Leah's Reviews > Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
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really liked it

My first time reading anything by Octavia Butler. What took me so long?!!

Parable of the Sower is a frightening depiction of civilization's decline in the aftermath of environmental and economic crises. From page one I was ready for the worst, on edge the entire journey. The night Lauren's home was invaded was horrific. Yet underneath the brutality was hope.

Lauren is now in my top five female protagonists in a post-apocalyptic / dystopian setting. Her hyperempathy intrigued me: the notion of being extremely sensitive to the feelings of others, to the point of bleeding if others are injured, has been one I've always wanted to see explored more often in fiction. Lauren is also exactly the kind of friend I would want: smart, straightforward, loyal unless you break her trust, rational, resourceful, and not overly sentimental or emotional.

The only aspect of the story with which I did not connect was Earthseed, the new religion that Lauren created. However, I respected her for sticking to her beliefs while at the same time building a community with the strangers she encountered on her mission. She didn't force Earthseed on these newcomers but she also didn't shy away from a discussion with naysayers.

Addresses (still) current issues like race, gender and class as well as the environment, privatization, and digitization. This book would be an excellent discussion starter. For example, I kept thinking about people of color who have already suffered in real life what the fictional Lauren and the people of her gated community experienced: their loved one leaving home for work or school to have them "vanish," never seeing them again, never knowing what happened to them, having to assume they'd been killed...

This is not a fun read but it's fast-paced, filled with real people, and explores a world we should all take a closer look at.

4.5 stars
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Reading Progress

August 22, 2012 – Shelved
September 28, 2016 – Started Reading
September 29, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
September 29, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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Margaret Are you going to read Parable of the Talents too? I'm curious to hear what you think about that one!


Leah I don't know; last week I sorta peeked at your review and now I'm hesitating. I don't want to ruin a good thing :)


Margaret I wouldn't blame you. Some reviewers liked it better than Sower, which I don't understand!


Margaret You might like Kindred by her. It also deals with race, class, gender, and though I didn't like it quite as much as this one, it's still a great discussion book.


Leah Thanks for the recommendation. I'm thinking Kindred will be the next of hers I'll read.


Julia Wild Seed is very good. As is whatever title you for Lilith's Brood, or Dawn or Xenogenesis. And her collections of short stories: Blood Child and Unexpected Stories. Did you ever get around to Parable of the Talents?


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