I know it is complete cliche to claim that a book was so good that you could hardly put it down, but that is exactly how I felt about "Kindred". Butler draws you in in the prologue by opening with the protagonist, Dana in the hospital with a missing arm.
I'm not going to give a summery of the book. It is really one everyone should read for themselves. What I am going to do is lay out why I absolutely loved this book. First, it presents an interesting twist on the slave narrative. I recently became enticed by these stories and read one whenever I could get my hands on them. "Kindred" is labelled as a science fiction, and I was completely curious to see how an author would tackle the issues of slavery in a science fiction perspective. What I soon realized upon reading the book is that this label is a misnomer. "Kindred" is more of a fantasy than anything else. It leads the reader through the complicated world of an African-American woman born in 1976 who is somehow teleported or warped back to the 1819 antebellum South. Trippy.
Another interesting twist is that Dana is married to a white man. This adds a layer of complication to the feelings that Dana must be having.
As for Butler's style, it is well above most author's that I have read. The pace is "fast" and yet "slow" all at the same time. You feel that things are happening quickly, but in a drawn out manner that makes them feel real. (You'll understand better once you read the book.) Butler's word choice is crisp and clean, and she does not over-exaggerate the "negro speech" like most books tend to do. The slaves in this book sound like my grandmother, grandfather, and many of my relatives that still live in Alabama. It makes them completely relateable, which makes the book that much more powerful.
Well, this post is running long so I will just sum up by saying one must read this novel. It is well worth the time, effort, and energy.