Kathy is a clone, raised along with a generation of cloned children to "donate" her vital organs. Although she goes through the same experiences as any child growing to adulthood - making and losing friends, going to school, falling in love - her hazy understanding of her destiny endows each moment with a deeper significance. Most deadly and disabling diseases among the naturally-born population have been eliminated as a result of the clone program, but does that justify taking Kathy's life? Does Kathy have a soul?
Despite the alternate-present setting and the element of human cloning, this book is not science fiction. The world is merely a vehicle to address the ethical struggles central to the characters' lives: how we treat those different from us; whether and when we believe that the end justifies the means or that the rights of an individual can be trumped by the needs of the many; whether we accept our fate or grapple with it; and the value of what we do with the time we are given.
As beautifully written as The Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go will not disappoint lovers of Ishiguro's prose or of literary fiction. Fans of science fiction like Neal Shusterman's Unwind or lyrical suspense like James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux series will also want to pick this up. Check catalog for availability.