The 1993 film based on this book has been flitting around in my memory since I brought the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro in January. This year I have challenged myself to read some classic novels. I had wonderful memories of the movie and so I had high expectations for the book.
This quickly became a problem as I struggled through the novel despite the beautiful writing. The Remains of the Day is a first person narrative from the perspective of English Butler Extraordinaire, Stevens. A letter from a former housekeeper sets Stevens to reminisce about his years in service to his former boss Lord Darlington.
Stevens plans a journey to see Miss Kenton who is recently divorced and despairing about her future. It is Steven's intent to ask Miss Kenton to return to Darlington house and as he travels towards her his memories about their past overtake him.
Unfortunately the novel’s use of flashbacks is really distracting and makes it difficult to follow the thread of the story. Halfway through this book I turned to the movie again which was really stellar and gave me the fortitude to finish the book. I did enjoy the little tidbits of extra information that was contained in the novel. If the pacing of the flashbacks was handled better I might have enjoyed this book more. Still Kazuo remains one of my favorite authors.