As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life, and for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together
I loved this book, even though the ending was tragic and depressing.
Let me tell you something first. The blurb makes this sound like a really boring sort of story about growing up, but it’s not that way at all.
The story starts off with the characters as children and the way their boarding school, Hailsham. But wait, it’s an exclusive boarding school. That means the students are exclusive- they’re different. And they don’t really know it.
The story follows how the children try to piece together the mystery- why they can’t be rockstars or live in ordinary society and what did they do to deserve this?
The background of the story could be said to be dystopian and science fiction- although the two subjects stay true to their position and only give a mild tint to the writing, with subtle hints and descriptions.
What may be classed as a positive or negative, is the realism of the whole narrative. I felt as though the characters were ordinary people, and that anyone would’ve done the same. As a result, many of their actions seemed mundane and predictable as well. Instead of strong character developement resulting in a drastic twist of the story, we only have the narrator inspecting different incidents in her life- that seem entirely ordinary until she told you the background and the result. There was no heroic act to change fates- only an attempt to follow the ghost of a rule to freedom.
Nevertheless, the characters were realistic, the story was enjoyable, though mundane, and twists were present, though dull.
I would give this book a 3/5.
I recommend reading this if you enjoy reading about dystopian novels that focus more on ordinary lives and have worlds very similar to our own.
Happy reading ^^.