Parable of the Talents, Earthseed #2 by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Talents  - Octavia E. Butler

'Parable of the Talents' is a very different book than 'Sower', but I felt it was just a good. The first novel was made up of selected early journals of Lauren Olamina, who "discovered" Earthseed and led her group of survivors to safe land owned by her lover Bankole after her home and family were destroyed.


Joining Olamina's voice is commentary from her daughter some years after Olamina's death. There are shorter fragments from the journals of Bankole and passages from Olamina's brother's book 'Warrior' as well.


I loved the tension that the voices of Olamina and her daughter added to the narrative. Olamina's journals pick up ten years or so after the end of 'Sower' with Acorn almost thriving. Over a hundred people form a part of the settlement and they've established good relationships with their neighbors and have started to sell excess goods they produce. Olamina's daughter, named Larkin by her mother, expresses bitter resentment towards her mother and references a tragedy. 


America is still struggling, but the worst of the chaos appears to be over. Unfortunately a reactionary government is rising to power in what's left of the United States. A preacher is running for President, deplores the loss of American character and values in the recent chaos years and promises to "make America great again". 


The issues I had with Lauren Olamina's flat voice persisted, but in many other ways this novel is superior to 'Sower'. The book is about tragedy and grave injustice. I couldn't stop reading it until I knew what happened.




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