Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro, 2005)
book cover and a geisha postcard
I was at the bookstore with the kids one cold Friday afternoon to meet a friend. They were as always browsing and looking for Gregs Tagebuch — Diary of a Wimpy Kid…as they are collecting them both in English and German using their saved money. I went around the English section just to look and unexpectedly my attention was caught by a book’s cover. I didn’t hesitate to buy Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (2005). The cover of the book I got is a poster of the movie adapted from the book, released last year.
It took me very little time to finish the book, well, it’s one that you can’t put down because you’re hooked and you wanted to know what would happen page after page. It’s one of the very few books that I pulled an all-nighter with just to unravel the mysteries and answer the questions piling up in my head.
From the beginning of the story the reader will be bothered about the setting, of missing important characters who were supposed to surround children in a story. It might confuse at first especially because certain words were used as alternate to define things that happen around us. Ishiguro wrote in such a way that a friend would confide to another. So it seems the main character, Kathy, is talking to you through her diary. Talking about her childhood, her friends Ruth, Tommy and the others.
Ishiguro was also able to unsettle you with feelings of hope and hopelessness, friendship and betrayal, belonging and loneliness – personally, its impact to me is the feeling of knowing that many do not know what real life is about. I am not an upholder of fate/destiny. I believe that we are given freewill to make our own decisions in life and what happens are the consequences of our actions and decisions. That there’s no written story weaved for us; I see it as just a selfish act on the part of the one who wrote such plot. The central theme in the book, that perhaps led many readers to question the author for his different intention, is the exact opposite of what I would have done had I been in a situation as the characters, that is: non-submission to a society that has set what we should live for. This makes me appreciate the reality that in life, we are given choices by the One who created us.
In the end, reading this book will leave questions about humanity and being humane, of a simple subject made profound and of scientific procedures that have often been topics of debates and most of all a sad story of a lost love that you’d want to rewrite (well I would). The book left me with a heavy heart, feeling regretful and totally perturbed…until now, I remember the story as how I read it. I would read it again if I don’t have other books laying around or wanting to buy. I hope you get the time to sit down and read it too.
(Photo taken a day after I bought the book and also when I received a postcard from a friend in Japan – I thought it wonderful – coincidentally too; Ishiguro being a Japanese–British novelist.)