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Book Review: Music From The Dead by Bebe Faas Rice

Music From The Dead by Bebe Faas Rice is a young adult horror novel originally published in April 1997.  Marnie and her cousin Peter drive up to the mansion that Marnie's father rented for the summer ahead of her father.  When the cousins arrive at the mansion called Stonycraig and settle in, Marnie is nervous because she thought she saw a shadow in one of the windows.  Then, she starts hearing a woman crying late at night.  Are the stories about Stonycraig being haunted true? This is a book I originally read as a teenager, and I remember being impressed by the storyline and writing.  I recently decided to reread it as an adult to see if it was as good as I remembered.  I have to say it was phenomenal.  Well-written and unputdownable.   Even though there were parts that came back to me as I made my way through Music From The Dead , I still found it to be perfectly eerie and creepy.  There was even a little bit of romance but nothing inappropriate for a tween or teen.  The only com

Book Review: Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

book review kindred octavia e butler

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler is the first science fiction novel written by a Black woman and is part memoir, part fantasy, and part historical fiction. The book opens with Dana, an African American woman in 1976 Los Angeles, California, who is transported back to 1815 Maryland and saves a drowning white boy.  However, she finds herself fearing for her life when the boys father, a slave owner, is pointing his shotgun at her.

This is a novel that was selected by the book club I belong to for our September Book Club Meeting.  I had heard of Kindred but had no idea what it was about.  I don't read a lot of science fiction because I typically don't enjoy it.  However, I was pleasantly surprised how intriguing the story was, and it sucked me in from the start.

Well-written.  Engaging.  Unputdownable.  These are just some of the words that I'd use to describe Octavia E. Butler's Kindred.  I find myself still thinking about the book long after finishing it.  The characters were brought to life so well that I felt I was right there with them.  The author does a phenomenal job at showing the reader what slavery was like and what might happen if a Black person from today's time was sucked into an America that still had slavery.  Although this is a work of fiction, it feels like it really happened mostly because of the situations being very real things that took place in American history.  Additional themes in this novel include racism, rape, and suicide.

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler has definitely stood the test of time.  It's hard to believe that it was published a little over 43 years ago.  I give it five out of five stars, and I'll definitely be reading the author's other works.


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