Little did I know that I was getting myself into yet another dystopia by taking up this novel. The story begins in the perfect boarding school you could think of, in Hailsham, a picturesque school with spacious playgrounds and gardens; where the guardians are kind and considerate and the students are encouraged to be creative, to appreciate art and poetry and everything beautiful.
The scientific details in the book about the structure of the dystopia are sparse, I can even say that everything scientific is very subtly dealt with. I found it both strange and delightful that this novel zooms in on the relationships of the characters and their wavering emotions and not on the principles that form the foundations of the dystopia. I never thought that I would enjoy reading this book this much, maybe it’s because everything converges on a boarding school and it is about love and friendship, and how seemingly insignificant events shape people into what they become.
Kathy. H , the narrator is someone you will immediately warm up to- compassionate, tolerant, and observant. Ruth on the other hand, is not an endearing character but is more complex and full of layers, that one cannot completely categorize her. Tommy is also a character that you cannot help but be drawn towards- a person with “ a bad temper, but a big heart”. Despite the novel being about love and friendship, you don’t come across the characters talking at length about love and friendship, and everything is implied in their behaviour and mannerisms. The fate of the characters slowly unravels, it doesn’t hit me or leave me blindsided. Just like Kathy, Tommy and Ruth, I too had come to accept how everything will conclude.
Throughout the narrative, a feeling of resignation lingers. Rebellions and public demonstrations have no place in this dystopia. The students accept their futures for what they are. And there is something both brave and cowardly about this. Never Let Me Go would make you ponder over the fleeting moments that you shared with your friends and it is a book you should not let go of.