Short review. This first appeared on my Goodreads account.
My review for this is similar to Remains of the Day. This is, fundamentally, a “speculative fiction” book. However, it was not marketed as such, nor is it found on science fiction shelves. This is due to the nature of Ishiguru’s writing. He is completely character driven, with the plot simply a vehicle. In this case the vehicle is a “historical change” speculation that leads to a different world in Britain that exists now. It is done subtly and it violates the rule of “let the reader know your genre” because he feels he is not writing speculative fiction, but literary fiction. The truth is that these two can overlap.
Given the length of time for character development and the lack of a “conclusive” ending, this is probably the right marketing decision. Still, it would be nice if once and awhile the critics would acknowledge works that clearly cross genre as speculative fiction.
Ishiguru shies away from truly tackling some of the moral issues, preferring his subtle and somewhat ambiguous approach. Still, worth the read. You are, as always with Ishiguru, sucked into believing that these flawed characters are real.