The Declaration, chapter 15

It’s 2am, and thus time for Anna and Peter to make their long-awaited escape attempt.

Peter was pulling a blunt cutlery knife out of his overalls.”

I’ve never heard it called that before. Well, at least it’ll come in handy if they need to butter any rolls. Continue reading

The Declaration, chapter 14

This one’s a short chapter, but chapter 15 looks eventful so I didn’t want to do them both at once.

Anna wakes up in Solitary, where she’s conveniently in the cell next to Peter. As planned, they will be leaving tonight, between the midnight rounds and Evil Mrs Pincent’s 4am visit to make Peter ‘disappear’. That means she’s going to have him killed, by the way. I wouldn’t want you to miss the point because it was too subtle. Continue reading

The Declaration, chapter 13

The big day has arrived, and Anna is understandably nervous. As she doesn’t want the others – especially Sheila – to suspect anything, she tries to act normal.

[Anna] had gone to Female Bathroom 2 to retrieve her journal, which was now burning a hole in her left overall pocket.”

Mere pages ago, Anna didn’t take the journal with her because she didn’t want someone to spot it, but now it’s okay? It’s like it was only left in the bathroom those extra few hours so Sheila could find it. Continue reading

The Declaration, chapter 11

“Mrs Pincent is evil. Peter was right – Mrs Pincent is the most evil Legal who ever lived.”

In a more nuanced book, she wouldn’t be, but here, Mrs Pincent is the ultimate evil of evils. Anna feels hurt, betrayed and angry, and because she has the emotional maturity of someone half her age, her first reaction is to have a tantrum.

I’m not denying here that Mrs Pincent is A Bad Person, by the way. She’s certainly manipulative and abusive. But this book isn’t often a fan of nuance. Continue reading

The Declaration, chapter 10

Yes, I know it’s been a while. First I got ill, then I was busy, then I was just too damn tired to keep reading The Declaration along with everything else I wanted to do with my life. But I’m here now, and ready to dive right into chapter 10.

It’s a new day at Grange Hall, and Anna’s got Laundry class, or as it turns out to be today, ironing class.

“She got to see the soft sheets and beautiful clothes that the people in the village wore – soft woollen jumpers, wisp-thin silk blouses and beautiful cotton dresses.”

I assumed this is an advanced Laundry class, or those jumpers and blouses would surely get ruined. Continue reading

The Declaration, chapter 9

Anna has gone down to Solitary to chat to Peter, because, if she doesn’t, the plot will never advance.

“’I…I just wanted to check that you were OK.’”

Peter is woozy and out of it, and Anna thinks it’s because Charlie and the others beat him senseless earlier. As it turns out, Evil Mrs Pincent and the random men had been interrogating him to try to find out more about his main character status.

  Continue reading

The Declaration, chapter 8

It’s a brutal start to the chapter, as Tania and Charlotte are back from Solitary sporting fresh bruises. This is business as usual for the kids, though, who would rather gossip about the fact that Peter hasn’t shown up for class. But if you thought the child-beating was over, then sadly you’re in for an unpleasant surprise.

It’s Decorum class, and the theme for today is Invisibility – no, not a Harry Potter spell, but the ability of servants to remain quiet and unnoticed until they are needed. To that end, teacher Mrs Dawson, whom Anna likes and wants to impress, has each student attempt to walk silently across the room.

“He was quiet, often distracted, and wasn’t good at anything as far as Anna could tell.” Continue reading

The Declaration, chapters 6-7

Anna now has no choice but to interact with Peter, and this chapter is an odd mixed bag of her both liking him and hating him. Although he’s smart and obedient when it suits him, Peter is still using every opportunity to chat to Anna about the world outside, and she can’t help but be fascinated.

Since he’s from the Outside, Peter doesn’t capitalise everything of even vague importance – instead, he uses inverted commas. Apparently, Peter grew up in a secret underground apartment so that he wouldn’t be captured, and was encouraged to ‘question things’ and ‘form opinions’. Continue reading

The Declaration, chapters 4-5

The chapter begins with another diary entry from Anna, and, guess what, she’s still going on about how much she hates Peter. She talks about how his spirit isn’t being broken by being put in Solitary all the time, and mentions another boy named Patrick who was sent away to do hard labour for being defiant.

Then it’s back to the third person to hear more about how Anna likes being good and obedient, and the fact that she’s now a Dormitory Monitor and a Prefect and whatnot, none of the others talk to her. Which is okay, I guess, because it means the author doesn’t have to come up with any more characters. Continue reading