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Riley enjoys fiction primarily with the exception of the occasional memoir or nonfiction piece, as she will dabble in just about anything that catches her eye. Out of the broad umbrella that is fiction, she finds herself drawn to magical realism, skeptical fiction, and gothic narratives, anything that can take a familiar world and contort it to make it extraordinary.
Kazuo Ishiguros new book, Klara and the Sun, is no book of drama, daring feats, or plot-driven action. Instead, Ishiguro gives us a narrator, Klara, who guides us through a world that we thought we already knew. Klara is an artificial friend created to be a caregiver, a companion, a toy, and a servant to a child in the same way that all kids wish they could animate their favorite stuffed animals. However, seeing the world through artificial eyes as she must confront death and various shades of love has the power to leave us asking questions such as: Is there something innate and unique about the human heart? Klara and the Sun is a slow burn, the same as watching a sunset, beautifully bright and somehow quiet. It is a melancholy meditation on the complex human emotion explained to us by someone quite unlike us. Klara and her story have quickly become one of my favorites. Just as a new pair of glasses, Ishiguro provides his readers a way of looking at their taken-for-granted humanity through beautifully crafted lenses.