In this sequel to Parable of the Sower, Butler continues the story of Lauren Oya Olamina and her religious movement called Earthseed. Butler interweaves multiple narrators through collected journals, mostly Olamina and her daughter Larkin, but also occasionally her husband Bankole and her brother Marcus. Both Bankole and Larkin accuse Olamina of choosing Acorn and Earthseed over them. But all of Olamina’s care and work come to a horrific end when a fascist religious fanatic is elected who establishes Christian America (CA).
Lilith Iyapo wakes up in a spaceship orbiting Earth to find out that humans have destroyed the world and made it unlivable and an alien species, the Oankali, have saved the few humans who survived the war. Lilith is charged with waking her fellow humans to establish a new Oankali-Human society on Earth.
This is the first of two novels (Parable of the Talents) centered around a young Black teenager named Lauren Oya Olamina. Due to climate change, a scarcity of resources (especially food and water) has led to a collapse of institutions and a rapid rise in violent crime.