The Ballast Seed

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781474618175

Price: £18.99

ON SALE: 9th June 2022

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Memoirs

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‘I loved The Ballast Seed. I couldn’t put it down. Beautiful and sad and hopeful all at once – luminous and lush, full of dirt, darkness, sun light and soft new growth. It’s a story of vulnerability, persistence and the will to live. This is a memoir that will make you weep, then roll up your sleeves and plant the seeds of a new life.’ Cal Flyn author of Islands of Abandonment

The surprise of a second pregnancy, so soon after the birth of her first son, plunged Rosie into a despair that spiralled into deep depression. Terrified at the prospect of adding another child into her already precariously balanced life, Rosie was compelled to find a new way of living. She found herself instinctively drawn to the local parks and scraps of communal green spaces in her local south east London neighbourhood, and to therapy via tending a hidden garden deep within the city. Interlaced with her responses to the travel journals of an eccentric 19th century female botanist and adventurer, Rosie elegantly describes how these pockets of nature amidst the urban sprawl provided just enough to mend her broken spirit.

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Reviews

I loved The Ballast Seed. I couldn't put it down. Beautiful and sad and hopeful all at once-luminous and lush, full of dirt, darkness, sun light and soft new growth. It's a story of vulnerability, persistence and the will to live. This is a memoir that will make you weep, then roll up your sleeves and plant the seeds of a new life.
Cal Flyn author of Islands of Abandonment
Completely brilliant
India Knight
The Ballast Seed brought me to tears, of sadness and of wonder. Rich in the possibilities of connection and of nature, Rosie Kinchen has created a book that is so many things at once, and utterly unique. It is an exquisite piece of writing that is unsentimental and raw and deeply moving, and a stunning antidote to some of the unhelpful myths propagated around new motherhood; in this sense I was underlining sentences as I read... a raw and passionate insight into all that flourishes from the darkest of places. A breath of fresh air.
Charlotte Philby, author of Edith and Kim
This is an achingly beautiful memoir. It's a story about motherhood, but also about healing, about growth, about hope. Reading it felt like finding sunlight - I couldn't put it down.
Catherine Cho, author of Inferno: A Memoir of Motherhood and Madness
Kinchen skilfully weaves together her experiences as a mother and a gardener in this beautiful evocation of a journey through darkness into light.
Sue Stuart-Smith, author of The Well Gardened Mind
A gorgeously subtle memoir of depression, that intertwines in surprising and often uplifting ways with the healing power of nature.
Monica Ali
Both delicate and powerful, The Ballast Seed paints a portrait of early motherhood that is refreshing in its refusal to deny either the despair or the hope of that fragile time. It feels like a paean to paying attention - to our own emotional landscapes, to the histories (and botanies) on our doorstep, to everyday moments of beauty.
Miranda Ward, author of Adrift
I loved the open and honest clarity of The Ballast Seed. A memoir that weaves the personal challenges of a surprise pregnancy with biography, and a discovery of the healing quality of horticulture. It is a book about the power of caring and nurture, for yourself, your children, and for plants and community, full of surprising discoveries within the fast paced urban landscape. But it is also about transformation and regeneration. A gorgeous testament to a growing year, and the wonders of new life.
Lily Dunn, author of Sins of My Father
The Ballast Seed is a book to read... The language is evocative, the writing beautiful, intense and personal... the book is infused with the thrill of discovery and knowledge... a compelling and profoundly hopeful read.
Naomi Slade, THE GARDEN
[An] intelligent, careful memoir... Its tales of plants, friendship and the immense solace of plunging your hands into the soil will resonate with many.
Hephzibah Anderson, OBSERVER
A gorgeous memoir about an unexpected pregnancy.
Eve Crosbie, HELLO! MAGAZINE