One-Minute Book Review


Tense, uncomfortable, suspenseful. Occasionally humorous.

Writing Style

Straight-forward, tell-it-like-it-is. Brutal reality is conveyed in simple language, allowing all attention to be on the story.


1976 Los Angeles. Early 19th century Maryland.

Main Characters

Dana: Intelligent, courageous, practical. A writer.

Kevin: Dana’s husband. Also a writer. Dedicated and loyal. A bit dense.

Rufus Weylin: Dana’s white, slave-owning ancestor. Weak, intense, controlling, violent, needy.

Plot & Pacing

A black woman, living in 1976, inexplicably time travels to 19th century Maryland and her ancestor’s slave plantation. She soon determines she’s meant to save his life, ensuring her family’s existence in the present. A page-turner, to say the least. It’s not really about the mechanics of time travel, but about the evolution of attitudes and opinions, how we can hate and love at the same time, and how our preconceived ideas or judgments must always be revised. Despite the literary ideas, it reads quickly.


Slavery, and all of the complicated truths and realities that accompany the institution.

Overall Impression

I’ve never read Octavia Butler before, but I will read more of her work. Kindred examined difficult issues without casting a verdict on either side. Wonderfully written.


Five stars.

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