Klara and the Sun tells the story of artificial friend Klara as she is bought from a store and fulfils her role as companion to a young teen living with her single mother in a futuristic society.
Kazuo Ishiguro tells the entire story through her limited point of view, an impressive and brilliant choice. The reader knows as much as she knows and learns only as she learns, piecing together when they can the sparse information Klara decodes to see beyond the surface and understands the world she exists in.
It is an odd but emotional experience to share the smart but often confused consciousness of a character who is not (and never will be) human and yet who feels so close to us in so many ways. Ishiguro’s writing is constrained by that point of view but so clear that the beauty of Klara’s curiosity and way of making sense of the world shines through.
The novel is similar to Never Let Me Go by the same author in its depiction of a character with limited information trying to navigate a complex world of many things left unsaid while striving to find in this life the dignity no one will give them.
This book has stayed with me since I read it months ago, just as Never Let Me Go has since I read it years ago. It is a reflection on the future of technology and the treatment of transhumans. It is also a moving exploration of the many facets of relationships, attachment and what it means to be human.