Published in 2005, Never Let Me Go is a dystopian sci-fi novel that follows three childhood friends who reunite years after leaving their seemingly idyllic boarding school in the English countryside to find that their happy memories may hold a darkness they never realized. Because Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were more than just students at Hailsham — and once the truth of their past is revealed, the reality of their future could mean the difference between life and death. A haunting tale about memory, truth, love, friendship, and identity, Never Let Me Go is an electrifying, unsettling read that asks readers to consider what it really means to be human.
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Never Let Me Go is not only a critically acclaimed book, but it also went on to become a highly praised film directed by Mark Romanek and starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, and Andrew Garfield.
If you are curious to see exactly what makes this Nobel Prize award-winning author's work award-worthy, check out these 11 of the best Never Let Me Go quotes will show you what you've been missing.
“Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.”
“It never occurred to me that our lives, until then so closely interwoven, could unravel and separate over a thing like that. But the fact was, I suppose, there were powerful tides tugging us apart by then, and it only needed something like that to finish the task. If we'd understood that back then-who knows? Maybe we'd have kept a tighter hold of one another.”
“I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding on as hard as they can, but in the end it's just too much. The current's too strong. They've got to let go, drift apart. That's how it is with us. It's a shame, Kath, because we've loved each other all our lives. But in the end, we can't stay together forever.”
“The problem, as I see it, is that you've been told and not told. You've been told, but none of you really understand, and I dare say, some people are quite happy to leave it that way.”
“All children have to be deceived if they are to grow up without trauma.”
“Maybe all of us at Hailsam had little secrets like that — little private nooks created out of thin air where we could go off alone without fears and longing.”
“And so we stood together like that, at the top of that field for what seemed like ages, not saying anything, just holding each other, while the wind kept blowing and blowing at us, tugging our clothes, and for a moment, it seemed like we were holding onto each other because that was the only way to stop us from being swept away into the night.”
“I think of my pile of old paperbacks, their pages gone wobbly, like they'd once belonged to the sea.”
“We took away your art because we thought it would reveal your souls. Or to put it more finely, we did it to prove you had souls at all.”
“I saw a new world coming rapidly. More scientific, efficient, yes. More cures for the old sicknesses. Very good. But a harsh, cruel, world. And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go.”
“It was like when you make a move in chess and just as you take your finger off the piece, you see the mistake you've made, and there's this panic because you don't know yet the scale of disaster you've left yourself open to.”