I liked this one much better than Sower
, it felt like it had more shape and more of a point. (Butler mentioned that it was meant to be one book, but got too long, so she basically hacked the first part off. Which kind of shows.) I really liked the lens of Lauren's daughter writing about Lauren as a way to come to terms with her mother and what she had done. It was such a fascinating relationship and one not easily resolved. Of the four characters that get first person voices in the book, each sees God, the world and the other view point characters completely differently, which is something a lot of books try for, but few manage so well.
Butler also said that the book was about what people did when faced with a broken country, and how different solutions came in conflict and how each worked out. Which is like jam for me, and I loved how what worked for Lauren wasn't what worked for other people, but that some approaches were obviously wrong, though you could see why people took them up.
On that note, Butler has come back around to slavery, and first person accounts thereof, so warnings for everything, OMG! It was really interesting to read this in the same year as Kindred
, as it deals with some of the same themes, but at opposite ends of her career. I'm sad that Butler didn't get a chance to finish the third book, even though this one stands fine without and is a good ending.