Kindred Review

I have to say I did love the way the book was written – the beauty yet brutality of the Old South came alive in these pages.  This book came out the year my son was born – it amazing to me how far we’ve come as a society since even then.

OK, Goodreads says this about the book:

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned across the years to save him. After this first summons, Dana is drawn back, again and again, to the plantation to protect Rufus and ensure that he will grow to manhood and father the daughter who will become Dana’s ancestor. Yet each time Dana’s sojourns become longer and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not her life will end, long before it has even begun.

I will try not to give away too much of the book and will limit my review because of how absolutely angry I was with Dana in the end. I do understand the ending, but it still made me angry.  I can’t tell you why without giving away the book so that is pretty much all I can say.

The book is excellent – people who liked “The Help” would probably like this book as well.  It breaks my heart to read what life was like on plantations back in those days – how so many people suffered at the hands of men blinded by their own power but also who didn’t know any better.  African-American people of the past gave their lives so that their future generations could be free.  Free to be as mediocre as the rest of society.

People have asked me why I don’t like reading books steeped in history – this is why.  I see how people were treated, how hard they had to fight to win equality, and how now few people even give it a second thought.  My heart hurts for the people in the past.  My heart hurts for the solders of today too which is why I won’t watch or read war books either – they fight for something with meaning and such a passion that I feel stilted and insignificant. I have deep feelings about many things but that has not been enough to inspire me to act on my beliefs.  Look at all the battles that are still waiting to be fought – yet I do not act.  The passion isn’t there – I’m too apathetic and that is something I find hard to admit about myself.  All my youth I spouted off about people being too apathetic yet here I am, being exactly what I never thought I would be.

This is, of course, the mark of a good book if it can get a person challenging their beliefs and the allowances they make in life.  This was a good book and I know I will get over my anger toward Dana.  I recommend it and easily give it an A.

The Lantern

Beyond in the rising hills to the east, the first shivers of the Alps heft the land further into the sky. There the fields are corded purple,forever that long-ago summer when she scythed and bent with the other girls, the women, and the elderly to pick lavender flowers for the perfume factory.

While the descriptors are wonderful, it is hard to keep going when each paragraph is like that.  Where is the storyline? I find myself not caring about who did what to home when so far, by page 35, there has been maybe 15 lines of dialogue – the rest has been these kinds of descriptions and now they are wearing kind of thin.

If the book doesn’t pick up soon with the actual storyline, I’m afraid I’m going to have to shelve it for now because it is putting me to sleep.  I was so looking forward to reading this book but seriously, lets get something going soon please! The first pages are supposed to captivate and propel you through the book but this book fails to do that – I’ve found myself reading chapters a couple times to try and figure out what significance they could possibly have to the story.  I come up empty.  There are writers who are like those who love to hear themselves talk – they write on and on when less said would have been more.