Never Let Me Go (Book #12)

I finished Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go a few days ago and have not had the time to write about it until now.  I read this book for one of my online book clubs and I have to say that I really enjoyed it.  The novel centers around Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy; three people who have been friends since they were small children.  It is through Kathy that the reader travels through the lives of these three and experiences the many ups and downs that each character goes through. 

Having read the synopsis, you are not given much detail about the plot of the novel.  Really, the only thing the reader knows is that they're going to be exploring the characters through flashbacks narrated by Kathy.  You don't know much about the characters except that they are "special" in some way and how they cope with what they learn as they grow up.

Ishiguro really makes an effort to flesh out all three characters, but he does the best with his narrator.  Obviously we get to "know" what Kathy is thinking and feeling continually and we can only speculate at why Ruth and Tommy do the things they do.  Because of this, Ruth comes off as a completely narcissistic, selfish, cold-hearted person.  I honestly disliked her immensely throughout the book.  Tommy, on the other hand, is a character that you feel for.  You want him to be liked.  You want him to be an artist.  You want him to love Kathy.  And he does and his own way.  Kathy is the glue of the trio.  She holds them together and keeps each one in their element.  She's there for the other two even when they are not there for her.  This is what makes her a reliable narrator.

As the reader gets further into the novel, they realize exactly what is going on and just how "special" these children are.  By the time we are brought back to present day, there is a kind of amped up immediacy to the story.  We know that it's nearing the end; not just because there are fewer pages left, but because all things in this novel must end.  In a way it feels that the story is Kathy's way of getting it all down on paper so that we will never let her, or their story, go.

Ishiguro brings up so many huge questions in this book.  These span from scientific developments, human interaction, compassion, acceptance, innocence, education, and society as a whole.  It's thought-provoking and very "now."  Definitely worth the read...and now to see the movie (even though it received poor reviews)!


  1. I know it was a while since you read Vernon God Little, but I have a question; How do you think Vernon developed through the book?


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