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Mother Nature Should Send Them To Timeout

Who wouldn't want to be the child bride of a nature cult's ruthless leader? Well, the protagonist of Lisa Heathfield's Seed, for one.

Mother Nature Should Send Them To Timeout

BOOK REPORT for Seed by Lisa Heathfield

Cover Story: English Countryside Idyll
BFF Charm: Big Sister
Swoonworthy Scale: 5
Talky Talk: Sweet Child O’ Mine
Bonus Factors: Cults, High Stakes
Relationship Status: Promising First Date

Cover Story: English Countryside Idyll

This cover works pretty well with the story – the title, coupled with the young girl dressed in semi-old-fashioned clothes, picking food from the countryside definitely works with the nature-based theme. The ominous sky and muted tones give a hint of repression. If I were the author, I’d be pretty pleased with this one.

The Deal:

All Pearl has ever known is Seed – to her, a community safe from the “outside,” to everyone else, a cult. Papa S. is the charismatic leader of Seed who somehow divines the intent of mother nature, while the women act as mothers to the children and take turns as Papa S.’s “companion.” Pearl has grown up among her brothers and sisters, longing to know just who is her true mother. She’s excited for the day she becomes a woman...and Papa S.’s newest companion.

Then an outsider, his mother, and his little sister show up to join Seed. His mother and sister take to the simple way of life quickly, but Ellis isn’t so fast to assimilate. He starts asking questions, and Pearl starts doubting everything she’s ever known. But what can you do when you’re sixteen and your support system revolves around one man?

BFF Charm: Big Sister

Pearl needs a big sister like crazy. First of all, she doesn’t know who her mother is, and although she’s supposed to treat all the older women as maternal figures, that void takes a toll on her. Second, oh my god when you find out what happens to ladies who get their periods for the first time, you will crap. I wanted to rescue the poor kid (although not before stealing a lot of their delicious crops – greengage plums, YEAAAAAH).

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

There are some sparks between Pearl and Ellis, but given the seriousness of finding out that one has been living in a cult, romance takes a backburner.

Talky Talk: Sweet Child O’ Mine

As you might imagine, growing up without education makes for a very naïve protagonist, and Lisa Heathfield does a nice job of capturing her voice. Pearl goes from touting the party line and espousing the beauty of Seed to realizing all is not as it seems. The plot is what you would expect from the premise, but Heathfield makes the journey compelling.

Bonus Factor: Cults

I think cults are fascinating, which is why I have multiple cult books to review this year. Seed’s nature based cult is a cool twist; there are parts of it which I think would be quite nice (the retreat to the countryside, the focus on harmony with nature), and of course, parts that are pretty horrifying (no education, isolation from the outside world, an authoritarian leader). It’s not hard to see why the cult would appeal to those feeling lost and alone, and by the time you realize it has a decidedly sinister edge, you’re in too deep.

Bonus Factor: High Stakes

I love an author who isn’t afraid to make consequences serious for her characters, and Heathfield is one of them. I may or may not have yelled “DAMN” during one pivotal scene.

Casting Call:

Ella Purnell as Pearl

Jason Isaacs as Papa S.

Who better to play creepy-sexy than Lucius Malfoy?

Douglas Booth as Ellis

Relationship Status: Promising First Date

Book, you were charismatic and took me on a crazy ride. I think we get along, and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for our next date.

Want to know more about Seed and Lisa Heathfield? Don’t miss our interview here!

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free review copy from Running Press. I received neither money nor a pet unicorn for writing this review, despite how hard I wished for one.  Seed is available now.

Jennie's photo About the Author: Jennie Kendrick lives in San Francisco and has an excessive fondness of historical fiction, spreadsheets, turquoise sparkly things, and bourbon. When she's not reading, writing, or writing about reading, she cooks obsessively, runs an Etsy shop, and thrifts for vintage everything.