I literally read this book 6 months ago, but kept putting off writing the review because there’s no way anything I can say will do any justice to Kindred. Seriously, Octavia Butler is working on a completely different level than most authors. If I were a teacher, I’d be pushing this on my students like crazy.
Dana, a black woman, and Kevin, a white man, are a married couple living in the 1970s. They’re both very modern, educated people. On Dana’s 26th birthday, she is suddenly transported to a different time and place just in time to save a young white boy from drowning. Just as suddenly, she jumps back to the 1970s when the little boy’s father threatens her with his rifle. She and Kevin don’t understand or believe what is happening at first, but they start to comprehend that Dana is summoned to the antebellum South every time the little boy, Rufus, is in mortal danger. To make matters even more complicated, Rufus is her ancestor and she doesn’t want to accidentally change something that will snatch her out of existence.
While technically this is fantasy novel, it might be more at home on the horror shelves. Kindred is scarier than most books I’ve read. The only thing worse than being a black woman in the antebellum South is being a modern black woman in the antebellum South. Not only did Butler make me feel all the feelings over the course of this book, but her writing is absolute perfection. I almost want to time travel back to my school days just so I can write a ten page essay on the themes and motifs in Kindred. Butler joined a cracking plot with jaw-dropping prose, making this one of the best books I’ve ever read. But don’t just take my word for it, check out Mrs Smith Reads and Narfna‘s 5 star reviews.