This novel tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her.
When Ray turns up to visit his old university friends Charlie and Emily, he’s given a special task: to be so much his useless self that he makes Charlie look good by comparison. But Ray has his own buried feelings to contend with. Decades earlier, he and Emily would listen to jazz when they were alone, and now, as Sarah Vaughan sings through the speakers, he struggles to control everything the sound brings with it. In Kazuo Ishiguro’s hands, a snapshot of domestic realism becomes a miniature masterpiece of memory and forgetting.