The Parable of the Sower

Posted by : atcampbell | On : December 5, 2000

The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

Twelve people, 66.66% of whom were female, showed up to discuss The Parable of the Sower. This is a near-future novel set in Southern California after the USA has taken a turn for the worst. The main plot is the coming of age of a Lauren, a young woman who becomes a leader in this society.

We liked a lot about this book: the “brain-driven” female protagonist, the beautiful prose, and the realistic depiction of societal crumbling. We wondered how much of the story is autobiographical, because the author is also a tall black woman who grew up in Southern California. Several people were impressed by the philosophies explored in the book, and they felt the religious discussions were a highlight.

If anything about this book disappointed us, it was that this book has hardly any SF or fantasy elements. It’s primarily a mainstream story, and some people in our group like a larger speculative component in what they read.

Overall we found this was a well-written, thoughtful book about an interesting heroine struggling through difficult times.

–A. T. Campbell, III