Saturday, June 20, 2009

Never Let Me Go

For the last three days, I have been immersed in Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Lindel and Dr. P commented that they both liked the novel, and I will join them in that I liked the novel. Love it, no, but yes, I found it fascinating.

Narrated by Kathy H and set at in a rather vague time, she reminisces about a place called Hailsham, a private school set in the English countryside where the students were protected from the outside world, a world in which they had little curiosity. From early age, the young were educated and particuarly encouraged in the arts. Kathy tells us about her relationship with two other children, Ruth and Tommy, two products of Halisham whose story will intertwine significantly with hers.

The name Halisham simply makes me think of Dicken's famous angry jilted spinster, Miss Havisham of Great Expectations. If I were teaching this novel, and thankfully I am not, I am sure I could make connections between the name and the Dicken's character. Kathy H is not Pip, but perhaps they are both victims of a manipulation of which it took maturity to comprehend, not exactly a foreign concept for any of us. It is with retrospection that we get clarity. Their clarity will be somewhat creepy and unfortunately border on enough truth to give all of us pause.

Never Let Me Go could be discussed as a novel that has no real niche -- is it an adolesecent novel about cliques and groups? Is it a mystery novel about who are the shadowy guardians of Hailsham who protect these children? Is it a social commentary about scientific ethics?

It reminded me of Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale as well as Huxley's Brave New World. (Lindel commented that it reminded her of Huxley.)

Whatever Ishiguro intended, he had me reading it.

I read Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans by Ishiguro as well, both good reads, the first for its view of servitude and loyalty, the latter for its story of family.

Put him on your reading list.

Meanwhile, it's hot as all get out. I watered plants on the porch early today, but I spent the rest of the day inside --- when hubby got home from work, I went down to greet him in the garage, and having the garage door open was like having Satan's workshop wide open for business.

Gawd. It's hot.

It's June.

Just imagine July and August.

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