"Kindred," by Octavia E Butler

Novel, 1979

A novel following two present day (1979) characters, one of whom is summoned back in time to help an ancestor in peril. A book with an absolutely cracking beginning, which isn’t quite sustained, but serves as a great platform for exploring questions of identity, gender and family through contrasting modern times and attitudes to those of America in the time of slavery. The empathy and understanding of the slaves and their masters is striking. The balance between those musings and the storytelling’s a fine one – occasionally tipped, but more often than not, well judged.

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