Dana is a normal 26 year old African American woman living in 1976 (the year the actual story was published). She had recently married Kevin, a white man whose books are successful, unlike hers. She thinks that they will live comfortably in their new house, and grow old together.
Then she is swept away. She lands in a different time, in the past, and a half drowned boy is being dragged from the river by his mother. Dana performs CPR, but after the boy is revived the father points his gun at her. Then she is swept back into 1976.
After she washes off the mud from the river and changes her clothes, she is swept away again. Now she gets to speak to the boy, named Rufus, who has set his curtains on fire as revenge on his father who had beaten him for stealing. When she hears him call her the N word, she is first offended, then she is astonished. She has time traveled back to 1815, and this Rufus is one of her ancestors. The other one of her ancestors is named Alice, a young slave girl, and Dana sees Alice’s father being beaten and her mother forced to watch while standing naked outside. Dana is almost raped by one of the overseers, but then she zaps back into the present.
The next time she zaps to the past, Kevin grabs her and goes with her, and then the story begins.
This book is brutal. It’s sad. But it is very well written. Most of the time, I wasn’t sure if what Dana was doing was right. But I was addicted to this realistic time traveling story and had to keep reading it.
I don’t want to read this book again. It was horrifying, the things that the owners did to the slaves, things that could very well have been done to my ancestors. But if you haven’t read it, you definitely should. Almost all of the historical fiction stories make me open my eyes, realizing how grateful I am for what I have. Sure, Rufus was rich and would inherit all of the property if his dad passed away. However, even me as a regular person in this time, am thousands of times richer than him. I have a computer, air conditioning, a refrigerator, television, things that weren’t even known about during those times. I recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t read it, but if you are sensitive to violence both physical and sexual, then I advise that you pass this book.
Overall Rating: 6/5