[Book Review] Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

never let me go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is a retelling of Kathy’s life as she discovers friendship and love. Kathy, Tommy and Ruth are Hailsham students, they are taught the importance of poetry and art, playing games and working together. But, they will also one day become donors.

The novel focuses on Kathy remembering the past and her experiences that have led her to where she is now. All the fights, all the laughter and love.

The three main characters were well rounded. Kathy, to me, felt a little apathetic, Tommy was naive. Ruth was manipulative.

Kathy’s apathy went in two ways for me, I felt it was almost like a detachment from the situation. This experience of hers was something she just knew and accepted. The most human emotions I felt from her came at the end, when she broke down after Tommy.

Tommy’s naivety shone throughout, but perhaps he was the one who understood the world the most.

Ruth, for me, was perhaps the most dislikable character of the novel. Something about her just made me dislike her from the offset, and that feeling only grew throughout the novel.

Overall, I felt like I enjoyed the book. It was soft, and despite the alternate history of the novel, it didn’t try to explain the things that had happened, because Kathy had never found the curiosity to question, which in turn made me not question the way things had happened the way they did. But, the novel did leave you questioning humanity and the way we treat those we deem ‘other’, and how we view them as part of society. It was definitely an interesting book to read.

It perhaps wasn’t my favourite book, but definitely one I’d recommend to others.

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