Monday, November 8, 2010

Time Out for Book Club

Leave it to a group of teachers to find a trade fair. Welcome
to the International Book Fair, in Accra, Ghana.

This blog post deviates from my typical travel posts in order to accommodate my book club back home. We meet once a month at member’s homes and discuss the book-of-the-month – each book chosen by members of the club.

This month the book was Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Shiguro. It was a little difficult to get into and I will admit to putting it down more than once, convinced I’d never be able to read it with all my trip preparations. I even thought I’d read it on the flight over to Ghana, but once again couldn’t concentrate.

Then one hot African afternoon, while all my teachers were busy in the classroom, I picked it up and found myself pulled into the story. Four days later I am finished, and wish I could be sitting in Barb’s living room discussing the intricacies of plot and character and theme.

I have been reminded of Lois Lowry’s books, The Giver and Gathering Blue. For me there is a resemblance to the Utopian worlds of Lowry’s books, within the story of Never Let Me Go. I loved the connection to music, art, and literature and the idea that our lives should lead somewhere….should have meaning.

The primary setting: an idyllic boarding school in the English countryside.
The characters: children under the watchful eye of their teachers and guardians, 3 in particular
The plot: Coming of age in an environment rich with possibilities, though undercurrents of mystery might suggest a hidden purpose for the education of these young people.
Did I love the book? I was compelled to read it to the end and find out what happens. I had pretty much figured it out, but wanted verification. It also made me wonder, in this age of scientific possibility, if the bottom line of the story could really happen. Is the book science fiction? More than fantasy, yes.

Would I recommend this book? What would you think about using it in school? A quick read, but also a page-turner.
Now my reading buddies – what did you think? I’m anxious to hear from you on this one.

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