"Cautionary tales at their most bleak and finest..."

Five years after Lauren and her followers settle into their communal way of life in "Parable of the Talents", we find Lauren and thriving in a new community--Acorn--constructed from the ground up by her and the people of Earthseed. She has a husband, Bankole--the community's doctor and upon whose land Acorn grows; Harry and Zahra are married with two children and all are joined by several dozen multicultural and "sharer" families who work and live by the Earthseed doctrines.

Built from the ashes of Bankole's family home and land, Acorn is difficult going, but it is a refuge, hope for the future, and much more than the people of Earthseed had ever believed or envisioned. It is, for Lauren and her people, the seed of man's Destiny--to take root among the stars. Christian America (CA) has other ideas and dubs Earthseed a "cult" made up of sinful devil worshippers and heathens. Much like the "paints" that destroyed Lauren's former community--only better equipped, moneyed, connected and politically sanctioned extremists of the moment--the CA target, overrun and confiscate Acorn, renaming it a Christian camp for "reeducation".

Slavery by any other name is slavery, and like the Nazis before them, and the slave traders before them, the "teachers" of Camp Christian have committed their atrocity in the name of God and rebuilding America to its former glory days of Christian values. Unfortunately, their vision of America's "glory days" does not encompass the Earthseeds of the world, or any other "unorthodox" belief system that clashes with its ideas of what is right and good for the country.

Thus, Lauren and the people of Acorn lose everything for which they have strove in the last several years and something much more precious than their accumulated possessions: freedom. Ms. Butler has never provided any easy answers or sugarcoated situations for her characters and here with unflinching logic and heart, she takes the people of Earthseed to new paths of endurance in a world run amok. From her Parables, we gain insight into what could be, and what we hope to prevent becoming the future of mankind.

Cautionary tales at their most bleak and finest, both Parable books are shining examples of the old adage: Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Something to keep in mind

Reviewed for PNR Reviews by
Gracie McKeever, Author

Reviewed by Gracie McKeever
Posted December 7, 2003


Parable of Talents
by Octavia E. Butler

Warner Books
November 1, 2001
ISBN #0446610380
464 pages
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Other Books by
Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Sower

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