Rating: 5 / 5
KINDRED by Octavia E. Butler has been on my shelf for a long time and on my TBR for even longer, so I was pleased to add this one to my February TBR for a book by a woman of color reading prompt and for Black History Month.
KINDRED follows Dana, a young black woman who wakes up in the hospital as the book opens to learn that she has lost one of her arms. There isn’t much revealed about how this came to be, but the story leaves you wanting more. From here we jump back in time. Dana has recently moved into a new home with her white husband. While working on unpacking Dana is mysteriously transported to the past. She saves a drowning white boy before being whipped back just as mysteriously to her present day. As far as her husband knows she was only gone a few moments, though Dana knows it was much longer for her.
Completely without her control, Dana keeps returning to the past, discovering that the past she is visiting is in the time of slavery in the south. As her stays in the past become longer, she is subjected to the first hand reality of the life of a slave. She must try to figure out why she is being pulled back and protect herself and those around her.
I really loved the book! It was not an easy read seeing Dana faced with the realities of her inhuman treatment in antebellum Maryland, but I found Butler’s writing to be beautifully done. As Dana keeps going back to different points in the past, she centers in on the same boy she rescued from drowning. She is able to share a bit with him about her life in the modern day and try to instill in him an understanding that she is his equal, not property. She is up against the culture in which this boy has been raised to believe that slavery is just.
I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to read more from Octavia E. Butler in the near future!
Reading Challenge Categories:
#PopsugarReadingChallenge – A book by a WOC