Thursday, September 26, 2013
Seed by Ania Ahlborn
If you like: evil * impending doom * family traditions
Seed is the story of a family plagued by a curse that has haunted them for generations. In this story, Jack discovers that a curse he thought he escaped during his youth has followed him to his new home and now plagues his youngest daughter, too. As he recalls all of the danger that surrounded him when he was first afflicted, he can't help but worry about the fate of his family. How do you reach the point when you cannot trust a six-year-old? Jack has reached that point, but he cannot seek help without admitting the trouble he has been running from his entire life.
Seed is driven by the need to hide from the past. Jack wants to have a normal life and do the best he can for his family, but he can't help but constantly worry about the shadow that has looked over his shoulder since he was a child. If he tells his wife, Aimee, about it, he risks shattering the world he has worked so hard to build. If he does not tell her, he puts her and both of their daughters in danger. All his life Jack has been running from this reality and chooses not to tell Aimee until it becomes clear that there is no escaping his past. While he is attempting to run from it, he slowly understands that it has been controlling him all along. Jack tries not to believe in the devil, but when he's faced with him every time he looks in the mirror he begins to realize that it does not matter if you believe or not, he exists. Denial is central to the story. The further Jack sees the progression in his daughter Charlie, the more he understands how he affected his own mother. It seems that each progressive generation’s desire to hide from their past enables this curse to continue on. At what point does it become worth it to break the cycle and give up on having a normal life? Jack will never find out the answer to this question.
At its heart, Seed is the story of love and how it can blind someone towards reality. Each parent in this scenario wants to believe the best in their children and themselves. They think they will do what it takes to protect their family at any cost. What exactly could this cost be? Does it mean taking the life of a child? Does it mean hiding from the truth and letting things fall where they may? More than anything, the curse requires each generation to accept what their parents tell them at face value, ignoring the ongoing similarities between what their own parents faced and what they are now facing. They cannot question the continued isolation and lack of family until it is too late. In trying to escape the past, they end up embracing it fully. Instead of shedding light on the darkest demons, they try to bury them in a dark closet, only to have them creeping back out in the night. Don't we all believe that if we just close our eyes the danger will go away? In the end, this is never true, especially for Jack's family. When the monster in the closet is real and entwined with your soul, how can you sleep at night? How can you trust yourself or those around you? This type of paranoia touches every aspect of life and turns family member against family member. The power of the devil is unbelievable and self-perpetuating -- one family after another, each generation at a time. So many times we find good to triumph over evil; Seed turns this notion on its head. Good never makes an appearance in the story. It is easy for us to embrace the dark side and enjoy the journey as Jack runs from his past, and Charlie runs towards her inevitable future.
If you could shut out the lights, and ignore the monster that watches you sleep, read Seed.
Ahlborn, Ania. Seed. AmazonEncore, 2012. Kindle Edition.