Unreliable Memories – A Pale View Of Hills

When I finished reading Kazuo Ishiguro‘s first novel, A Pale View of Hills, I closed it and set it on my bedside table, feeling quite confused. When I woke up the next morning, feeling refreshed and more clear-headed, I went over the final pages of the novel in my mind, and whispered, “Holy shit!” as the story fell into place.

Kazuo Ishiguro is one of my favorite novelists. Back in 2013, I first read Never Let Me Go, which blew my mind just as much as this one has. He writes about relatable issues in such a subtle way that you often don’t realize what you’re reading about, until one carefully-placed line throws everything into perspective.

Kazuo Ishiguro = Literary Genius
Kazuo Ishiguro = Literary Genius

A Pale View Of Hills
is the story of a Japanese woman – Etsuko – living alone in England, reflecting on her eldest daughter who recently committed suicide, and the time when she lived in Nagasaki during and after the devastation caused by World War II. It is a beautiful depiction of how trauma can affect even the most beautiful of memories.

Pale View of the Hills

Memory, I realize, can be an unreliable thing; often it is heavily coloured by the circumstances in which one remembers, and no doubt this applies to certain of the recollections I have gathered here.
-Etsuko in A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro

There’s not much more to say without spoiling the story. Kazuo Ishiguro’s novels, especially A Pale View Of Hills, are a must read. Enjoy!

This review was written as a part of my Before 25 Bucket List. Stay tuned for more!