My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Content warnings: mentions of rape, slurs (namely the n-word), talk of slavery as it pertains to the antebellum South, talk of death, murder, physical abuse, whipping, suicide
This book, while interesting as shit, was hard. I’m glad I read it. REALLY glad. But it was hard. I can see why Octavia Butler is hailed as much as she is particularly amongst black women (both authors and readers). Just…holy crap. I FELT like I was there. That I wasn’t just reading it but experiencing it (only thankfully without the pain that the main character felt).
I can imagine that writing this for the author could have been painful because lets face it, my white American ancestors were assholes to everyone not white, and/or it could have been cathartic in it’s own way. I can definitely say that reading about slavery from the perspective of a black person (as opposed to reading history books that are, let’s face it, majority written from white people’s perspectives). I mean, I’m not stupid enough to believe most of the lies that history likes to try and tell us. But it’s different to read from a person’s perspective who, had they been born a century earlier (or less actually since it hasn’t been that long since slavery has been abolished) could have experienced it first hand than it is to read from the perspective of yet another white person trying to tell us how the people we were enslaving felt about it (which I’ll give may have been true for a minuscule amount of the population but not for all of them).
But yeah. Those content warnings? If ANY of those have negative affects on your health, DO NOT read this book. It’s a good book yes. But not worth someone causing themselves harm (emotionally, physically, mentally, etc) just to try and read it.
All in all, I enjoyed the book. When I wasn’t mentally (and sometimes physically) flinching and mentally crying over the atrocities that happened in it.
Buy it here: