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Study Guide : Never Let Me Go: Summary

Plot summary

Never Let Me Go is a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. It was published in 2005 but is set in the 1990s. However, Ishiguro’s version of 1990s society is not one that readers will recognise. A dystopia exists where many individuals are cloned from other people in order to be used as organ donors. The narrator Kathy H is an adult who is looking back at events that occurred when she was a pupil at Hailsham school. Her narration often leaps from the past to the present. Kathy and her friends, Ruth and Tommy, along with all the other pupils at Hailsham, are among those who have been cloned for the purpose of organ donation. Completion, (or death) usually occurs after the fourth organ donation.more...

Summary and Analysis


Summary: Chapter 1

Kathy H., the thirty-one-year-old narrator, introduces herself as a “carer.” She explains that she has held this job for almost twelve years, although she will be leaving it in about eight months. Kathy takes pride in her work, noting that the “donors” for whom she cares are rarely agitated and tend to recover quickly after giving donations. As a result, she has gained certain privileges including the opportunity to choose her donors. Kathy says that other carers may resent her for this, especially since she tends to choose donors who attended Hailsham. She explains that this is how she reconnected with her childhood friends Ruth and Tommy. Kathy used to resist the urge to look back on her school days. Then, one of her donors made a bad first donation. In the days before he “completed,” he asked her repeatedly for stories of Hailsham and refused to talk about his own apparently grim childhood. This experience made Kathy realize how lucky she and her friends were to attend Hailsham more...

Key Plot Details

The Library is open 8.00 to 4.00 Mon-Thurs, 8.00 to 3.30 Fri. We also have a selection of games available to play during recess and lunch. Only games from the Library are to be played.