~Kindred by Octavia E. Butler~
“Repressive societies always seemed to understand the danger of “wrong” ideas.”
Twenty-six year old Dana lives in California. The year is 1976. She has recently moved into a new home and is suddenly caught up in a mysterious time portal that transports her to 19th century Maryland. In this alternate time, she saves a boy from drowning. He turns out to be her white, slave-holding ancestor.
The plot has depth to it, exploring the complexities of Dana’s relationship with her white husband and her own feelings about her family history. This is a complicated story, one to read and think about. The writing is so good the story pulls you along, but be warned, parts in the narrative are disturbing. Dana is thrust repeatedly into a world where she is a slave and repeatedly has to save her ancestor, regardless of her feelings.
This novel is incredibly well written, the storytelling superb. The writing feels fresh. I did not realize it was written in the seventies until after I finished the book.
Kindred is a unique book. Even if you never read fantasy or sci-fi, you should get this book. I’m not sure who recommended it but I’m glad they did. Part historical fiction and part sci-fi, this novel written by Octavia E. Butler is one I think everyone should read.
This novel is firmly in my notable books pile. If this had been on my radar when I was homeschooling the kids I would have used it in a unit study for my older students.
This book convinced me it is okay to write prologues! Read it and you will see what I mean.