To be perfectly honest, I shouldn’t say that I’m just obsessing over champagne cupcakes, I’m pretty much obsessed with all things cupcake. But a special request was made so now I’m going to do some research, make some test batters, and I will create the best champagne cupcake possible! So I guess I am obsessed.
I am also in love with this book I’m reading. A co-worker of mine first introduced me to Kazuo Ishiguro a while back when we first created our book club (it has tragically disbanded despite several attempts of revival—we are now thinking of completely forgoing the “book” part of the club and just meet once a month to try some yummy new restaurant, which I think had always been the real purpose of our club). She listed several books and I was interested in all of them but we never got to any of them and I had so many books on my “Must-Read List” that I just never got to any of his.
Sometime last year a movie was released starring Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield (who’s excited to see him as Spider-Man? Because I am! I even had a dream about him last night as Peter Parker…but that’s another story) called “Never Let Me Go.” I thought the title sounded familiar so I did a little research and discovered that it’s based on Ishiguro’s novel of the same name. I have a rule that I must read the book first before I watch the movie. Sometimes it backfires on me, like “The Other Boleyn Girl.” I hated the movie. I loved the book, it’s pretty high on my list of “All-Time Favorite Guilty Pleasures” (“Titanic” and the Backstreet Boys are also on that list) and the movie just fell short. Natalie Portman made a convincing Anne Boleyn but Scarlett Johansson ruined the film for me. Her awful accent was so distracting and she just looked pained in most of her scenes, like someone needed to loosen the ties on her corset.
But I digress. Because I wanted to watch “Never Let Me Go,” I decided to read the book first. I had just finished a string of Lisa See novels (Peony in Love and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, the latter I highly recommend especially to those who are interested in Asian cultures) and would have started on another but I was feeling a little Asian’ed out. So I decided to start on an Ishiguro novel (which almost seems like a contradiction considering his name is distinctly Japanese, but he is British-born).
For those who aren’t familiar with the story, Never Let Me Go is a dystopic novel set in England. The main characters, Ruth, Kathy, and Tommy, all live in a school called Hailsham that basically prepares its students to become donors when they grow up. It’s a depressing premise and I can only imagine that it gets even more so once the characters realize the gravity of their situation. But the book is written in a lyrical sort of narrative. The language is simple, the timeline slightly confusing, but it works because it’s written in first-person through Kathy’s point of view as she’s recounting her life. It’s beautifully written and I am especially enjoying the relationships that each character has with one another. Despite the science-fictionesque plot, the relationships that the characters have are so relatable; the personalities are so real as though Ishiguro based these characters on his own life and childhood friends. He also writes convincingly as a young woman.
It’s always a good sign for me that a book is really good if I’m constantly thinking about it and I can’t wait to go home to just read. I am even willing to give up my prime time TV to read this book. Of course it does help that we have DVR.
This is becoming a very long first entry. I’m a wordy person and I tend to run off tangent. I also tend to bore people with topics I find interesting (like books I’m currently reading) but other people find less so. The nice thing about a blog is that you can easily stop reading without fear of being rude!
I’m also very bad at ending things. I end things awkwardly. Beginnings are easier because, as I’ve learned in a fiction writing class of mine, you can always start right in the middle of things. It pulls the reader in more. All that necessary background stuff can come in later. Sigh, I miss my writing classes. But endings…like I said, I end things awkwardly.