Summer 2011 Reading List: Books to Change Your Life

Books to Change Your Life

There is something special about the children of Hailsham boarding school. From their earliest memories, the students at this elite school are told they are special and destined for an important future.  Their adult caretakers are sympathetic and guarded with their special charges never letting on their own knowledge of what the future holds for them. And so goes Kazuo Ishiguro’s (also author of the stunning Remains of the Day) brilliant sixth novel Never Let Me Go. This is the story of a trio of friends, Kathy, Tommy and Ruth, their emergence into adulthood and their gradual knowledge of and acceptance of their fate.

Ishiguro’s prose is sparse and his imagery vivid as the story unfolds through the eyes of 31-year old Kathy H. who reflects upon her childhood growing up in the bucolic English countryside. Ishiguro takes his time peeling back the layers of the story revealing a core truth that is at once unimaginable and yet utterly realistic.  I couldn’t put the book down and was relieved when it was over.  The emotional richness of the characters will stay with you long after you’ve read the last pages. To say I was haunted by this story is an understatement. Never Let Me Go will make you think, debate the basic premise of humanity and consider the question of morality. This is an excellent choice for a book club selection and is at the top of my recommendations for anyone’s summer reading list. What will you read this summer?

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