4 out of 5
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.
So I guess my questions is…. have any of you ever heard of Jim Jones. Don’t worry, I’ll wait while you peruse Wikipedia. Might as well look up Jonestown while you’re there.
The reason I ask is quite simple. Seed reminds me so much of Jim Jones, Jonestown, The Peoples Temple and don’t drink the kool-aid.
For those of you too damn lazy to look it up… Jim Jones was a sect leader for the Peoples Temple, and in November of 78′ conducted a mass-murder/suicide of over 900 of his “followers” in Jonestown, Guyana, he killed them by lacing the fruit drink with cyanide and basically forcing them to drink it, those of them who did not drink were ultimately killed by gun for trying to flee. Over 300 children were killed that day. During his reign (that’s what I’m calling it, so stick with me) Jones used religion/God/lies to brainwash his followers. He physically, emotionally and sexually abused his congregation.
Jonestown was Seed, Seed was Jonestown, see where I’m going with my rambling up above.
Pearl who is the main character in Seed was born in Seed. It is the only life she knows and to her it is perfect. Papa S (Jim Jones) is the leader of this group, he has a new “Companion” on his arm all the time and Pearl is waiting for her chance to be one of them.
When a baby is born, it is taken from it’s mother to basically be raised by the house, nobody knows who their mother is and if they do, they don’t say. It is “natures way”. Jim Jones, I mean Papa S claims he speaks to Nature, and that Nature telling him how to live, how and who needs to be punished and so forth.
When outsiders are let into the group for the first time that anyone can remember, things start to go wrong in Jonestown, I mean Seed. Papa S basically tells everyone who lives in Seed that the outside world has been ravaged by liars, cheaters, drug abusers, the government poisons the water supply, and on and on. Ellis, one of the newcomers begins to question everything. And after much questioning and Pearls hard-headedness he finally gets her to open her eyes about what is going on around them.
It’s basically up to Ellis, Pearl and her best friends Kate and Jack to find a way out.
Seed was definitely a hard book to read and process. Just for the simple fact that you don’t want to think about these sorts of things happening. But the truth is… they happen all the time. It’s not just something that get written in a fiction novel to be read and discarded. World leaders, Religious heads, charismatic people have the ability to pull the wool over the weak minded and they have the ability to sooth and comfort the hurt. I’m not saying all leaders are like this but there are a select few that have this ability and will use it to fuel themselves and what they believe is the correct way to do things. Hell look at Charles Manson! He had a flock of people that killed other people for him. Whatever, I’m going into rant mode….
I really did enjoy Seed, it was an eye opener to say the least.
Thanks so much Perseus Books Group, Running Press for providing this ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!