The most interesting book of the year (so far)

Running Press // March 10, 2015
hardcover, 336pgs
ISBN: 978-0762456345
source: advance uncorrected proof from the publisher

About the book:
All that Pearl knows can be encapsulated in one word: Seed. It is the isolated community that she was born into. It is the land that she sows and reaps. It is the center of her family and everything that means home. And it is all kept under the watchful eye of Papa S.
At fifteen years old, Pearl is finally old enough to be chosen as Papa S.'s companion. She feels excitement . . . and surprising trepidation that she cannot explain. The arrival of a new family into the Seed community—particularly the teenage son, Ellis—only complicates the life and lifestyle that Pearl has depended upon as safe and constant. Ellis is compelling, charming, and worldly, and he seems to have a lot of answers to questions Pearl has never thought to ask. But as Pearl digs to the roots of the truth, only she can decide what she will allow to come to the surface.

My thoughts:
Best. Book. Ever.
I seriously don't even know where to start with this one.
Talk about an incredible debut.
Seed is such a beautifully written piece of fiction that while reading it I was almost convinced it was a a real tale. This novel tells the story of Pearl and her life at Seed- a strange nature worshiping cult that has blinded it members from the real world. The safe haven that Papa S and the Kindreds created is one based on fear and control; however those at Seed don't see that, all they see is the false reality that has been created around them. That is, until outsiders come to Seed and begin to reveal the cracks in the veneer.
Seed is like an intimate look at life within a cult. I said already that the novel is like reading non fiction... it is almost like a memoir of Pearl's life - vivid and honest, this book is one that rocked me to the core. Background - I once had a student who was in care after being taken away from a similar styled cult. This prior knowledge of what cult life is like helped me to see how real and truthful this is.. I've heard stories first hand. Thanks (unfortunately) to this experience with this child, I had the knowledge that what Seed was saying was not far from the truth and it chilled me to the bone. This could (and does) happen regularly, near and far.
Seed unlocks a door which has been closed to most - it will shock and humble you. This novel is so hard for me to review in words other than to say it is one of the most amazing reads of the year so far. Easily this book goes down as the most interesting book I have encountered this year - and in a long while for that matter.
If you want to be wowed by an intense story that seems so real it is disturbing, this is the one to read. If you only read one debut novel this season, let this be it. This is the book to move to the top on your tbr pile. You will not be disappointed. If you ever were curious about cults, read this book to satisfy your questions. Seed is a knockout debut. Without a doubt, this is a 5-star read.

As a side note:
I rarely write in books anymore or flag pages... however, look at this! I was constantly writing and flagging this book. I just had to get every thought out while reading this. This book NEEDS to be read with others, seriously- your book club will thank you.

About the author:
Lisa Heathfield is a former secondary school English teacher, specializing in working with hearing-impaired children. Seed is her debut novel. She lives in Brighton, England, with her husband and three children.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Cover image and synopsis from Amazon.com
Author information from the publisher.

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