We all remember the classic novels we read in high school literature class. At the time we groaned, but as we got older, we have developed a deeper appreciation for them. Among other things, D.B. Nielsen in her novel Seed: Keeper of the Genesis I casts a new light on two of these novels, Jane Erye and Great Expectations.
Seed revolves around identical twins Saffron and Sage but focuses mainly on Sage. The studious, bookwormish Sage is the polar opposite of her outgoing, fashionista twin, but the two nonetheless share a close bond. One day, Sage decides to visit her father, a renowned archeologist, at the British Museum where he works on classifying and studying ancient Mesopotamian artifacts. After seeing the so-called “Seed” she begins to experience vivid and sometimes terrifying visions. During that same visit, she meets Dr. Elijah St. John Rivers, with whom she feels an instant connection. Little does she know that this routine museum visit is going to change her life forever, and that St. John is not quite who he appears to be.
St. John (pronounced Sin-jin, something I will never forget after being publicly chastised by a grumpy lit professor) is a somewhat ironic character (and is hinted to be the actual character from Bronte’s novel). In Bronte’s novel, St. John (a virtuous but cold and rigid man) proposes to Jane, although he is clearly in love with another woman, because he views Jane as a sister and has decided to renounce passion and earthly pleasure in order to seek divine elevation. In Nielsen’s novel, St. John decides that, because he has no hope of eternal salvation, his best chance at happiness is a life on Earth with Sage for as long as he has.
My favorite aspect of the book is how Nielsen engages the reader in all five senses: the sights, the smells, the sounds are all vividly and expertly described. I also love Sage’s dual characterizations: on one hand, she is an ordinary teenager who is trying to get into college and dying to go to Paris, and on the other, she is predestined for a special divine role.
The image of the ruined Satis House sealed the deal for me. One can almost imagine that if you walked in there, you would see Miss Havisham still rocking away in her wedding dress in her dusty room. The eeriness of this image stayed with me after I finished the book. I believe it is symbolic of the fate of some of the key characters and a foreshadowing of things to come. I guess I’ll have to read the sequel, Scroll, to find out.
To purchase Seed: http://www.amazon.com/SEED-Keepers-Genesis-d-nielsen-ebook/dp/B00K75I06E/ref=sr_1_11?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1423928505&sr=1-11&keywords=seed
For UK customers: http://www.amazon.co.uk/SEED-Keepers-Genesis-d-nielsen-ebook/dp/B00K75I06E/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1423929241&sr=1-1&keywords=seed%3A+keeper+of+the+Genesis