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Book Review: Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

Octavia Butler (Google images)

I stumbled upon the sci-fi book Kindred while watching a trailer for the new Janelle Monae movie Antebellum on Youtube. I noticed that people compared the film to Kindred in the comment section, and I immediately looked it up on Amazon. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a Black woman had written it. I had never come across a Black woman author that wrote sci-fi. I quickly learned that Octavia Butler is often referred to as the "grand dame of science fiction." and I was immediately intrigued.

I could not put this book down and suffered from severe book hangover once I finished reading it! I couldn't stop thinking about it for weeks. Kindred is a story about time travel. Dana, a young Black woman, is suddenly snatched from her California home in 1976 while celebrating her birthday with her new husband and transported back to the 1800s antebellum South. She is drawn back repeatedly to the slave quarters of one particular plantation. The truth about her family ancestry starts to unravel each time she goes back. This book not only covers the topic of slavery, but it also explores colorism, interracial relationships, and sacrifice.

I'll admit I was a little skeptical of the book's topic; I tend to shy away from books on slavery as they sometimes become too depressing to get through. However, I enjoyed Octavia's writing and storytelling. I loved the character development. Although some of the graphic scenes of abuse were tough to get through, I appreciated her accurate and real depictions of how slavery was during that era.

If you enjoy sci-fi and you're looking for a page-turner, I highly recommend this book! I've already purchased another title by Octavia called Parable of the Sower that I can't wait to read. I also look forward to checking out the film Antebellum which will be available for streaming September 18th. Anyone else an Octavia Butler fan?


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