Feeling, Reading

Never Let Me Go

March 1, 2012

It’s no surprise that I devoured “Never Let Me Go” in 6 days time, a book about memory, childhood, betrayal and love. That during these 6 days, I told my therapist more about the sharp experiences of my growing up than I have in the past 3 months combined. That I told two other friends similar snippets. That the names of the girls who tortured me in grade school, all 3 of their names, finlly came back to me in one fell swoop.

Nicole … Clare … Emily

The book was very much along the lines of Atonement (my #1) though nothing about this recent book’s events shocked me. And where I threw Atonement across the room in a fury, I trusted NLMG’s narrator fully, as she let slip more and more details about her life, as if she were an old friend relaying some long ago, yet important story about her past.

It was an easy and relaxing read – maybe because I read most of it over an extended weekend trip to San Diego (yay 6+ hrs of alone time), or maybe because I knew enough about the story to not be disturbed. Reading is so essential to my self-care practice, and this book felt like a slow walk through a field. All of this is not to say that the author wasn’t doing literary acrobatics. To create a story with a devastating reality, and tell it in a language pure and simple, it must have taken a ridiculous amount of work. But I guess not even half of the story is settling in yet, and maybe that’s the point.

I tried to eek out some posts last month, and it’s not like I didn’t think about writing, but the doing is so different from the thinking. As I scrolled through the last few posts I’m shocked I even got those few up. I’m disappointed as I lost an opportunity to share my life it as it happened.

This just-finished novel floats in some fuzzy layer of my understanding, absorbed by osmosis, and mirrors the way these past 6 weeks have unravelled. It’s as if the novel dredge up some quiet memories of my own and it’s hard to differentiate my own vision of a hazy, grassy field from those described in the book. My nostalgia, both my longing and aversion for childhood, floats in the ether. And it calls to light that love is something that happens in the moments of our lives, which are so fleeting and sometimes poorly timed, and we can’t go back. We’re here and then …gone. And this is what calls me to write.

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5 Comments

  • Reply Adam March 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    One of the best best things about this book is the subtlety that Ishiguro uses throughout the course of the story. There is never a huge revelation of what is really going on in the world, just a very slow unravelling of the background for the world the characters live in. The subtlety makes it so you’re never hit over the head with a twist that would make you throw the book against the wall, instead you’re begging for more information as the book moves on. It really is a wonderfully written book.

    • Reply justine March 8, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      Totally! It was super haunting even days after. I felt so compelled to protect these characters as if they were real people. My heart didn’t shatter while reading it, but slowly broke. I also knew the premise of their “specialness” before reading – (damn NPR interviews!) but it was still haunting / heart-breaking nonetheless. I’ll be perusing your “Total Score” list – I need a new book!

  • Reply mkstafford March 7, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Answer the call, it’s so worth it. I struggle with it every day, but when I make it to my desk and sit down and write and create something that wasn’t there before? It feels pretty awesome, which I’m sure you know. I found your blog through a comment on Susannah Conways. It’s beautiful! Thank you for creating this.

    • Reply justine March 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind, encouraging words. It’s sounds like a platitude, but it really touched me. Looking forward to reading your blog!

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