You get a feeling that there is something different about the world you are reading about when you are already a few pages into the book.
It is not a usual coming-of-age book. Kathy reminiscences about her childhood, about her days at Hailsham, a premium boarding school that she went to.
Ruth, Tommy and the narrator of this story, Kathy were together in that school. There was a bit of a mystery hanging over the school. Although their teachers, called "Guardians" are as rigid as any teacher found in any boarding school, there is one Guardian who seems to treat them differently.
From her, the children get some ominous hints about their future.
We learn the story through the narrator Kathy, who reveals the story mostly chronologically.
This facility, Hailsham is not a school. It is a place where human clones are reared for their organs. The children are cared for because a healthy child will be able to yield healthy organs.
Will the children, Kathy, Tommy and Ruth, be able to chart a different life?
Are human beings capable of mercy? Can human beings deal fairly as far as other species are concerned? I think we know the answer to that already.
Kazuo Ishiguro treats this tale, which could easily drip with horror, with gentleness. The shocking facts of the fate of the children are revealed gradually and with a sparse and a deft touch.
The novel is immensely readable. Years ago, I picked up a book called Curious case of the dog in the nighttime, and found it un-putdownable. This book was the only novel I read from cover to cover at a stretch after that.
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