As a child, Kathy—now thirty-one years old—lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory.
And so, as her friendship with Ruth is rekindled, and as the feelings that long ago fueled her adolescent crush on Tommy begin to deepen into love, Kathy recalls their years at Hailsham. She describes happy scenes of boys and girls growing up together, unperturbed–even comforted–by their isolation. But she describes other scenes as well: of discord and misunderstanding that hint at a dark secret behind Hailsham’s nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of hindsight, the three friends are compelled to face the truth about their childhood—and about their lives now.
Literary Award: Man Booker Prize Nominee (2005), Arthur C. Clarke Award Nominee (2006), ALA Alex Award (2006)
Never Let Me Go is gloomy – I can’t wait to finish it so I can get on with my reading life! I feel terrible that I didn’t like it, since some of my Goodreads friends marked Never Let Me Go as their favorites. Still, I would have chucked the book (if I wasn’t reading on my Kindle) a mile away, walk over to pick it up, only to chuck it again. They say subtlety is Ishiguro’s writing style – I say now that I will steer clear from that kind of writing since subtlety on books will never work for me.
I was disconnected with the characters; I felt no affinity to any of them, well maybe a little bit to Tommy. Kathy is a pushover most times; Ruth is… how do I say this? Ah, queen b*tch. When I reached Part Three, I don’t know why I’m still reading because I was at a loss on where Ishiguro is taking me (this is the subtlety part). I already have an idea on the Hailsham students’ purpose but I guess I’m waiting for the affirmation – but it only came late in the book. The twist was not shocking enough to merit the sacrifice I did by reading all the way. Sheesh.
I think you already got my point: I did not like Never Let Me Go: the story flow, the unlikeable characters, the somber atmosphere Ishiguro got going throughout the book.
Perhaps the only thing that drew something positive from me is the scene between Madame and Kathy discussing their sides on one moment years ago: Kathy is dancing on the tune of a tape then realized Madame is watching her, crying. The interpretation of Ishiguro on that is good – that much I can admit. But it ends there.
Did you love Never Let Me Go? If yes, then I’d appreciate it if you leave a comment sayiing why you love it. Perhaps I can find something else to like in the book besides the only reason I stated above through someone else’s eyes. Apparently, i’m not a fan of subtlety on novels.
.: maria :.
“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”