Sunday, 20 January 2019

Kindred - Octavia E Butler

Honestly! Where to start?! What a fascinating read! Just finished reading this book and what an experience it was. . I was kind of nervous about this book as I don’t ordinarily purposely consume things that I think I’m going to have a bad reaction to.... and issues concerning slavery tend to make me react badly! But the synopsis of the book made me curious and gave me hope.

I’m grateful I didn’t chicken out because I found it to be fascinating... engaging... thought provoking.... informative ... but the main feeling I had when I read this book was CONFUSION!!! 

The story upset me plenty! There were parts where I had to sit up straight to read! There were parts that made my toes extend as far as they could! Some parts I cursed out loud! But more than anything this book forced me to look at slavery closely and from the perspective of not only the slave ... but the damn slave owner... in particular RUFUS! 

The perplexing and intricate relationships he had with Dana ... Alice... and to some extent his father showed me how you can love, disregard and (want to) destroy a person all at the same time. . I... like Dana was confused about how I felt about Rufus. Despite his petulance and wretched behaviour ... I pitied him... kind of wanted to care for him and always hoped he’d somehow ... one day ... see the light and gave him the benefit of the doubt.

But the way he’d flip between friend and enemy within a split second made me feel dizzy and distrusting. Yet, like Dana... somehow I’d always forgive him... and feel like a complete idiot for it. ‘White n*gger’ shame! 

I could go on for ages unpicking this book. But all I’ll say is read it! I think most people will enjoy it. I started it thinking ... wooooah this is all a bit too fantastical... but very quickly became consumed by it and enjoyed it for what it is ... a sci-fi... with lashings of historical context and a lesson on humanity ... that I genuinely really relished reading. . 

Ms Octavia E Butler... Thank you! RIP

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