Wither by Lauren DeStefano

January 4, 2012

This story takes place in the future, when new generations have a virus that kills men when they turn 25 and women when they turn 20. This virus is caused when one generation gets a shot that lets them live longer and healthier lives. Little do they know that their offspring will have this virus that is incurable and will spread to all the new generations in the future. There are only a few old people in the future, and they are the ones who got the shots.

The story is introduced to a girl named Rhine. She is being kidnapped by men in grey coats with white vans. She and a dozen other girls are taken to Florida from New York where three of them, including Rhine, are forced into polygamy. The then others that were not chosen were shot.

Rhine is forced into marrying a guy named Linden. He is the son of a first generation named Housemaster Vaughn, who still lives with Linden. This family is filthy rich and owns miler of land and a mansion that is too big to describe. Linden is already married to a woman he is madly in love with named Rose. Rose has just turned twenty and is dying from the incurable virus. She is mean and demanding to all the servants, but has a soft spot for Rhine. She and Rhine become fairly close before she passes away. After she is gone, Linden becomes depressed and goes to Rhine for comfort.

Rhine also has two sister wives named Cicily and Jenna. She doesn’t become close with them at first, but eventually becomes close with Jenna. Cicily becomes pregnant when she is 13, but is excited to be the first sister wife carrying Linden’s baby. She names the baby boy Bowen, but Housemaster Vaughn takes him away from her frequently for testing.
While being in the mansion, Jenna falls ill before she turns twenty. Rhine is suspicious, because people don’t become ill until after they turn twenty. She thinks House Master Vaughn gave her a poison that made her fall ill and die suddenly.
Rhine also tries to run away during a hurricane, but is unsuccessful her first time. She then makes a better plan to run away with her house servant, Gabriel, who she has started to have feelings for. They get out successfully and run to the harbor where they steal a boat and sail up the coast to Manhattan.
This is the ending of the first novel of the 3 book series. I am not sure what the next book will be about, but I think she will try to find her family that got left behind.

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