Journeying to 18th Century Barbados was an experiment in time travel, but for Katherine, after meeting Joseph, it became more much than that.
Katherine is one of four scientists who build a time travel machine (or a Sender, as they call it), and she is to be the first to travel. The Slave Owner is about her amazing journey to 18th Century Barbados; in the days when Barbados was a British colony, with a thriving sugar industry, successful in no small part because of slavery.
Aside from her disgust at the treatment of the slaves, Katherine is enthralled with this adventure in her ancestral home; that is, until she discovers that due to a flaw in the Sender, she cannot return to the future.
Although she is a brilliant scientist, her life has been spent buried in her work, making her socially immature and unprepared for the relationship that develops between her and Joseph Newton, the plantation owner on whom she must rely. Her encounters with the slaves range from heart-warming to terrifying and when she herself becomes a slave owner, her views of history change.
While finding a way to return to her modern day home is her main goal, when she finally achieves this, she finds it difficult to leave the people she has grown to love.