The Growing Season – Helen Sedgwick (Out 7 Sept)

Publisher: Harvill Secker

Date: 7th September

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Plot (Goodreads) Without the pouch, Eva might not have been born. And yet she has sacrificed her career, and maybe even her relationship, campaigning against FullLife’s biotech baby pouches. Despite her efforts, everyone prefers a world where women are liberated from danger and constraint and all can share the joy of childbearing. Perhaps FullLife has helped transform society for the better? But just as Eva decides to accept this, she discovers that something strange is happening at FullLife.

“I want to create a liberating form of equality. A more reliable bond between parent and child.” – The Growing Season 

I haven’t read anything remotely ‘dystopian’ in a long while – not since university with the like of Aldous Huxley and Margaret Atwood. I love the genre, its possibly one of my favourite next to horrors and thrillers.

And The Growing Season was just awesome. I really can’t rave enough about this book! It lived up to all my expectations regarding dystopian novels, and I was just thrilled with the modern aspect that I’m not used to. (I’m mostly used to these sorts of books written in the past which portray an unlikely vision of the future.) Helen asks questions prevalent within today’s society regarding reproduction, feminism and what it means to be individual. Its told from multiple viewpoints, from those both for and opposed to the Baby Pouches that are revolutionising the way human’s breed. I could feel various influences resonating through the novel; particularly the mysterious woman in the lighthouse whom reminded me of someone from a Virginia Wolfe Novel. Her particular story centres round isolation and anxiety over the Asda Delivery man which added an almost comical over-tone in such a desperately lonely situation.

Each character in this novel has valid arguments for and against FullLife’s Baby pouches. It gives both men and women the chance to have children, even if they are infertile. However, it is biologically wrong and recently something sinister has been happening to the new-borns. This brings up so many debates over things like male contraception, abortion and the basic right to live. And questions like: Where do the unwanted children go? Is it right that pregnancy should be so easy when there are children with no homes? What if these pouches are actually dangerous?

This was a joy to read – beautifully written and incredibly thought-proving. Five stars from me! It comes out on the 7th September by Harvill Secker – an imprint of Vintage, Penguin. I’m super excited and urge you all to read!

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