Sunday, January 15, 2017

Book Review: Kindred by Octavia Butler

Kindred is one of those books I've been meaning to read the last couple of years and only finally got around to it. The story involves Dana, a 26 year old, newly married black woman in 1976 Los Angeles who inexplicably, and without warning, travels to a 1815 Maryland plantation owned by slaveholder, Tom Weylin. In her first trip, Dana saves Tom's son, Rufus, and quickly returns to her own time. After a second trip where Dana saves Rufus' life again, she realizes a few things. First, Rufus is her ancestor. Second, Dana seems to travel to the past whenever Rufus' life is in danger. Third, Dana can only get back to the present when her own life seems to be in danger. Fourth, no matter how much time has passed in the past, only a few minutes or hours pass in the present. Fifth, being a black woman in the antebellum South is a very dangerous.

Although it ultimately took me 4 days to finish this book, it really was very hard for me to put it down. I was completely enthralled with Octavia Butler's writing. She made the whole story come alive and I found Dana to be a complete heroine, someone I could identify with despite the fact that I am not black, and have never experienced the kind of bigotry she does. I think it was more Dana's spirit and direct approach that I enjoyed. I highly recommend. Best book so far in 2017.

P.S. This book also fulfilled the following challenge categories:

The #2017FullHouseReadingChallenge - Category: Diversity Book
The #2017AudioBookChallenge - No Category
The #2017PopSugarReadingChallenge - Category 32: Main Character has different ethnicity than me
The #2017ReadHarderChallenge - Category 17: A classic by an author of color

The #2017MonthlyMotifChallenge - January: Diversify Your Reading


  1. It does sound like good reading, and outside my normal range as well. The only time travel books I've read are Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. A few of those.

    1. I am so late in responding back to comments on my blog, but thank you! I'm a huge fan of time travel and alternate histories/realities. Another book in that vein I have in my TBR list is "Underground Airlines" by Ben Winters. It's apparently an alternate history where slavery is still in four states of the USA in present day. Abraham Lincoln was never president and the Civil War was never fought. Some sort of underground network conspires to send slaves to the free states via airplane. It sounds really interesting!