This book was an impulse buy; I loved the cover, and it seemed similar thematically to After the Fire.
From the blurb:
Seed loves you. Seed will never let you go.
Fifteen-year-old Pearl has lived her whole life protected within the small community at Seed, where they worship Nature and idolise their leader, Papa S. When some outsiders arrive, everything changes. Pearl experiences feelings that she never knew existed and begins to realise that there is darkness at the heart of Seed. A darkness from which she must escape, before it’s too late.
Pearl lives at Seed, a farm in the English countryside, with her large extended family and their leader Papa S.
Pearl is almost a woman, and is looking forward to the day when she will be chosen as Papa S’s companion. Her sister/potential mother Elizabeth is having a baby, and Pearl is looking forward to having a new brother or sister to add to their family.
One day Outsider’s come to Seed, and Papa S welcomes them to join his family. Linda and her children, Ellis and Sophie, have strange and wonderful things to say about the world outside. Ellis tells Pearl about modern medicine and men walking on the moon, but she doesn’t belive him. Everyone at Seed knows that the outside world is full of evil, whereas at Seed they worship nature.
As Ellis and others at Seed start to challenge Papa S’s teachings, the happy little community Pearl has always known starts to fall apart. Pearl has to choose between Seed and the Outside.
This is a very strange book. I liked the plot, and it was interesting to read about a cult in the UK, but there were a lot of sections where I wasn’t sure if what was being described was actually happening, or if Pearl was dreaming.
Pearl was conflicted between her feelings for Ellis, her love for her family, and her overwhelming sense that something at Seed wasn’t right; bearing this in mind, I found her blind acceptance of a lot of Papa S’s bullshit to be really irritating.
I gave this book 3/5 stars on Goodreads, it was interesting and generally disturbing in a few places, but I just couldn’t get my head around Pearl’s confusing point of view.
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