Fifteen-year-old Pearl lives in the perfect place, or so she thinks. Seed is a tiny community isolated from the evils of the world. They grow the best vegetables organically and live in community. Soon Pearl will be able to take her place as Companion to Papa S, a day she looks forward to, though she’s not entirely sure what it entails. When a new family from the outside joins Seed Pearl begins to question the life she has always known.
Life at Seed is bucolic and warm, or at least it seems so until Pearl begins to discover that all on the farm is not good, and the place is certainly not healthy. Pearl is such a well drawn character that her innocence is believable and appealing. As a reader it is easy to see trouble coming for Pearl and I read with breathless anticipation wondering how it would manifest and what she would do.
From the start of the story Heathfield masterfully sets the reader at a similar disadvantage to Pearl. It is unclear whether this tale is set in the present, a not-so-distant future or an alternative reality, so readers are forced to rely simply on what the story tells them about Seed and the world around it, just as Pearl must rely only on what she hears from the community.
This dark story will appeal to teenagers who are themselves on the cusp of adulthood. They will relate to Pearl’s struggles as she weighs what she has always been told against new knowledge and understanding of the world around her.
I read Seed as an advance reader copy courtesy of Running Press Kids and Net Galley. Seed will be released March 10, 2015.