Megana’s Book Club: Klara and the Sun


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Nobel-prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro’s fantastic ability to tie in fictional plots relevant to the real world is astounding. His eighth novel, Klara and the Sun is written from the perspective of Klara, an AF (artificial friend). In Klara’s dystopian world, AFs are often bought or gifted to children as a means of entertainment and friendship. AFs are essentially robots with enhanced abilities. Klara, specifically, is part of the 2nd generation of AFs and is known for her intellectual capacity and observational skills. When she is caught by the eye of Josie (a 14-year-old girl) through the shop window, the two immediately form a strong bond. Josie promises that she will make Klara her own AF after begging her mom for it. The promise becomes a reality when the pair come into the store to select her. However, there was a grim warning Josie had made prior to buying Klara. She tells her she does not know what, but something strange happens in her home, but despite it, she will ensure to give Klara the best time of her life. 


The book follows the theme of companionship and jumping over obstacles. Frequently the topic of technology and its enhancements are brought up, and how certain owners disregard their AFs, a fear Klara harbors within her, but she loves Josie immensely and knows the girl cherishes her also. The mother is described as a rich company woman, though all this comes to importance way later into the story, as well as Josie’s best friend Rick. The two make plans with each other, but their fulfillment of it is put into question due to certain circumstances. Josie’s mother herself comes across as cold and one may suspect she isn’t a big fan of Klara, something Klara herself comes to believe. However, the Mother has a frightening sense of awareness and many layers to her personality, and by the end of it, she became one of my favorite characters.


Another protagonist of the story, often going unnoticed, is the Sun. The AFs run on solar power and thus put all their faith into the Sun’s grace. The Sun is often metaphorically referred to with feminine pronouns and is perceived as an entity on its own. Klara seeks guidance from the Sun occasionally, especially during matters relating to Josie. Klara proves by the end of it that though robots do not have an expressive way of showing it, they do feel a sense of love and friendship, specifically in the fictional world created by Ishiguro. This book does a fantastic job of pulling on your heartstrings and making you question your own heart whilst wanting to appreciate those you love.