Author: Octavia E. Butler
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press (September 15, 1988)
Category: Science Fiction/Young Adult
Butler creates a path to explore what women in the twentieth century would be like if they landed back in the time of slavery. Through some sort of time travel, Dana Franklin, a black woman writer, travels between 1976 and the time of slavery. She encounters a white boy, Rufus, and saves his life. Upon saving him, his father begins beating Dana and she travels back to 1976. Often she is thrown back in time, where she must learn the rules of being a slave and unwillingly follows those rules to stay alive. The timing of her travel becomes clear. When “Slave Master” Rufus’s life is in danger, modern day Dana comes in and saves the day. Thankfully, when Dana’s life is in danger she gets to go home to her white husband (who eventually joins her on a travel and had his own adventures.) This riveting story is suspenseful, thrilling, and quite the page turner. Through some investigation, Dana soon learns that Rufus is her ancestor and that if she does anything drastic to change history she will not exist. During her time spent under Rufus’s iron fist, she befriends her ancestor, Alice, and teaches her literacy but also has to encourage her to withstand being raped by Rufus thus to ensure her own birth many years later. Reader’s who surely enjoy this historical fiction with a twist that teaches many hard lessons.