Kindred by Octavia Butler

Kindred, by classic science fiction author Octavia Butler, is a novel about a Black woman from 1970s Los Angeles who finds herself repeatedly pulled back in time to pre-Civil War Maryland, where she must save the life of her white ancestor. While there, she experiences the horrors of slavery first-hand and is forced to make difficult choices in order to stay alive and return home.

Written in plain, stark language, this powerful book is a quick and compelling read that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

I originally picked this book up because I’ve heard other people compare it to Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: both feature a smart, capable female protagonist who is transported against her will to a barbaric past, and both also explore how this experience changes the protagonist’s relationship with her husband. Unlike Outlander, Kindred is very much not a romance, but if you liked the darker historical aspects of Outlander, you should definitely give this a try!

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