiction novel that feels more like contemporary fiction or even a memoir. It’s fast read, but one that you won’t want to rush through, because there is so much to consider. I’d say that Ishiguro really has the “tip of the iceberg” style of writing down to a T. I’d give it four out of five stars and recommend this book to anyone who likes thought-provoking, contemporary, science fiction.