Never Let Me Go

faber & faber

Mark Haddon

"A page-turner and a heartbreaker, a tour de force of knotted tension and buried anguish"




The first time I picked up this book, I read a few pages and didn't take to it.  So I put it back down and moved on to another book.  From then on, I was never encouraged to pick it up again until I finally ran out of new books.  Deciding to give it one more go I started it during my next train journey and I'm so glad I did.

Within a few pages, it became clear that whilst the world the protagantist, Kathy H, lived in appeared like ours, it wasn't quite.  As she started reminiscing about her time at 'Hailsham', her regular references to 'donors', 'donations' and 'carers' give her memories a more sinister feel.

On the surface of her stories, it felt to me like nothing more than the normal interactions of children and, eventually young adults.  Her relationships with those around her seemed to be rather intense, especially with Ruth and Tommy who are regularly mentioned throughout the entire novel.  But throughout the book the 'Guardians' at Hailsham inadvertantly give away bits of information about their futures and that sinister feeling just kept returning.

In the third part of the book, Kathy H and Tommy go in search of help from their old Guardians, help for their future.  However, what they receive is a dose of the truth, a truth that has been kept from them and all people like them.  I can't say much more about the meaning of these things without ruining the entire underlying theme of the book, but it was a heartbreaking moment when they discover the reason for their being.  The cruel reality of this alternate world made me feel quite horrified and the last paragraph, where Kathy grieves for the simplest thing anyone in life should be allowed, quite literally brought me to tears.  This is such a simple, yet such a wonderful book.



Reviewed on 13/01/2008 by Angela


Reviewed item details

ISBN-10: 057122413X

ISBN-13: 978-0571224135

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