Klara and the Sun

By Megan Thomas

I didn’t enjoy this as much as I was hoping I would, but I have no doubt that is partly due to the fact that I really loved Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and was expecting too much. I thought this piece of speculative fiction was really thought-provoking and topical, as well as fast-paced, so I would definitely recommend it to anyone intrigued by the premise.

The premise is a futuristic world in which children (whose parents can afford it) have artificially intelligent companions who double up as tutors, guides and friends, which is the case for young, sick Josie and her AF (artificial friend) called Klara. Klara, whose hardware is dependent on sunshine absorption, is somewhat obsessed with the sun and its nutrients, so concocts a plan to help Josie get better. Meanwhile, Josie’s parents are also trying to find a way to improve their daughter’s health.

It is both impressive and poignant to tackle themes of humanity, existence and love through a non-human narrator, but Ishiguro has done it in a way that only enhances its impact. It simply asks us, “what does it mean to be you?”

BUY THE BOOK: Waterstones | Book Depository | Foyles
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