Rating: 3.5 stars
Source: Bought (December 2010)
Genre: Literary fiction; Dystopian fiction
Published: in March 2005 by Faber and Faber
The Synopsis (taken from waterstones.com)
I originally bought this after reading a review of it over at The Book Stop . Then the film, that I didn't even know existed, started being advertised in the UK so this one got bumped up my reading schedule to avoid my inadvertently being dragged to see the film before having read the book. I hate that...
The novel is told from the perspective of Kathy, who is a 'Carer'. Facing an end to her time in this role, Kathy reminisces about her life and her experiences and ponders her immediate future. The tone of Kathy's voice is perfect and refreshingly honest. She has made mistakes and handled situations badly and may even have some regrets. One thing that can be annoying are characters who respond to every put-down with a perfectly timed sarcastic barb or every romantic advance with just the right gesture/statement. Kathy is nothing like that and it made the book so much more enjoyable and, ultimately, powerful.
Pace is another aspect that Ishiguro has managed to judge perfectly. The story doesn't move quickly but that is to its credit. This novel has a fascinating debate at its core and without the time dedicated to character development and the subtleties that can be incorporated as a result. Readers can watch the characters grow from young children to adults in such detail and with such consistent accuracy that I found myself remembering
Overall: This is absolutely worth a read and I have lost count of the people I have recommended it to so that I can talk to them about it. The writing has some flaws but the plot and moral/scientific twists that are thrown make everything worth while. It's hard to describe how much this book will wrench your heart without ruining it - so just take my word for it and read it!
I considered reviewing the book without mentioning what I would consider to be a spoiler and in the end decided that I was dying to talk about it so thought I would tag it onto the end.