“Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro is my favorite type of book. Science fiction delving into the social science of the effect of technology on society, relationships, and the overall human experience.
In the not-so-distant future, parents buy their adolescent children an artificial friend, called an AF, that is part friend, part nanny, that interacts with the child, learns their likes and dislikes, and also uses AI to learn and anticipate what to do to best prepare the child for changing circumstances.
The story revolves around Klara, the AF of Josie, a teen with an unspoken life-threatening illness. Her parents are divorced and she lives with her mother and barely sees her father. Klara is a “special” B2 model AF with brilliant observation skills and general awareness of the personalities, needs, and interactions of the household she resides in. Josie’s mother, the housekeeper, Josie’s boyfriend and neighbor, Rick, all play an integral part in the story development and unpacking the meaning of love and family. Josie’s life-threatening illness looms large over everyone’s interactions and their outlook on the future.
There are so many interesting avenues to think on and discuss with this book. It would make a great read for a book club to get different perspectives and ideas about what is next, what is love, do we have a soul, and other big questions about life and existence.
I don’t want to give anything else away, but I would definitely recommend you add this one to your TBR list.