Tyndale House. (Kindred, Bk. 2). Oct. 2021. 448p. ISBN 9781496444363. $25.99; pap. ISBN 9781496444370. $15.99. CF
With this novel that picks up after the events of Mountain Laurel, Benton continues the story of Ian Cameron and his loved ones, particularly his beloved Seona, a woman recently freed from slavery on the Cameron family plantation and the mother of his son Gabriel. Ian and Seona were forced apart in the first novel, and Seona, her mother, and Gabriel moved to Boston while Ian stayed behind with his wife in North Carolina. After Ian’s wife dies in childbirth, he and some formerly enslaved people from the Cameron plantation journey to reunite with Seona. On the way, Ian is presented with an opportunity to start a new life in New York, but how will Seona and Gabriel fit into his plans? Those who haven’t read the first book will need to familiarize themselves with the characters’ relationships quickly in order to follow the story. Unfortunately, the novel leans on several racist stereotypes including that of the white savior (Ian), the mystical Black person (Malcolm), and the noble Native American (Joseph Tames-His-Horse). The plot moves slowly for the first two-thirds of the book but gains speed when the characters are reunited.
VERDICT A pass except where fans of the first book need to know what happens next.
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