If you read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and didn’t cry, you don’t have a soul.
I have read this book four times. And each time, I sob. I’m not talking a few tears. I’m talking about big walloping sobs where your body shakes and your chest hurts from the crying. Yeah, this book is that kind of intense.
Published in 2005, this dystopian science fiction about three friends who grow up together in England in the late 20th Century. Kathy, Ruth and Tommy attend an exclusive boarding school called Hailsham that has an unusual emphasis on encouraging physical fitness and artistic expression. It is gradually revealed to the reader that the students of Hailsham are actually clones being raised to donate their organs. After completing their schooling, the three friends are sent to live in communal housing with other clones before entering the final stage of their lives when they will become “carers” for other clones who are beginning the process of donating their organs, and then finally begin to donate their own organs until they “complete.”
While this novel has been recognized as being a love story, I believe that there is so much more to it than just that, which is probably what makes this book so heartbreaking. I think that the emphasis on relationships – whether romantic or platonic – correlates with the notion that these relationships are bound by the unfair holds of time. I think realizing how fragile time really is in relationships is enough to make us hold on to the people we love just a little tighter.
I have seen the movie starring Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Kiera Knightley, which came out in 2010.
While I really don’t think that books should be adapted into film, I will say that the movie did stay loyal to most of the book. And it certainly still had that cry factor that made this book so memorable in my mind.
And if that score isn’t enough to break your heart, nothing will be.
Even though this book has completely ripped my heart to pieces, I’m am kindly forcing you all to read it. I want to break your hearts, just like this book had done mine. Sorry.
We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we’ve lived through, or feel we’ve had enough time.