Book Reviews

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

I’m behind on my book reviews somehow so you’ll probably see two from me this week! I’ll start with Klara and the Sun, though. This was a read that was well out of my comfort zone, but seemed to be talked about so highly that my curiosity wouldn’t allow me to ignore it! Klara is an AF, or Artificial Friend, a robot designed to be a companion for a child. All AF’s have their own micro personalities and Klara is more observant than most of her kind. She’s fascinated by the window in the store of which she resides and she worships the sun and it’s healing powers.

What I liked most about this book is that it makes you work things out for yourself. There’s no explanation of what an AF is, why they were designed or what their main purpose is, we’re left to work that out for ourselves. It made the first couple of chapters a difficult read for me, but I prefer this approach than being spoon-fed information just for the sake of it. There’s a lot here that’s open for interpretation and although I’m not a member of any, I imagine it would be a great book of choice for a book club to read and then gather to discuss it’s themes!

Of course, it isn’t too long before Klara is purchased and she gets an owner and a home. This is where the story picked up the pace as we learn about Jodie and her health issues, as well as hints about a ‘procedure’ that children in this fictional world are often put through. The story is all told through Klara’s perspective which can get confusing at times, but it was interesting to read how she sees things.

I can’t say I loved Klara and the Sun though, to be truthful. There was a lot I enjoyed and found fascinating, but the ending wasn’t the revelation I was hoping it would be. I get the feeling that the point of the story is something much deeper, quieter and thoughtful but it was a bit lost on me. I’d still recommend it, though!