❝The ease. Us, the children… I never realized how easily people could be trained to accept slavery❞
- Kindred, Octavia Butler -

Synopsis book

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time and during numerous such time-defying episodes, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother. But each time she travels to the antebellum South the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

Why Should you pick up this book and/ or the audiobook ?

Because it’s a challenging read and if you manage to get through it ... it will touch you and inevitably change you.

My 1st attempt at reading this classic novella backfired because I was definitely in the mood for a sci-fi time travel story, but I just was not in the right head space to be transported back to the antebellum South.

I also thought it was just going to be another slave narrative with sci-fi elements. Technically this is exactly what Kindred is. But it’s also a slave memoir, fantasy and a historical fiction novel. The reader doesn’t only get a true to life depiction of the atrocities slaves had to deal with on a daily basis, they also get to wrap their mind around how the system of oppression that was set in place in the past still effects the present.

What are the cons or better yet triggers!!

If you decide the aforementioned is your jam, I feel pressed to warn you upfront ... the at times derogatory language, the whippings and anything else about slavery that will have you cringe, are not sugar coated or embellished by sentences full of flowery words. This is a straightforward narrative in very simple speech to make sure that this story is accessible for everyone. Meaning that Octavia Butler writes in such a way that everyone will be able to imagine how a whipping must have felt and if whipping wasn’t threatening enough you will be able to understand the other ways that were utilized to keep slaves from running.

Needless to say that at times this book was an almost visceral experience and although I can usually finish 287 pages within a week ... it took me over a month. The main reason I didn’t put the book away, is because of a post on NPR ( Octavia Butler: Writing Herself Into The Story by Karen Grigsby Bates, July 10 2017 ) that details why Octavia wrote this book and how much research went into making the reading experience as realistic as possible. After I read the article I immediately understood that the discomfort I felt while reading the book was deliberate and why Octavia Butler is a multiple recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula award.

Verdict = ☆☆☆☆☆

This book is basically written for people like Kanye West, people that are of the opinion that slavery was a choice. People who think they know, but clearly have no idea. But it’s also for people who need to be made aware of the past and realize that is because of the strength of many of our ancestors (black & white) we have opportunities they couldn’t even phantom. Because of them we can and it’s good to realize how blessed and fortunate we are to have come so far.

Reacties op: A perfect blend of Sci-Fi & historical fiction

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