Even if you read this when it was awarded the Booker Prize in 1988, it is worth a reread as we say goodbye to Downtown Abbey and observe the fading away of centuries of English homes and royalty. Ishiguro, perhaps unknowingly, participated it this thirty years ago.
Stevens, the head butler of Darlington Hall, tells his story through reminiscences about his service. I wish he had seized the many moments that would have given him a fuller personal life, but clearly his goal was always to be a perfect butler. He quickly dismisses any regrets and doubts about his service to Lord Darlington. One could conclude that he was his own worst enemy, stuck in tradition, but he didn’t seem to allow himself to feel any such negativity for long. Maybe that’s what matters.