Seed is Pearl’s home. It’s all she’s ever known and it’s perfect. Papa S. leads them so they can worship and live how Nature intended. But everything is not as it seems at Seed and when Ellis arrives from the Outside, Pearl begins to question everything she’s ever known.
Seed is often an uncomfortable book to read. There’s no two ways about it, Seed is a cult. As a reader you can see the signs but to fifteen year old Pearl, everything is normal and how it should be. The book opens with Pearl being forced to spend the night underground as she “has become a woman” it’s shocking and immediately throws you into the world and rules of Seed. Pearl’s faith in Papa S. and life in Seed is often frustrating but believable and it does make you think about how society and small communities function.
Ellis is the most relatable of the characters as he’s like the reader, he’s from the Outside and can see things differently from Pearl whose known nothing different to life at Seed. His anger at Pearl for not knowing or realising what’s going on is understandable but also frustrating, as how can she believe that her entire life is a lie.
There are a lot of dark themes in Seed. Nothing is explicit but sexual abuse of children is implied throughout and it’s a slow build for some of the characters to realise or react to what’s happening. Papa S. abuses all the people in Seed one way or another and instilled fear into all of them.
The ending is a bit rushed but that makes it no less shocking and tense. Pearl and Ellis are both interesting and flawed characters and the story is a compelling yet uncomfortable read. 4/5.