#MsBookworm: The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

There's nothing scarier than a heat-ravaged world, set in the not-so-distant-future, that as recent world events show, could very well happen. This is by no means a horror novel, but the looming possibility and relatability of the dystopian North America that Butler creates are enough to send a shiver down anyone's spine.

And so our story begins in a time where water is scarce, those fleeing danger outnumber those living in peace. Those that can afford their portion of "peace" find solace within the confines of the large walls that surround their gated communities, which act as the only barrier between them and the dangerous and sometimes not-so-dangerous people and packs of wild dogs who lurk just on the other side of it... and who are consistently try to get in.

In the midst of this turmoil, is our heroine Lauren Olamina. Lauren's an 18-year-old girl with a rare syndrome which causes her to feel too much in her cold and calculating world. In this way, her peculiarity acts as both a curse and gift. A gift that she uses along with her Earthseed verses, to become the leader of a rag-tag group of refugees on their journey North across the deteriorating US landscape in search of the very essentials of life and of home.

In this sci-fi, the enemy is not an alien armada nor is it the living dead. The monsters who keep them up at night and clutching their weapons are other humans. But their judgments are all so clouded with drugs they may as well be mindless beings acting on the instinct to kill. Suddenly, the already dangerous voyage is made much more difficult by the regular presence of gangs, pickpockets, and pyromaniacs who threaten their group and other refugees, and who were responsible for making them homeless to begin with. Wise beyond her years and stronger than even she knows, Lauren struggles to battle the elements and her own peculiarity in order to survive in this "dog eat dog world".

The Parable of the Sower is full of slowly building tension and animosity, and moments of tenderness and clarity that inevitably makes you think about the world we currently live in and the steps we need to take to make the world an even better place.

Favourite quote

“All that you touch You Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth Is Change.”
― Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower