Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Review: Kindred

July's book club pick was Kindred.  I know I'm a little late, but the computer issues really threw me off.  Although Kindred was first published over 30 years ago, somehow, the book has resurged and everyone is raving again.  Essence magazine recently reviewed the book, and a friend casually suggested that it was a great book with so many twists and turns.

In summation, Kindred is a story about a modern day young woman teleporting back to the plantation of her ancestors during pre-Civil War days.  Dana, the main character, has to figure out where she is, what's going on, survival in such a dangerous place, and being careful not to change the events of the past so that she can have the same future outcomes.  All in all, I give it two thumbs up!

I would have liked a little more detail, that's just me though, I love word pictures.  There were also some unanswered questions that you kind of have to over look so that the book can continue to make sense, which is one thing that I loathe about writing.  I don't mind cliffhangers where you have to use your imagination to complete the story.  However, I do not like when there are details that are not addressed that make all the premises of the book look absurd.

Kindred is considered a science fiction book, which I really don't care for, however, I believe it's only claim to sci-fi is that the main character is going back in time.  The book is not heavily saturated with big words and scientific jargon.

In summation, Kindred is a good read, however, it won't be the best book you've ever read.  You will learn some things and it will challenge your thinking about a past that we so graciously missed being a part of.  Thank God!


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  1. Thanks for the review TiAnna. I really really loved Kindred. I agree with you in terms of the Science Fiction aspect of the piece - I don't think that Butler delves that far into why / how the main character is able to teleport back to the past and she definitely does not tie it into any other greater meaning - other than securing Dana's family lineage. Yet, this is also the reason why I fell in love with the piece. I appreciate having the history told from this 1st personal narrative. The book in many ways reads like a fiction slave narrative -however, it allows us a unique opportunity to tie in the perspective of a modern day black woman who has a story / past very similar to many of our own -- Jamila

  2. You're dead on Jamila! I did enjoy the modern person's view of that time period. I don't think I would've been able to cope. I would've been like Alice. What did you think of everyone being so accepting and not questiong that she was able to disappear and reappear? Also, they seemed to accept that she was married to a white man. So unrealistic if you ask me. Also, they didn't question her modern medicine or jeans for goodness sakes. I need an answer!

  3. Maybe because back then they were very superstitious and inherited a lot of their ancestors beliefs about spirits and such. Or maybe they really thought she was a ghost of some sort and not from another time period but from another world.That might explain the slaves reaction. Everybody else I think were just really afraid.

  4. @Jereka- You are so right about the ghosts and spirits tip. Now I need to re-read the book under the assumption that everyone that she was a ghost. JK! I crack myself up. LOL!

  5. sounds interesting...i really hate when a book doesn't tie up loose ends though, introduces a plot point and in no way resolves it :-/ or doesn't explain a major facet (being able to teleport through time would most certainly count lol)



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