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Merle

Merle

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Kindred - Octavia E. Butler

This is a short, intense book about a young woman who is drawn back in time from her comfortable life in 1970s California to a Maryland plantation in the early 19th century. It isn’t science fiction; Butler uses time travel to bring home a story about slavery and its brutality, and the way it deforms the personalities of everyone involved. The book is fast-paced, very readable, and although written in the 70s, doesn’t feel a bit dated in 2015. Dana is a sympathetic protagonist, though perhaps because the book is so short, neither her real life nor the supporting characters get much development. Kindred isn’t my new favorite, but it is an intelligent and gripping read.