Pearl has spent her entire life in one safe, secure place: Seed. Seed is her home and her world. Under the watchful eye of Papa S., Pearl knows how to live so she can be in harmony with Nature and the rest of her Seed Family. When newcomers arrive at Seed, Pearl is suddenly forced to begin thinking of Outside, and soon, it’s hard to tell whether the dangers lies outside of Seed or within it.
I appreciate a carefully written cult story — it’s so intriguing to see how people’s minds can be shaped and what damage you can do by falsely teaching people who have no interaction with the outside world. It really makes you think about how much power “nurture” can have. It takes a really long time for Pearl to figure things out, and while that was sometimes frustrating to me as a reader, I knew at the same time that it was incredibly realistic. To fight against a lifetime of indoctrination just does not happen overnight. This is a deceptively peaceful and beautifully written story about a place where frightening violence is just under the surface.
Rated: Moderate for some adult themes — the main character is clearly brought into an old man’s room to have sex but she gets away (no descriptions at all and no one says the words); there are killing and some disturbing images (a woman being burned in a fire). There is one use of strong language and two uses of moderate language.