Parable of the SowerBook - 1993
When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability is a risk, she suffers from hyperempathy, a debilitating sensitivity to others' emotions.
Precocious and clear-eyed, Lauren must make her voice heard in order to protect her loved ones from the imminent disasters her small community stubbornly ignores. But what begins as a fight for survival soon leads to something much more: the birth of a new faith . . . and a startling vision of human destiny.
From the critics
Sexual Content: There are a few sexual scenes, but the positive ones aren't described in any detail; this isn't a pornographic novel and the scenes are included not for reader entertainment but to characterize the protagonist and/or to move the plot forward. (See below for more about the negative sexual scenes.)
Coarse Language: Swearing and brief discussion of anatomy and sexual themes at a few places.
Frightening or Intense Scenes: Sexual assault is an ever-present force in the protagonist's world and it's mentioned semi-frequently. There is semi-graphic description of a sexual assault of one of the characters, but after that it isn't mentioned much. Death of all kinds--animal and human--is brought up frequently. Don't read if you find mild description of graphically violent scenes to be too much. I myself was okay, though.
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SummaryAdd a Summary
Lauren Olamina is part of the generation of children who do not remember the world before. Before the water shortages, and the walled communities, and the drug addicts who burn anything and everything just to watch the flames. Before the California-Oregon border was closed, and Alaska began to talk about seceding. Lauren believes the Earth is dying, and that sooner or later, humanity will have to take to the stars in order to survive. And Lauren means to survive. But how can she convince those around her that they must be ready, that the good times her father and step-mother talk about are never coming back? As the world outside the wall continues to crumble, Lauren hones the philosophy she believes to be humanity’s only hope, becoming the lonely prophet of a new religion born from the ashes of American civilization.