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September 2017: American > Kindred by Butler (4 stars)

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message 1: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1545 comments How is it possible that I have gone through life without reading any Octavia Butler?

Part time-travel, part fantasy, part historical fiction, Kindred is a thought provoking and really smart book. Dana is a 26 year old African American woman in an interracial marriage in 1976. Shortly before her birthday she is mysteriously dragged back in time to a pre-civil war era on Maryland plantation. As the book progresses, Dana is shuffled back and forth in time between 1976 and the early 1800s. She discovers her ancestors in the process.

Kindred is a really fascinating and pretty terrifying novel. It explores racism, gender, and power and draws some interesting comparisons and contrasts between the two eras. The heart of each family unit is made up of an interracial "couple" and while the circumstances for each woman are completely different, the burden in both cases is placed on the women.

It wasn't exactly an enjoyable read given the subject matter and some scenes are really hard and emotional to read. Yet, I enjoyed the way in which the author made me think, not just about race and gender relationships but also about how it would be like to experience certain things that happened in our past from a modern day perspective.


message 2: by Diane (new)

Diane Zwang | 485 comments My son read this for his summer reading assignment for school. I really wanted to read it with him but I had too many other books on my plate. Sounds like I missed a great book. Maybe someday I will get to it.


message 3: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1545 comments Diane wrote: "My son read this for his summer reading assignment for school. I really wanted to read it with him but I had too many other books on my plate. Sounds like I missed a great book. Maybe someday I wil..."

Your son didn’t like it, right? How come? I think it would be a good book to elicit discussion.


message 4: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments You rated it higher than I did. I felt really let down to be honest. It lacked the depth that I was expecting and I didn't feel much of an emotional connection despite the subject matter. I also found parts of it unbelievable.


message 5: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 8132 comments This made my favourites list the year I read it! Here is one we agree on, Jen! :-)


message 6: by Diane (new)

Diane Zwang | 485 comments Jen wrote: "Diane wrote: "My son read this for his summer reading assignment for school. I really wanted to read it with him but I had too many other books on my plate. Sounds like I missed a great book. Maybe..."

Well I couldn't get a straight answer out of my son but he said because it was about history he didn't like it. He claims that 'nobody' liked it in his class. He does prefer non-fiction to fiction now so maybe that was it. He will be reading Of Mice and Men for English this year and I am hoping he likes that.


message 7: by Barbara M (new)

Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2191 comments LibraryCin wrote: "This made my favourites list the year I read it! Here is one we agree on, Jen! :-)"

Me too - a favorite!


message 8: by annapi (new)

annapi | 4916 comments I loved this one. I felt it stands the test of time. And that opening sentence! One of the best opening lines ever.


message 9: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5645 comments It was only a 3-star read for me. I thought it was an interesting take on the topic, but it didn't really float my boat.


message 10: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 696 comments I haven't read any by this author either. I keep eyeing them but still haven't read one.


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