booklady's Reviews > Kindred

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
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's review
Apr 28, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011, adventure, classic, crime, fantasy, fiction, historical-fiction, literature, mystery, sci-fi, travel, favorites

Although I'm not usually one for the time-travel, sci-fi or fantasy genres, this book—which is all three—worked for me. It will probably top the list as the most unusual book I'll read all year and yet, it was still incredibly believable.

Dana, a black woman, is married to Kevin who is white; they live in mid 1970’s California until Dana begins to be involuntarily pulled back in time to early 19th century Maryland to rescue a distant relative. It doesn’t take Dana long to figure out her own existence depends on far more than just bringing unwilling ancestors together. She must also negotiate unfamiliar customs, language, and manners, endure pain of every type imaginable and determine how to remain alive during one of the most hostile times in history for those with black skin. Most of these skills are not things Dana has had to give any thought to in her sheltered environment over one hundred fifty years and thousands of miles later.

Rufus, the white son of the plantation owner, summons Dana every time she returns, although neither of them realize at first it is when his life is in jeopardy that Dana travels across the years to save him. Conversely, when Dana's life is in danger, she can escape back to her own time. Ms. Butler uses these life-and-death turning points to keep the story and her readers on edge throughout.

A sharp, well-written work of fiction. Intense and violent at times.

Recommended this to my daughter and she loved it!
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