Seed, by Lisa Heathfield (book review) – cult or commune? so many secrets

book cover of Seed by Lisa Heathfield published by Running PressTending the crops,
striving to stop sinful thoughts,
did she really just imagine footsteps in the attic?

Pearl enjoyed an idyllic childhood at Seed, but as a young woman struggles with new ideas from Outside. Why would the children need school when Papa S. tells them everything they need to know?

Seed could be a commune, whose exceptional produce is eagerly sought by Outsiders at the market in town.

Or it could be a cult, whose leader controls every facet of life, from reproductive partnering to the exact moment for collecting honey from the beehives.

Just published on March 10, this novel is takes place in England today – even more frightening than a post-apocalyptic thriller or dystopian future tale.


Book info:  Seed / Lisa Heathfield. Running Press, 2015. [author on Twitter]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: At Seed, Pearl and her extended family are safe under the watchful care of Papa S. until a young man from from Outside questions why they’ve rejected modern medical care and schooling.

At last, Pearl has become a woman at age 15 and may soon be Papa S’s companion, there in the big house where all the children of Seed and Kindred adults live together. Working the land, worshiping nature under the stars… Pearl loves Seed and hates going away to the town market where their produce is sold.

Papa S. announces that new people are arriving – a woman he knew long ago who wants healing from what life Outside has done, along with her teen son Ellis and little Sophie.

Ellis questions so many things that Pearl knows as truth – the origin of the stars, how the oil they rub into motors helps clean pollution from the air as they drive to market, why Pearl shouldn’t know which Kindred woman is her mother.

When Jack is injured in an accident and pregnant Elizabeth becomes desperately ill, Papa S. refuses to call a doctor – Nature will heal all.

Did Pearl really see someone in the locked attic’s window?
Could Ellis be right about men going to the moon and other things?
Does Pearl really want to be Papa S’s companion?

In present-day Great Britain, Seed  could be a haven celebrating life in harmony with nature or a cult whose founder must control everything. (One of 6,000 books recommended on

What do you think?

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