Ishiguro's novel is totally different from everything else I've read before. It's quite handy to call it science fiction or dystopia, but somehow it's just not right. I could use adjectives like peculiar, interesting, delicate, disturbing a.s.o. but I wouldn't say reading it was an enjoyable experience.
The story is told from Kathy's perspective, when she's 31, in late '90s England. She's a carer and her two best friends are called donors. What puzzles and annoys the reader is that it takes about two thirds of the novel to fully get what carers and donors are. Because after serving this piece of info, the author chooses to lead us back into the friends' childhood in Hailsham, where they were brought in some sort of odd boarding school, isolated from the outside world, being constantly encouraged to be as creative as possible, as though their entire future depended on that. Soon after Hailsham, they start living in "the cottages", growing into confused adults preparing for a life of organ donors while their role as clones becomes clearer, especially in contrast with the real world, as we know it.
The last third of the novel is what makes it worth reading. As one critic puts it, "readers may find themselves full of an energy they don't understand and aren't quite sure how to deploy. Never Let Me Go makes you want to have sex, take drugs, run a marathon, dance - anything to convince yourself that you're more alive, more determined, more conscious, more dangerous than any of these characters."
Thank goodness I didn't abandon it, as I was actually planning to.