Years ago, ten men colonized an island off the coats of a crumbling nation. There they built a society based on ancestor worship, controlled breeding, and the rationing of knowledge and history. Generations later, the community continues to follow their vision, and only the wanderers- chosen male descendants of the original ten- are allowed to leave the island. The daughters of these men have a strictly ordained future. At the first sign of puberty, they face their summer of fruition, a ritualistic season that catapults them from adolescence to matrimony. When their children have children, and they are no longer useful, they take their final draft and die. But in the summer, children reign supreme. With adults indoors and the pubescent in fruition, the young run wild, fighting over food and shelter, free of their fathers' hands and their mothers' despair. And it is at the end of one such summer that little Caitlin Jacob sees something so strange, so horrifying, that she must share it with the others- prompting born rebel Janey Solomon to step forward and seek the truth. At seventeen years old, Janey is slowly starving herself to death to avoid womanhood. Trying urgently to unravel the mysteries of the island and what lies beyond, she leads the girls in an uprising that may be their salvation, or their undoing.- From the cover
This book is very dystopian. The girl children happily live in a dark and brooding world, almost unaware of their future. Their future changes when Janey steps forward. This book is hard to read. The farther into the beginning you read, the more the bleakness of the dystopian world settles in. Then, like Janey, you see a light. The shimmer of possibility brings hope. The book was really well written and the characters were all amazing, especially for children. The girls were stubborn, smart, adaptive and amazing. While this book may seem anti-feminist on the surface, I felt a strong tug of feminism just below the current. I enjoyed this book, even though it was out of my normal book reading.