We’re halfway through the week and even though this past week was pretty rough for me, I’ve had sun and relaxation to help me improve my mood. Even though Monday’s post was a little sad and personal, I want to follow up with a book surrounding a different kind of grief.
As most of you know, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro was a required reading for my English class this quarter, and I was more than excited to read it because I’ve heard amazing things. And amazing it was. You know a book you read for class is good when you actually had fun writing a seven-page paper for it!
I don’t want to say too much about Never Let Me Go, mostly because the best part about this novel was discovering information alongside the narrator. Ishiguro brilliantly writes the first-person perspective of Kathy, an adult who spends the majority of the novel recounting the past.
Ishiguro is skilled in a way that forces the reader to become dependent on the narrator because she’s so vague about the facts. Her stream-of-conscience narration is easy to follow along, and additionally peaks the reader’s interest page after page.
It’s slow paced, I’ll have to admit. Some parts of the story I was like, “What’s the point? Can we move on?” But Ishiguro writes these scenes for a reason, and for that I define his style as quiet and everything sort of just creeps up on you. Before you know it, things are becoming uncovered and revealed and you’re thinking “SLOW DOWN WHAT IS HAPPENING”.
The grief in this story isn’t all entirely clear, and I think it’s particularly interesting that it got added to a “grief in the 20th century” English class curriculum. The main component that I see is nostalgia; in class, we defined nostalgia as not only something you miss from the past, but something that’s irretrievable and non-replicable from the past. It’s something that can be both happy and sad. While reading Never Let Me Go, I felt a profound sadness around Kathy’s memories, and Ishiguro’s writing suits these ideas perfectly. I related to this on a much more personal level than I should have, I think. I’m a completely nostalgic person, and that’s just how it is. There’s just something so sad about not being able to go back and relive something that made your heart feel full and happy.
Needless to say, Never Let Me Go is one of my favorite books I’ve had to read for school, ever. I’ll definitely be picking up more works by Ishiguro after this.
Have you read Never Let Me Go or seen the movie? What did you think? What’s your take on nostalgia?