Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Blurb: As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life, and for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together.
This is going to be a hard review to write for two reasons. One, it will be very hard to talk about this book without spoiling it, which I desperately don’t want to do. Two, it’s actually really hard to put into words how this book made me feel. It’s a complicated book, but that’s why I love it so much.
At first it seems like a simple memoir. When Kathy talks about Hailsham, it seems like a wonderful place. I wanted to go there. As you start to put together the truth about Hailsham and just who/what Kathy is, the story takes a turn that, for me at least, was completely shocking. Again, I can’t go into detail without spoiling the heck out of it, but trust me, it makes you feel all the feels.
The story is complex, but the writing style is very calming to me for some reason. Despite the subject matter (which is a little disturbing), it’s a very relaxing read, at least until you get towards the end.
Above all, this is a story about friendship, between the complicated friendship between Kathy and Ruth, and the much simpler friendship between Kathy and Tommy, which eventually turns to love. By the end of their story, you feel both happy and sad for them.
As I said, both here and several other times on this blog, I dearly, dearly love this book. It may not be for everyone, but I highly recommend that everyone read it.