Kazuo was born in Nagasaki, Japan, on November 8, 1954. Around the age of 16 he moved to Britain with his family. While in Britain he studied Creative Writing at the University of East-Anglia. He published his first full novel in 1982, titled "Pale View Of Hills" and it earned him the Winifred-Holtby Memorial Prize. He then published "Floating World" and "The Remains of the Day" which won Whitbread book of the year and the Booker prize for fiction respectively. It wasn't until his sixth novel that he wrote "Never Let Me Go" in 2005. In 2017 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Overview of Kazuo Ishiguro's Life
One of the first places Kathy brings us back to is her memories of Hailsham. In the beginning, Hailsham gives off a feeling of childlike wonder and amusement, as well as a feeling almost of nostalgia. It is a relatively stress-free and fun environment. Not much is taken too seriously and there's no real drama or problems.
As some time passes, the mood stays relatively the same, up until it is almost time for them to leave the school. The mood around Hailsham becomes darker and more secretive.
The cottages in "Never Let Me Go" represent the next step towards freedom for the trio, and a new, safer place away from the troubles of Hailsham or the responsibilities of being a donor. It's the first place that there is a sense of freedom to do whatever and it isn't a big deal.
During their time in Hailsham, Norfolk is referred to as being this almost mystical place where every lost item magically appears. The mood around this place is mysterious and exciting, and brings back that sense of wonder and curiosity from the beginning of the book.
The plot of the book is broken up into three parts in the story, each part relating to a stage in life growing up to become a carer and maturing as a person
The first part of the book focuses on their time in Hailsham, showing how the friendships started, building up the characters, showing hints dropped by teachers about what their real purpose was, and setting up the framework for the rest of the book.
Part One: Hailsham
The cottage is where they do most of their maturing. This second part of the book focuses on how excited they are for their future and yet how bleak and disappointing it really is, especially for Ruth, who had high hopes when she arrived. At the end of this section, their friendships fall apart and Kathy leaves to become a carer.
Part Two: The Cottage
This final section of the book focuses on the rest of Kathy's time as a carer. During this section of the book, Ruth and Kathy attempt to rebuild their friendship, and before Ruth gives her final donation and "completes" she brings Tommy and Kathy back together and convinces them to try and get a deferral to spend a few years together. This is when they learn that Hailsham was one of the only progressive schools for clones but the movement had lost its spark and no-one cared about them anymore. It is at this point that Tommy completes and Kathy says her goodbyes.
Part Three: Farewell
This book deals with multiple themes, one of which is the use of memories to cope with loss. Kathy hangs on to and relives the memories of Hailsham, the cottages, and her friends long after they're all gone. Another theme is how quick life really is, at 31 years old Kathy is about to die, knowing all her friends have as well.
One of the main themes is shown throughout the book, especially in how important art is in the beginning of the book. The whole point of Hailsham was to show that the clones had souls and spirits as well, even if they weren't made naturally.
I'd give this book 3/5 stars.
It is a great book if you want to explore the morality of cloning and the implications it could have, but otherwise it is a slow read without much action at all and in general it is a little incoherent. A lot of points are scattered all around the place without much order, which makes you have to read a lot to understand a little.