Katie's Reviews > The Remains of the Day

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
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's review
May 04, 2008

it was amazing
Read in April, 2008

It is hard to believe how much meaning Ishiguro was able to pack into this short novel. It is beautifully written, and the themes are simple and understated. Stevens is a proper English butler in post World War II England. Lord Darlington, his long-time employer has passed away, and his services are now retained by an American. His large staff of 30+ people has been reduced to 3, and the class system that he is so accustomed to is fading before his eyes. After 30 years of service at Darlington Hall, he takes his first road trip, the goal being to visit the former housekeeper, Miss Kenton. In a mix of comedy and tragedy, Stevens is forced to face the mistakes of his life: his misguided support of his employer, a Nazi sympathizer, the suppression of his deep feelings towards Miss Kenton, allowing her to slip away from him, and in one of the most poignant and heartbreaking moments of the novel, Stevens's refusal to allow himself to grieve over his father's dead body, because he must attend to guests. While attempting to balance his public and private life, he has always sacrificed his true emotions in order to present a face of dignity as a proper butler should, but he is now forced to deal with what remains of his life, thus "The Remains of the Day." This is a wonderful and breathtaking novel that should not be missed.
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