Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro


From the best-selling author of Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day, a stunning new novel—his first since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature—about the wondrous, mysterious nature of the human heart.

From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change forever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.

In Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro looks at our rapidly changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love?

My thoughts

I loved Never Let You Go by Kazuo Ishiguro but I loved this book even more, and a lot of that is down to the unique and pure voice of Klara.

Klara is an artificial friend (AF) whose sole purpose is to provide positive role-modelling and non-judgemental companionship to children. She is purchased by the mother of a 12 year old girl, Josie, whose health is precarious. The story is told by Klara in an observational manner, and the reader is left to infer things through the context of the events and repeated conversations that Klara reports. Klara may not ‘feel’ emotion, but her intelligence means she can – to a certain extent – ‘understand’ some of what she observes.

This is a quick read but covers some complex ethical and moral dilemmas, none of which I can’t really enlarge on without risking spoilers. It is poignant and thought-provoking and will stay with me.

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