Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

3.5/5 STARS:

I enjoy both science fiction and historical fiction, so I was eager to read “Kindred.” There is even a touch of mystery in this novel. The main character, Dana, is a black woman married to a white man, Kevin, in present time– the 1970’s. They are both writers, which appealed to this writer.

Time travel is tricky, but we are right there with Dana as she organizes the facts in order to make some sense of her time travel back to 1815. The time distortions are craftily portrayed as well.

This is one of those books in which I was waiting for somebody to write and hoped it would be well written. In this story, the slave worked plantation that Dana journeys to is run by tyrants who commit cruelties upon the workers. They, and the patrollers, are inhuman– in fact, there is not one white character of that time with any humanity. But, there is in Kevin, who ends up back in time as well.

Real fear acts as a defense mechanism for survival. Its power transforms. It can cripple you, it can distort your mind, or it can give you extraordinary strength. The reader will love Dana– her strength of character and mind.

This book is obviously a serious novel and not a fun time-traveling story. Butler succeeds in awakening the awareness of slavery in the colonies. Her writing is A+. She takes you back to a horrifying time and place and gives you an artfully suspenseful and unforgettable story. The symbolism, too, will inspire scholastic discussions.

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