I want to update a review from 2012 for one of my all-time favorite novels, Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler.
Parable of the Sower is the story of Lauren Olamina, a teenager growing up in a grim LA suburb where their gated community provided a semblance of a normal life while anarchy reigned outside of it.
She lives her father, stepmother, Corazon, and her brothers, Marcus & Keith. Lauren’s father tries to do everything he can to provide the family and keep the outside chaos at bay. However, when the main gate to their community is destroyed all hell break loose and the family faces real danger.
Lauren is an empath and has a sense their family would succumb to the outside world. She decides to leave home and create a new religion called Earthseed. The basic tenet of this religion is that God is Change.
There is a lot to unpack with that basic tenet on numerous levels. Moreover, Butler provides a unique perspective on faith when the world is coming apart.
Parable of the Sower is one of the few books I have disagreed with and challenged my assumptions and ultimately loved at the same time. When a novel does that to me as a reader…then it enters a special territory and enhances the power of what a story can do.
This novel belongs on the short list of the best post apocalyptic stories ever written. It belongs on the same shelf as The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, & The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber.
If you have not read this novel….then I will simply write it please do. Also, I recommend the follow-up, Parable of the Talents as well. Both novels are two halves of a whole story.