Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Cover of Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. ButlerFrom the publisher:

When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister’s young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny… and the birth of a new faith.

Parable of the Sower is set in what’s essentially the apocalypse, following a young woman named Lauren in Southern California during an economic and social crisis.  The book explores religion and philosophy, faith in the face of a crumbling society, and the formation of a family in times of crisis.

As something of a disclaimer, I’ve read one other novel by Octavia Butler — a standalone titled Kindred — and gave the book 5 stars.  Much of that was due to the writing style, and Parable of the Sower is written in similarly accessible language: the narrator speaks normally, and Butler’s prose isn’t flowerly, overly technical, or — as I described to a friend — “so complicated that she sounds like an asshole.”

While I didn’t enjoy Parable of the Sower as much as I enjoyed Kindred, I did enjoy it, and the book made me think.  Though set in what was at the time a relatively distant future of 2024, it’s close enough to present-day to make me think of what might be coming.  The novel is about environment, human nature, and the essence of family, and addresses racial and gender realities.

I was reading this book to evaluate whether or not to include it as a Girls in Capes book club selection, and it definitely made the cut.  We’ll be reading this for our April selection to coincide with The Growing Issue at GiC.

4 out of 5 stars

Published by Feliza

Feliza Casano is a writer and editor with a love of speculative fiction, graphic novels, and good books. She writes and edits at Girls in Capes (GirlsinCapes.com) and contributes to other websites on science fiction and fantasy topics.

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: