Kindred by Octavia Butler
Science Fiction and Historical Fiction are both genres that I’ve always enjoyed but never become super invested in. I really like what I’ve read, but I won’t become obsessed with the genre and dedicate myself to 20-book world-building sci-fi series. So when I was reading a profile about Octavia Butler and her book Kindred, I was immediately interested. A one-off about a woman from the 70s who is transported through time and space to a slave plantation in the 1800s? That sounds amazing!
And it was.
I don’t want to spoil a lot. But I will say this is a great look at a lot of different aspects of America’s history pertaining to slavery. It shows different peoples’ perspectives of the time, and shows how people can become accustomed to just about anything if they need to do so to survive. It also shows how book-knowledge of a subject doesn’t necessarily translate to a real-world understanding. It questions judgements that people make about people in certain situations. It also highlights the dangers of going back in time for anyone who isn’t a white man.
Just a note, some people qualify this as science fiction, because that is largely what Butler wrote. She argued with that designation, because it has very little science in it. But it does involve (unexplained) time travel, so I would probably consider it at least of interest to those who like science fiction- as not all science fiction explains the science necessary for the fiction to happen.
Overall, this was a great book and I will definitely be reading more of Butler’s work.