By Gemma Malley
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, Hardcover, 9781599901190, 300pp.
Publication Date: October 2, 2007
List Price: $16.95*
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It's the year 2140 and Longevity drugs have all but eradicated old age. A never-aging society can't sustain population growth, however which means Anna should never have been born. Nor should any of the children she lives with at Grange Hall. The facility is full of boys and girls whose parents chose to have kids--called surpluses--despite a law forbidding them from doing so. These children are raised as servants, and brought up to believe they must atone for their very existence. Then one day a boy named Peter appears at the Hall, bringing with him news of the world outside, a place where people are starting to say that Longevity is bad, and that maybe people "shouldn't" live forever. Peter begs Anna to escape with him, but Anna's not sure who to trust: the strange new boy whose version of life sounds like a dangerous fairy tale, or the familiar walls of Grange Hall and the head mistress who has controlled her every waking thought?
Chilling, poignant, and endlessly though-provoking, "The Declaration" is a powerful debut that will have readers agonizing over Anna's fate until the very last page.