What if you knew exactly when you would die?
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb — males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape — to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.
You wouldn't think yourself lucky to be kidnapped and taken to be one of the brides for some random man, but if you were one of the ones left behind in the van after the picking, trust me, you were lucky. *Random thought - does anyone else wonder if the van girls ended up in the basement?* Rhine finds herself in this position, along with Jenna and Cecily, and are married to Linden without even needing to say 'I do'. The sister wives are locked in their own wing of the mansion with only an elevator activated by keycard to get out (guess they're not worried about fire drills...)
Rhine plays along to avoid becoming an experimental cadaver in the basement, but doesn't find herself particularly drawn to her captor (shocker). She does, however, develop a little thing for the servant boy, Gabriel. She wants desperately to escape and return to her twin brother but refuses to go without Gabriel, who's been transfered to work in the creepy, off-limits basement.
I've been trully captivated - and that's rare. The prose flowed beautifully and made Wither an easy, clean read with a plot that kept me intrigued. Can't wait for Fever next spring!