This is the story of three special children – Kathy, Ruth and Tommy, being brought up in the protected world of Hailsham, an idyllic home in the English countryside. They are well cared for, educated and tenderly sheltered from the outside world. Their welfare was crucial. But why?
Years later Kathy will relive those years with new insight and as she looses her friends one by one she must come to face the truth about her seemingly happy childhood …and about her future.
The enjoyment of a novel can be a tenuous thing; where one finds total fulfillment, another finds frustration; where some hang on every word, another is bored beyond compare. There in lies the extent in which this month’s book shaped our group’s opinion. Ishiguro’s writing style was not to everyone liking. Some found it disjointed and tedious, others found it clever and purposeful, guiding the reader gently to the story’s predictably depressive conclusion.
But beyond these conflicting opinions was a unanimous agreement that the storyline and plot was a compelling one … as Vanessa profoundly put it “A springboard to thought”. For it opened up a variety of questions and discussions on genetic engineering, nurture vs nature, DNA testing and cloning … how far are we away from cloning and harvesting for body parts and what are the repercussions of such advanced science.
The emotional turmoil that Kathy, Ruth and Tommy’s circumstances generated in some of our group was a good indication of the writer’s prowess, and the morality of harvesting humans gave us all food for thought. Some first hand experience with genetic counseling from a few members helped to round off a successful and informative conversation.
Even if Never Let Me Go did not rank high on the ‘enjoyment scale’, it did score high as a worthwhile book, as everyone was glad they had attempted the read.