Seed by Lisa Heathfield
I started Seed a while ago and after around 20% in, I put it down in search of something I'd enjoy more. Yesterday, I picked Seed back up and read it within a few hours. I was left feeling shocked, in awe, disturbed and generally confused - in a good way.
Seed is about Pearl, a young girl who lives in a Nature-worshipping cult called Seed alongside several other children, adults, and their leader Papa S. Having never left their home other than to go to the market, and being terrified of the Outside and the 'evil' people who inhabit it, Pearl only knows what she has been told by the adults around her. When three Outsiders join the cult, Pearl must question everything she has ever known and escape the darkness she soon realises is all around her before it is too late.
Whilst Seed is never openly described as a cult within the book, as Pearl probably has no idea what that means or entails, it is no doubt a cult. Whilst the idea of loving Mother Nature and all that she provides may sound appealing, there is evil within the cult that is subtly hidden through lies and not-so-subtle brainwashing. I find cults particularly interesting and although I'm not an expert, I know how disturbing the stories can be. This is how I felt when reading this book: disturbed. A lot of the disturbing content of this book isn't openly said and if you don't have any awareness of the world or the evil that exists within it, you may be able to read the majority of this book missing some of the manipulation that happens throughout.
I would highly recommend reading this book, even if you feel it isn't your type of book. Besides the slightly slow start to the book, I can't think of a single flaw and I look forward to reading more of Heathfield's work in the future.