Thursday, June 23, 2011
Review of Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Published by: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: Audiobook borrowed from the library
From Goodreads: 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.
The reader of this audiobook, Angela Lin, did the most amazing job. I was captivated by her voice before the first chapter was over. She really made the characters come to life and I felt like they were my passengers as I rode back and forth to work everyday.
Along with the cadence of the audiobook, the story itself blew me away. Imagine only living until you were twenty or twenty-five years old. I can't even fathom that...I'd be dead already. Now not only imagine that, but also that you are captured and forced to be someone's bride to procreate and further the human race. YIKES!!!
Rhine was an amazing women at the old age of sixteen. She was graceful and elegant, but determined with a fierceness to rival any warrior. She was everything a first wife should be, except she was by no means excepting of her new position.
The sister-wives and their relationship was one of the best things about the novel. They were all very different but bonded together in their situation. Each with a different manor and position, they made wonderful companions and gave the story it's voice.
Another character that I grew to love was Linden. This was a total surprise for me, but I actually started to fall for him. His love, compassion and generosity towards his wives touched me.
The writing was lyrical. It was beautiful and heartfelt. DeStefano tackled difficult issues such as polygamy, child pregnancy, and ignorance. She did this with a style and grace that would rival the Queen's (if she ever talked about such issues). This is one debut author to keep your eye on.