Book Report: Kindred, by Octavia E. Butler

A few months ago, a friend gave me a book by Octavia E. Butler called Parable of the Sower. It was written in the 90s and accurately predicted a Trump-like politician. His slogan is even “Make America Great Again”. The setting is in the 2020s and 2030s, which was in the future when Ms. Butler wrote it. It was so intriguing that I finished it and tore into its sequel, Parable of the Talents. I then mentioned these books to another friend and we did a book swap of my Parable novels and her Kindred book by Octavia E. Butler. I will do a book report on the Parable novels, but I just finished Kindred and want to process it.

It’s a compelling time-travel, sci-fi story written in the 70s. The main character is a modern Black woman who gets unexpectedly transported back into the American antebellum south when the monstrous practice of slavery of Black people was alive and well. It is a gripping tale that I found absolutely captivating. I finished the novel in two days. It’s not a long read, but I’ve been struggling with my attention span and general disinterest in reading. It was brilliantly refreshing to be captivated by a story again.

I should state that there is much violence against Black bodies in this novel. It’s absolutely maddening; however, I found the characters enthralling, complex. Ms. Butler’s writing style is informative yet brief. The ending is abrupt and final. A triumph, in a way. I would recommend this novel if you are in a place where you have the capacity to experience the south from a modern Black woman’s perspective.

Thanks for reading!

xMaegan

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