A heartbreaking love affair between a group of lost souls
A short and sweet review
As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life, and for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special—and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together.
This is one of my favourite books of all time and for whatever reason I’ve never written a review about it – so here is one now.
“Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.”
At the time, this was one of the strangest books I’d ever read and I found the premise to be so alluring. If only I had mentally prepared myself for the heartbreak that would ensue. I don’t want to lie to you, this is not a happy romance novel. Sure there are definitely parts where our characters share moments of pure joy, but for the most part, it is a story about the journey a group of friends – including two would be lovers – take after they leave their sheltered community and enter the real world.
As Kathy, Ruth and Tommy navigate their new reality, the truth surrounding their past as children and their future as adults comes crashing down on them. I don’t want to say too much about this book because the twists are what make this world and these characters all the more compelling.
Everytime I read this book I find something new I love about it and something I don’t like that I hadn’t noticed before. I have my own ongoing love affair with Ishiguro and Never Let Me Go.
I also really enjoyed the movie so if you love a good drama I would definitely recommend checking it out – starring Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley as Kathy, Tommy and Ruth respectively.
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