I finished Parable of the Sower about a week ago, but haven’t yet started on Parable of the Talents. There’s a lot going on in my head and in my life and I just haven’t been able to pick up another book this past week. I’m not going to recap what Parable of the Sower is about, you can find that here. Instead, I’m going to give you my thoughts. Simple thoughts at that.
As much as I love Octavia Butler’s writing, this series isn’t a favorite. I wanted to dust off my literary theory hat for this, but I’m honestly not that invested. Something about reading Lauren’s story and “watching” her create (or discover, as she says) this new religion as she travels north, collecting people as she goes along, just doesn’t connect for me. The way her father disappears, her relationships with her brothers…maybe it’s because the story is told through her journal entries. Maybe if I were reading about Lauren Olamina and the things that happened to her and those around her instead of reading her perspective of herself and those around her, I would’ve been more invested.
You see, I want to know what happened to everyone from the beginning, and we only get the pieces and parts that Lauren is told. I want to know the other characters’ stories from the creator’s perspective. The all-knowing, the complete story. I want to know what happened to Lauren’s brother outside the wall, I want to know what happened to her dad, I want to know what happened to her stepmother and her other two brothers. I want to know what they saw and heard and experienced. Even the group she amasses on the road going north…I want to know what they’ve experienced and what they really think of Lauren. I want to know things Lauren can’t possibly know, and I think that’s why I’m frustrated.
I’m just as confused about Earthseed as every new person who enters her group, and although they come to a basic understanding enough to accept it, I haven’t. And not that it’s for me to accept, but I want to understand it better. I want to be part of the conversations she talks about having with the group. I want to know what questions they asked and how she answered them. I want more knowledge.
I don’t remember book 2. I will get to it soon, though, and I’m hoping that it will bring about more understanding for me. Book 1 is a teenager’s story. Maybe I enjoyed it more when I first read it because I was closer to her age at that time. I want to see her grow, and I’m pretty sure she grows up in book 2, but, like I said, I don’t remember book 2. Suddenly, I also have the desire to read Fledgling again. I haven’t talked about that book here yet, but I read it a long time ago. I still have it, so we’ll get to it sooner or later. Maybe sooner, though I haven’t even cracked open the books I bought in September for my birthday.
I’ll let you know if I end up liking Parable of the Talents more or less this time around. It looks like I didn’t write about book 2 previously, so I’ll make sure to let you know how the story goes.