I decided to download and experience this in an audiobook format. (Lately, I've found that my previous perception of audiobooks was either wrong, or maybe I just needed to get used to "reading" this way. I'm still not sure what made me fall in love with audio, but now I can never be in a car without one ready to go).
Never Let Me Go has been such a popular book and a movie with Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley was recently released which I've heard great things about, so looks like I'm going to have to Netflix that one soon.
Kathy H., our main character and narrator of the story, is a carer (or caregiver) by occupation. Now in her early thirties, Kathy's path has crossed once again with two former classmates, Tommy and Ruth. Once best friends at Hailsham, a beautiful private school separated from society with its own secrets, Kathy begins to share the story of their lives as children, which ultimately affects them today. And it's not a story with adventurous boarding school events - rather it's a quiet study of human behavior, an uncomfortable understanding of what is valuable and true in all of our lives.
To give any more of the story away would mean I'd have to do a spoiler warning and I just can't do that. I want you to experience this story completely and go into it without knowing anything other than what I've just given you. Suffice it to say that the story is melodious, haunting, compelling, and somewhat frightening. Certain moments and realizations surprised me so much that I was stunned by the characters' acceptance of their lives and each situation. I was speechless and with rapt attention I was captivated through each memory Kathy shared. I felt a connection with each character and each emotion - it grounded me to a halt and sometimes I would shut off the audio and think about what had just happened, marveling at Kazuo Ishiguro's ability to brutally mesmerize me. The magic is in the story's reveal - while it is not shared to the reader in one flashing and climactic moment, instead it is pieced together, pocketed into Kathy's honest and simple telling, slowly tugging at you to reconsider what really should be acceptable.
If you enjoy a story that questions society in a quiet and indirect manner, then you will love this story. As I did.
Emilia Fox was the narrator for this production and she was phenomenal - I can't imagine anyone else capturing the haunting story so effectively. I'll be eagerly looking for more from her.
Natalie at Coffee and a Book Chick