Klara was designed with one wish. She wishes to have a best friend with whom to share her companionship and loyalty. Klara’s story begins in a specialty toy shop, somewhere in near future America, where she has been on display as one of the newest models of AF (Artificial Friend).
After a time, Klara’s wish is granted, when fourteen-year-old Josie and her mother purchase her. She is no longer a peer among the other AFs at the shop, and must learn the expectations and intricacies of her subservient role to humans. Klara’s care and allegiance to Josie is immediate, and falls into place like an instinct. When she learns Josie is ill, due to genetic modifications as a child, she will stop at nothing to try and save her.
Ishiguro’s writing style is paradoxically both ambiguous, while also maintaining a straightforward syntax throughout. He trusts that the reader will eventually catch on to some of his world’s science fiction technology through contextual references, and while I was occasionally confused by the lack of direct explanation, it mostly clicked into place as the story progressed. I also felt like I was experiencing the world for the first time through Klara’s eyes. Though people often treat her like an object instead of a sentient being, Klara’s feelings do not seem to get hurt. She observes the world around her far more objectively than an organic human would, while still having an extraordinary level of empathy, as well as real wants and needs.
While her naiveté causes some heart wrenching misunderstandings, her courage and pluckiness are what keeps the story’s positive tone. Her narration is innocent, inquisitive, and most of all, genuine.