Parable Of The Sower

(Earthseed #1)

Paperback, 345 pages

English language

Published Aug. 7, 2000 by Warner Books.


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4 stars (3 reviews)

In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future.

Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.

When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean …

5 editions

Review of 'Parable of the Sower' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

On a second read, I feel a lot differently than I did the first time around. I can't separate uncomfortable feelings of reading about a teenager basically starting a cult and attracting people who are at their absolute most vulnerable to join. It doesn't sit well with me to read about Lauren's glee to "raise babies in Earthseed." And the intense, intense, dehumanization and otherizing of people using drugs, making them into physically unrecognizable monsters, is something I can't get past. If Lauren has hyper-empathy, and is more sensitive to people in need of help, then why does the buck stop with people using drugs?

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5 stars


  • African Americans -- Fiction
  • Twenty-first century -- Fiction
  • California, Southern -- Fiction