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Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

Our staff is taking time right now to share reviews of some of the books, movies, and music they’re enjoying during their time at home. The views are uniquely their own. Be sure to tell us what you think!

Never Let Me Go by Kazua Ishiguro

Do you ever get in a reading funk?  I do, and I was desperately trying to find a book to pull me out of it.  I usually try to find a different genre than I just read, maybe something I don’t normally read when I get in these funks.  But the fact that we are in a deadly pandemic and trapped at home seemed to make me more sensitive to my reading choices and I was ruling out books left and right.   I really didn’t want any books with main themes of death and suffering.

You would think a good book during a pandemic would be a useful distraction. I find my mind wandering and it has been hard to focus. I had downloaded four books as options and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro was the only one that kept my attention.  The description for the book was intriguing. It centered on three characters and their lives and relationships at a mysterious boarding school in an English countryside and then followed them through their adult lives.  The description for the book was “suspenseful, moving and beautifully atmospheric”.  It didn’t hurt that the author was a Nobel Prize winner.  Perfect!

Never Let Me Go is one of those books that has a mysterious, dystopian feel and it doles out clues to an underlying plot little by little.  This makes it hard to write a review without spoilers and ruining the book for everyone else.  It is a story that is told in first person, in a very conversational and a bit of an eerie style by the main character, Kathy.  Kathy is raised in a boarding school with her two close friends, Ruth and Tommy.  Immediately you can tell there is something not quite normal about their lives and about the school.  Kathy tell us about her life and her relationships while subtlety revealing key words or phrases that elude to deeper undertones of ethical and moral societal controversies in the book.  And even though I found it a bit sad and disturbing, by the time more and more was revealed, I was already invested in the characters and needed to find out what happened to all of them.  Based on the description of the book, it was not what I was expecting at all.  Without spoiling anything, it is more a commentary on ethics and “other-ism”.   If you are looking for a light read during the pandemic, this is not it.  If you are into discussions on scientific ethics and death, give it a go.  I did enjoy the book as the conversational writing style and first-person narrative is something I enjoy.  It is one of those books that leaves you questioning and wondering about the characters long after that last page.

So yes, I recommend the book!  Especially if you are ready for some deep thoughts on scientific ethics.

So…can anyone recommend a light read right now?  I would love to get this book out of my head!


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