Monday, July 6, 2009

Review: Never Let Me Go

There are a lot of really spoiler-y book reviews out there for Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. I will try very hard to not make this one of them. I was spoiled for this book and still thought it was incredibly powerful, but I think it would be even better to not know. So, what can I say that doesn't give too much away?

Set in England, Never Let Me Go is narrated by Kathy, a woman on the edge of a major life change, as she looks back on her past, especially her years at an exclusive boarding school with her friends Ruth and Tommy. The book builds up slowly. Kathy's story is mostly chronological, but she jumps around as memories come to her and we learn about where all three of them go as adults. As the story comes together, realization emerges of just who these people are and why they were at Hailsham.

This is an incredibly powerful book. I found it to be very moving and sad, but in a very subtle way. This isn't a weepy book, where I need to carry a box of Kleenex around with me while I read. Instead, I felt like a blanket of sadness was being pulled onto me, as I gradually realized the magnitude of Kathy's story. When the book was done, I put it down and sat quietly for a while, just absorbing what I'd read, and in the days since, I've thought about it several times. (This is actually my next book club book and I'm very disappointed that I will not be able to attend the meeting, as I would love to have a long conversation about Never Let Me Go with someone who's also read it.)

I highly recommend Never Let Me Go. It was one of the best books I've read so far this year, and will stay with me for a long time to come.

Buy Never Let Me Go on Amazon.

Never Let Me Go is by the author of Remains of the Day, and was a Man Booker Prize finalist.


  1. I thought it was really powerful, too. And, yes, it's almost impossible to write about without being a spoiler, but you managed!

  2. I have picked this up so many times to read and haven't yet! Thanks for the review!

  3. I read this pretty soon after it came out and had no prior knowledge of the plot at all. It is one of my all time faves.

  4. This is the first time I have heard of this book and therefore - I have never seen it reviewed and I am spoil free! ) You reviewed it well and it looks wonderful.


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