Friday, February 4, 2011


About a week ago, a couple friends and I started a book club at our high school. And the first book we all(only three at the time) decided to read was  Kindred.

At first I was hesitant, because technically it is a science fiction, which isn't my favorite genre ( better than fantasy). But after the first fifty pages, I couldn't put it down.

The main character is an African - American woman who lives life in the mid 1970's. She is living in a time where  blacks are accepted by most of the population, but there are still a few remaining racists out there. She is recently married to a white man and neither of the families are excited by the bondage. However, she and her husband live a happy life as writers and it is a happy fairy tale beginning.

But one night as they are shelving their enormous collection of books, Dana faints for no apparent reason. When she wakes, she is in a completely different place. She is lying in the mud next to a stream. As she collects her bearings she hears cries of help from a distressed mother. As she looks to see what the situation is, she notices a small boy drowning in the stream. Her naturally kind reflexes take over and she jumps in to help the boy.

But when she takes the child to the mother, she practically slaps Dana for her efforts. Dana, trying to ignore the woman starts preforming mouth to mouth on the boy. Finally, the boy throws up and everything seems fine, but as she turns around she meets the barrel of a gun held by a stout man that must be the boys father. Frightened by this, she passes out and wakes up next to her husband, who is very concerned since his wife had disappeared for a few moments.

 It turns out, Dana traveled back in time to the year 1819, right in the middle of a time where the whole country treats black people worse than dirt. The reason she traveles is because the boy (who she saves many times) will eventually father a relative of Dana's. Her job is to make sure history stays the same.

The book, although it sounds a little corny, is actually a good read. Octavia Butler does a great job at not giving the time travel a Star Wars sci- fi feel. The book is more about African -American history, and the book is fitting for this month. I give the book 7 stars out of 10.

If you are reluctant to read this book because of the time travel , I would seriously reconsider. It may surprise you.

Even if this book sounds terrible to you, I may have a few other options. The New York Times Best Seller List is usually where I look for a good read that has recently been published. Here is a link.

I recommend The Help. It may be hard to obtain, but it is worth it.

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