Sunday, April 2, 2017

Literary Fiction Annotation

Image result for never let me go book

Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Title: Never Let Me Go
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publication Date: 2010
Number of Pages: 288
Geographical Setting: Hailsham, United Kingdom
Time Period: Late 20th Century
Series (If applicable): No series

Plot Summary: 

Told from the viewpoint of Kathy, who becomes a carer for her two friends, the manipulative Ruth and the hapless Tommy, the novel is a narrative of how the three young people learn about one another and their place in the outside world. Ruth and Tommy become a couple, even though it is Kathy and Tommy who seem to have the more natural attraction. Years later, when Ruth is a donor and Kathy her carer, Ruth confesses that she had intentionally kept Kathy and Tommy apart out of her own jealousy and selfishness and she asks Kathy for her forgiveness. She encourages Tommy and Kathy to get together and encourages them to seek out Madame, one of the mysterious people connected to Hailsham, to ask her about the rumors that clones who can prove they are in love can postpone their donations.
After the death of Ruth, Tommy and Kathy seek out Madame and find her living with Miss Emily, the former leader of Hailsham. The women reveal to them that there is no postponing their destinies and no deferral program exists. Tommy and Kathy also learn that Hailsham, which had since been closed, was created in an effort to demonstrate that clones had souls, which is why the students had been encouraged to express themselves artistically. It had been an experiment designed to demonstrate that clones should be treated humanely, but it was found that society preferred to think of them as sub-human so as to avoid having to confront the ethical issues.
The novel ends after Tommy "completes" and Kathy is left alone to carry on her role as a carer for the final few months until she will become a donor herself.
Never Let Me Go raises questions about mortality and personal identity as the main characters move through life with the ever-present knowledge of their final destinies. Themes of love and personal sacrifice are also explored.
Subject Headings:
Women > Fiction. England > Fiction. Cloning > Fiction. Organ donors > Fiction. 

Appeal: Language and writing style are primary keys to the appeal of books and authors in the genre. Books consist of complex language and interesting styles. This genre also allows greater leeway in regard to style, and prose styles are often more complex and experimental. Readers who love character-centered stories turn frequently to literary fiction.
3 characteristics of genre:
  • Literary style is important. Authors and readers pay attention to words and how they are woven together with elegant, often poetic language.
  • Story lines are thought-provoking.
  • Pacing is slower, as these are usually densely written books.

3 Read a-likes:
  • First Love, Last Rites by Ian McEwan
  • A Distant Shore by Caryl Phillips
  • Anita and Me by Meera Syal


  1. Hi Taylor,

    Nice annotation! I actually just added this book to my Goodreads to-read list a few days ago and have heard great things about it and the film version, for quite some time. I almost didn’t want to read too much of your annotation, just in case, though I must say you made me want to move up the novel on my to-read list infinitely! The subject heading alone are intriguing. Did you enjoy it? This feels to me like the kind of book that would suck you in and be very atmospheric. Did you feel this way?

  2. Fantastic annotation! You did a great job describing a complex plot in your summary. Full points!