After The Buried Giant I wanted to give Ishiguro one more go. This is his highest rated book on goodreads, it was yellow (for rainbowthon!) and it seemed like a good book to read on holiday – so it ticked a lot of boxes I wanted it to! It was a good choice.
This is a very gentle book following the story of Stevens, a butler as he takes a much needed holiday in the English countryside at the behest of his employer. We visit the past as we meander through the country with him and see the world, and the people in it, through is eyes. We learn of his love, his loss, his devotion and ultimately, what an unreliable narrator he is. This book is a book of love and regret, the things that shape and define us, our loyalty and our memory. It was beautiful.
It is a very thoughtful book and is honestly one of the best books told from the first person POV that I have ever read. I can see why it won the Booker prize when it was written because it is a masterful piece of writing.
I think I would have been kinder to this in my rating had I not just read a book by Virginia Woolf right before it, a book that is striking in its similarity to this. The stream of consciousness, the theme of lost time – they were wonderful to read together. However I still happily gave this a 4/5 because it was just so beautifully written, it was one that I felt invested in. I think, had I have read this prior to To the Lighthouse I may have given it 5/5.