Book Review – The Remains of the Day

I was listening to The Bookshelf during their regular book club session when I heard this book being discussed. They were in fact chatting about Kazuo Ishiguro’s new book Klara and the Sun (yes I’ve reserved this from my library already – 68th in the queue!) and they have likened one of the characters in the story to Stevens who is another character from his book The Remains of the Day. I haven’t read this one – and I think I’ve seen the movie version but I don’t remember so I decided to read it.

Set in the 1950’s, The Remains of the Day is about an aging butler, Stevens who was on his way to catch up with a former colleague, Miss Kenton. She was the head housekeeper at Darlington Hall. The two have not seen each other for 20 odd years. Along this road trip, Stevens remembers events of their working life together at Darlington Hall.

This book is funny, romantic (even though either one admitted they were in love with each other) and sad (he was too devoted to his profession!). It also comments on the English class system.

Written from Stevens’ point of view, we only get a glimpse of Miss Kenton’s character via Stevens. I would have liked to know how Miss Kenton felt and thought about things. Apart from that, it’s a lovely story. I was even a little emotional at the end. But I won’t spoil it for you. I’ve also reserved the film version. It’d be interesting to see how true the film is to the book.

Anyway, this is a highly recommended read!

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