My latest book club read was the book Kindred by Octavia Butler. We selected this book because I saw Indy Reads Books shared it on their Facebook page as their February book of the month. I didn’t know much about it, but my book club decided to give it a chance.
The whole point of my book club is to read books outside of our norm. The book takes place in 1976 and the main character is a black woman who travels back in time to pre-Civil War times. She’s married to a white man in present time. When she (and eventually her husband) travels back in time, her husband is her “owner” and she’s a “slave.” It’s peculiar how easily she assimilates into slave life. I understand how she needed to align with the slaves for her safety, but it seemed so easy for her. I also had hoped her husband’s character could have been developed more.
During our discussion about the book, we agreed the title Kindred didn’t work well for us either. Without giving too much away, we didn’t agree with how she felt about her ancestry and why she felt kindred to them.
This book was definitely a tough read. It’s so hard for me to understand why people ever thought it was okay to treat other people the way they did. Or the beatings and abuse black people endured. It’s painful. Several times I had to walk away from the book for awhile because it became too much for me.
Kindred did introduce me to a new word: antebellum. The only time I’d ever heard this word was about the country group Lady Antebellum. As far as I knew, the word was someone’s last name. Apparently, antebellum means before the Civil War. Even though my book club was still a bit confused about Lady Antebellum’s name, we decided it was meant to explain their kinship with a lack of flair.