Book Review: The Seed Collectors

Another review of a Scarlett Thompson book, ‘The Seed Collector’s’ wasn’t my favourite, but I still liked it overall. It was a deep dive into family drama and the nature of relationships, as well as nature itself.


Great Aunt Oleander is dead. To each of her nearest and dearest she has left a seed pod. The seed pods might be deadly, but then again they might also contain the secret of enlightenment. Not that anyone has much time for enlightenment. Fleur, left behind at the crumbling Namaste House, must step into Oleander’s role as guru to lost and lonely celebrities. Bryony wants to lose the weight she put on after her botanist parents disappeared, but can’t stop drinking. And Charlie struggles to make sense of his life after losing the one woman he could truly love.

A complex and fiercely contemporary tale of inheritance, enlightenment, life, death, desire, and family trees, The Seed Collectors is the most important novel yet from one of the world’s most daring and brilliant writers.

Book Review

“I have no idea why everyone thinks nature is so benign and glorious and wonderful. All nature is trying to do is kill us as efficiently as possible.”

This book was intense. I felt like it was all about the ego, sex, obsessions, with more than a touch of family drama thrown in for good measure.

It starts with the premise that Aunt Oleander is dead, but you never find out how she died. All you know is that she is dead and has given her descendants seed pods from a very rare plant. There is talk of a funeral but we never get to read about the actual event, instead hearing about it from the characters themselves.

The characters are, I must say, very developed and their stories plus the easy readability of the book itself is it’s redeeming features. Because honestly I didn’t have a clue as to the plot. It felt like there should have been a plot I just didn’t get it. Things happened. Trips were made. Seed pods were talked about. Family dramas were a given, but it was all intermittent with strange speeches on what if you were a squirrel, what if you were really poor, and the essence of the Ego.

I generally enjoyed the book, but that was because I liked the characters. Or, I should say, I liked the development of the characters. I’m not sure if the characters were all that likeable but Scarlett Thomas always writes believable characters, and that’s what they were. Believable. Even if the whole premise of the seed pods didn’t feel believable for me. Who knows, maybe there is a seed pod out there that can bring enlightenment but I personally don’t think so – the plot around the seed pod really left me with a raised eyebrow.

So. It’s not my favourite Scarlett Thomas. If you’re after a good characterisation book that delves into the premise of the ego and family dynamics I definitely recommend but otherwise, feel free to pick up one of her other books like ‘Popco’ or ‘Going Out’.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Kate @ Kandid Chronicles x


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