The Plastic Seed by Maisie Porter: intriguing and absorbing


Two schemes uncoil—and, very quickly, begin to unravel—on the same day in the Australian town of West Glassport…

Jean Hima isn’t happy with the way her life has been going. First, her husband leaves her. Then, she loses her job as a midwife at the local hospital, over the easily-fixed misplacement of a baby or two…

Now, Jean is sure a snooty real estate agent is blocking her efforts to find a rental in a nice part of town.

Given possession of a batch of incriminating photographs, who wouldn’t begin thinking about a little life-restorative blackmail?

Written in three acts and covering a quarter of a century, The Plastic Seed is an environmental thriller that explores the hypocrisy of some aspects of the philosophy of wellness. This novella is part satire of the human potential movement, and sincere testimony to the ability of humans to face facts when given no choice.


My review

I was intrigued by the title of this book, and it turns out to be very appropriate, as you’ll discover when you read the story.

The whole of the book is equally clever and intriguing. The story is told from the viewpoint of several characters, all damaged in some way. This lends extra richness because we’re never entirely sure they’re reliable, even though we’re inside their heads, so to speak. What they consider as perfectly justified actions, to other people most definitely aren’t. Yet, within the story, they’re plausible. There’s thus an extra layer of tantalising tension and suspicion. You’re continually wondering what they’ll do next.

The focus is very much upon the characters and their interactions, but careful attention given to setting and situation too. Overall there’s a mild sense of menace, of confinement, that suits the novel well. It  broaches some pretty uncomfortable issues, yet Everything is understated, which in fact only serves to make the overall impact more powerful.

It’s an unsettling but absorbing, swift-moving novel. Superbly written and very enjoyable.


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Author Bio –  Maisie Porter works as a professional photographer in Australia, with wide experience covering weddings, though she has neither abducted nor been abducted by any competitors. No Reception is Maisie’s first novel.

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