The real challenge for this blog post is how to go about describing the plot of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro without spoiling the plot twist. Because really, I can’t even say what the book is about without spoiling a surprising fact that you’ll discover about a quarter of the way into it. So I’ll do this as cryptically as possible.
The story is being told by Kathy, who is now in her 30s and is reflecting on her childhood at an English boarding school called Hailsham. The students, completely isolated from the outside world, are all….special. All I will say is that they have a unique origin and purpose, and they are constantly told that their well-being is very important. After reconnecting with her two best friends from Hailsham, Ruth and Tommy, Kathy looks back on her time at the school and how it prepared her (and didn’t prepare her) for what was to come in her future.
I know, that’s very cryptic. I will say that it’s a dystopian novel with some sci-fi elements, but don’t let that turn you off if you’re not a sci-fi fan. It’s really an interesting and thought-provoking story about friendship and what it means to grow up knowing your future is set in a certain way. Kazuo Ishiguro writes in a very conversational tone, which I enjoyed because I felt as though I was having a conversation with Kathy, personally hearing all her old tales from Hailsham. It is particularly a good book for a book club, because it opens up a lot of discussion possibilities on a controversial subject matter.