Book Review: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

This book was actually recommended to me by accident. I’d mentioned getting through The Fault in Our Stars movie and not crying as much as I had during the book and my Doctor asked me if I’d read this book and watched the movie. She described it with some spoilers but it sounded amazing and I picked it up the next weekend.

It’s hard to write a review of this book without giving away spoilers, but I’ll do my best. The narration starts with the main character, Kathy, as an adult. Her job is to take care of people after they’ve had surgeries to donate organs. When she’s done being a caregiver, she’ll start donating organs herself. She’s nearing the end of her time as a caregiver, so she’s starting to reminisce about the life she’d had at a special boarding school with some of the donors.

The secrets of the donors and caregivers starts to unravel in the flashbacks. For some reason, they’re taught to value creativity and especially the things created by their peers. Some special pieces of art are taken to be put in a mysterious gallery and no one knows why. When Ruth, Kathy’s best friend from school, dies after her final donation, Kathy is sent to find Tommy and take him to figure out what the Gallery is and why it was so important that they contribute to it.

The science fiction in this is actually pretty subtle. There’s no drawn out explanations of the way the system works, just the reality that there are children raised to donate organs and that a special group of these children were raised in a school that was gathering creative works from them. I think the subtlety is what made this book so satisfying to me.

3.5/5 Stars. I do recommend it to anyone who likes realistic dystopia. Not actually as sad as I had been warned but it’s hard to follow The Fault In Our Stars for sadness.

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