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Set in an America following a second Civil War over fought over abortion, a new law states that no life can be taken until the age of 13, but from 13 to 17 parents and guardians can "unwind" any child they want. (Unwinding means harvesting a person's organs.) Three teens, who were to be unwound for various reasons, go on the run.
Florence Darrow is a small-town striver who believes that she's destined to become a celebrated writer. When she stumbles onto an opportunity to become the assistant to "Maud Dixon", a celebrated—but completely anonymous—novelist of almost mythical status, Florence believes that the universe is finally providing her with her big chance. The arrangement comes with conditions—high secrecy, endless NDAs, living in an isolated house upstate—but to her, all this is little short of idyllic. Before long, the two of them are on a research trip to Morocco, to inspire and help along the much-promised second novel. All is crumbling villas, red sunsets and long, whisky-filled evening discussions… until Florence wakes up in a hospital, having narrowly survived a car crash. Either her world has just fallen apart, or she now has the greatest ever opportunity to live the life she believes pre-ordained for her.