I’m not quite sure how to write about Kindred by Octavia Butler and it’s been over a week since I’ve finished it. It’s a fascinating book about a woman who’s living in 1976 but gets pulled back into the antebellum south in order to save her ancestor. And as she continues to get pulled back she stays for varying lengths of time and becomes more and more a part of life in the first half of the 1800s.
The structure of the book is amazing, with Dana never knowing when she’ll go back in time but figuring out how to control things to get herself home. And as Dana spends more time in the pre Civil War south she makes friends, she gets to know how life is lived, and she herself changes in order to survive. And Dana’s husband, who is white, goes back with her and experiences how much different life is for him as a white man and her as a black woman in that time.
This is a book that made me think, in good ways, but it was also uncomfortable and difficult to read at times. I do recommend it, Butler’s writing is so fantastic and she builds her characters so well and the way in which Dana goes back and forth in time is fascinating. But, like Butler’s Parable series, it isn’t always easy to read.