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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Review: 5 / 5

Never Let Me Go tells the story of Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy, three people who grew up together in a posh British boarding school from the perspective of Kathy. As the story unfolds, we start to learn that the children at the boarding school are not normal children. Things get progressively more disturbing as the children grow into their teenage years and eventually leave the school to fulfill their purpose.

Never Let Me Go is a slow burn, gradually adding clues about the deeply unsettling world that Kathy and her friends live in while keeping the focus mostly on Kathy’s inner world and snippets of her life with Ruth and Tommy. Sadly, the version of the book I read gives away a key piece of the plot on the back cover which made it easy to put the pieces together before the book tells you precisely what is happening, but I still enjoyed reading through the increasingly creepy moments as Kathy tried to navigate her relationships and find her place in the world.

It is important to note that while the book is dystopian and some folks seem to want it to be a science fiction story, it, to me, was much more interested in telling the story of Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy as people, with their broader world being very much an afterthought — reading this as a meditation on friendship, loneliness, and growing old (or not) was wonderful but I would have been really bummed if I was hoping for action, a swiftly moving plot, or details about the wider world of Never Let Me Go.


Title: Never Let Me Go
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Published: 2005
ISBN: 9781400078776
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