It is a horrifying novel, where the reader naturally felt the nearness of such a possibility.
The clones grow up and get educated at Hailsham, a residential school. They learn various forms of arts, skills and normal education; but are subjected to very frequent and distressing medical surveillance. We see the difference between the clones and humans even at this early stage. This does not mean that there are no similarities, because there are, especially in the friendship and caring relationship between Kathy, Ruth and Tommy is an example of normalcy. Their second existence in the cottages has more complications as they are now exposed to the outer world of real humans. The awkward childhood between Ruth and Tommy slowly blossoms into a romance. The disappointment of the group after meeting the woman whom they thought could be Ruth's originator in Norfolk is all too real to be ignored.
The reality of being a donor and a clone hits the reader hard in the third part when both Tommy and Ruth fulfil the reality of their birth and life as clones by becoming donors. While dying, Ruth regrets her having stepped between a possible relationship between Tommy and Kathy and insists that they should pursue their feelings for one another by delaying the donor goal. From then on the book becomes a harrowing experience when Kathy and Tommy come to know from their previous teacher that the artistic skills they were urged to develop, was a mere experiment to establish that even the cloned individuals had souls of their own, like the ordinary mortals ("because they revealed your soul"). The experiment at Hailsham was mainly to probe into the cloned humans, their skills, creativity and reactions, and it was only to find ready donors of the organs. Hailsham gets closed for the failure of teachers in changing the attitude of the society towards the cloned people. With Tommy's death and the bleak future of Kathy as another donor, the ending cannot be called positive.
The cloned people seemed to be more on the edge and rather cruel in their dealings; but they are not devoid of human emotions. We get a feeling that they are incapable of showing the full extent of the emotions. Tommy's isolation and difficulty in communication and Ruth's exuberant attitude are all very human. The difference between the created and naturally born humans is a glaring fact, mainly due to the diverse circumstances in which they are placed. Children without surnames, homes and parents have to be different from the ones who have them all. But it does not prevent them from forming friendships and relationships. Human society does not accept them as normal. At the same time, they have difficulties in accepting their own impending fate, although they, especially Kathy, accept it eventually. The eventual fate is hanging over their life and a normal existence becomes impossible under the circumstances. They stare at the human society from the fringe, awe-struck and apprehensive. They were orphans of a different kind, where even an ordinary future supported by either the State or society is unavailable. As Miss Emily says: "''I can see 'that it might look as though you were simply pawns in a game. It can certainly be looked at like that.'' They can hardly venture into a career or an independent life of their own, due to the impending pre-ordained fate.
Still, Tommy's fits of temper and the fight between Kathy and Ruth for his