Last year, I reviewed Never Let Me Go for CBR6, and I almost didn’t review it for CBR7, because I didn’t want to bore you all with a rehash. So here’s what I’ve decided. I’ll attach last year’s review, which contains a pretty decent synopsis, and then I’ll delve into the new things I picked up this year. This time around, I’m teaching it to my ENGL 1002 course, which has been enlightening and eye-opening.
At first, I was super nervous teaching them a novel. What if they don’t like it? What if they don’t read? What if they don’t read? What if they don’t read? You can tell where my anxiety was leading me….Thankfully, most of them HAVE been reading, and most have expressed interest and enthusiasm in the book. Hooray! That’s one problem solved.
This time around, the Ruth-Kathy relationship really caught my attention. Theirs is a complex and ever-shifting relationship. At first glance, you think, Man, Ruth is such a mean girl! But then there are other instances in which her loyalty to Kathy becomes really clear. And other times, Kathy’s passive-aggressive behavior gets really irritating, and then she stands up for what she believes, and you see the good in both her and Ruth. But that’s an honest and at times uncomfortable look at female friendship, isn’t it? I know that a few of my female friends and I have hit rough patches in the past. So you fight, you say mean things, you feel guilty, you find nice ways to soothe each other, and then you move on. As far as that went, Ishiguro creates a true-to-life picture of the complex nature of homosocial friendship in a way that is both comforting and disquieting.
Most of the students found this a page-turner, so it’s definitely going in the rotation for this project cycle in years to come. I’m glad that one of my favorites can find its way into my classroom!