Hailsham is a school which has, for many years, kept a secret within its walls. Kathy, Ruth and Tommy are just three of its very special pupils. We travel with them through their school lives to adulthood as the bleak reason for
their existence is gradually revealed. A sad book, but the care the children from Hailsham show for each other is touching. Ishiguro's touch is light and low key - he leaves the emotional reactions for the reader.
Maybe the volume had been turned right up by whoever had been using it last, I don't know. But it was louder than I usually had it and that was probably why I didn't hear her before I did. Or maybe I'd just got complacent by then. Anyway, what I was doing was swaying about slowly in time to the song, holding an imaginary baby to my breast. In fact, to make it all the more embarrassing, it was one of those times I'd grabbed a pillow to stand in for the baby, and I was doing this slow dance, my eyes closed, singing along softly each time those lines came round again:
'Oh baby, baby, never let me go ... '
The song was almost over when something made me realise I wasn't alone, and I opened my eyes to find myself staring at Madame framed in the doorway.
I froze in shock. Then within a second or two, I began to feel a new kind of alarm, because I could see there was something strange about the situation. The door was almost half open - it was a sort of rule we couldn't close dorm doors completely except for when we were sleeping - but Madame hasn't nearly come up to the threshold. She was out in the corridor, standing very still, her head angled to one side to give her a view of what I was doing inside. And the odd thing was she was crying.