You guuuuuuuuys this book is so booooooooooring. I read and read and read and nothing haaaaaaappens and then I come here to write and it’s like…nothing’s haaaaaapppened.
I guess we’re just experiencing what Gabrielle is, it’s like an RPG! That’s the way to look at it, right?
Don’t you sass me.
Soooo…okay. Gabrielle’s still in the attic, but unlike certain others, she’s alone and doesn’t even have a barre or a big paper snail to hang out with. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand she sits. And she reads. And she does embroidery. And she sits some more. Gladys is still being, well, Gladys; coming up and getting annoyed when she catches Gabby crying, telling her not to use the lamp because she (Gladys) likes sitting in the dark (!), and one night after Gabrielle tells her that she can’t help her mood swings, she catches Gladys making herself laugh and then abruptly cry. Woooo boy. Gladys wants to know every detail of Gabby’s pregnancy so that she can maintain her cover, even her dreams and what smells and whatnot bother her. Oh and Gabrielle’s befriended a heron or something that’s nested on the roof, so she talks to him a lot. Okay.
Once Gabby starts to show, Gladys won’t let her walk outside on Thursdays anymore, but when Catherine hears about it and flips out, Gladys allows Gabrielle to walk around the house on those nights instead. During one walk, Gabrielle peeks through an open bedroom door and realizes that she’s looking at Octavious’ room, meaning that he and Gladys don’t share. She accidentally asks Gladys about it, who gets immediately defensive and accuses Gabrielle of nosing around. She tells her that it’s for the best since men are raging lust-machines whom any decent woman can’t bear to be around. That’s what her father told her, anyway. Uh oh. Gabrielle is surprised that Gladys’ father was the one who told her about sex, and Gladys laughs that her mother was a prude who even covered up the piano legs. So…her mom was a Victorian caricature from Wondermark? Gladys gets all wistful and nostalgic for the good old days twenty years ago when people were more proper and…hold on. Gladys is supposed to be, what, like 25? And she’s getting all misty-eyed remembering the prim and proper 1920s? Hush Gladys. Just hush. She further explains that Octavious has never forgiven her for getting her period on their honeymoon and ruining everything because he is a baby. Gabrielle’s like “Whoa Nelly that is more than I asked to hear” so she excuses herself for her walk, but can’t leave until she demonstrates a pregnancy waddle for Gladys. Oh and even after that, Gladys comes along on her walk. It actually starts out kind of nice because Gladys gives her a tour and talks about the history of various paintings and vases and whatnot, but it turns darker when Gabrielle realizes that while Gladys seems happy when discussing things her mother bought, she gets bitter when discussing her father’s gifts. Run Gabby, run! Gladys leaves her and Gabrielle goes back to her room.
Ugh so like a week later Octavious tries to make some moves on Gabrielle because he is disgusting and he tells Gabrielle that Gladys was molested by her father and that’s why he and she have such a terrible sex life. THEREFORE he had to rape Gabrielle AND they should totally have sex. OCTAVIOUS DIE PLEASE. Oh and Gladys faked being on her period (she brought pig’s blood along) in order to postpone consummating their marriage. Yeah, we still don’t feel sorry for you, Octavious. And isn’t this Paul and Julia’s backstory from Petals on the Wind? ANYWAY Gabrielle tells him to go away and then she talks to that heron some more and then she feels the baby kicking and feels all conflicted about giving the baby away and then Catherine reminds her about that FORESHADOWING bird from earlier and oh my god it never stops. Later Gabrielle befriends the son of one of the Tate servants, who is deaf, and learns to communicate with him. This comes in handy when she goes into labor one evening while the Tates are having a fancy party and no one can hear her to help. The boy goes to get Catherine and Gladys eventually hears Gabrielle and is all “What? We’re bleeding??? We’re in labor?” and Gabby’s all “No crazy, I’M bleeding. I’M in labor. My mom is coming. Stop being weird.” So Gladys runs off to pretend to her guests like she’s in labor (yelling “Bleeding!! Contractions!!” because that’s what pregnant ladies do) and Gabrielle prays that the baby will be all right.
Catherine comes and they go down to Gladys’ room, where she’s had a second bed put in so that she can lay on it and pee on herself so that she can pretend that her water broke. I am not kidding. She also makes Octavious fire the little boy’s family. So yeah, it’s long and arduous and finally Gabrielle brings Paul into the world. Gladys is like “Okay gimme my baby and GTFO” but Catherine convinces Octavious to let them move Gladys and Paul to another room so that Gabrielle can at least rest a little. A few hours later Gabrielle feels well enough to leave, but Octavious lets her see the baby briefly before they do.
ARGH and then they go home and Jack is an ass and he’s lost all the money and Gabrielle is sad and she writes a letter that Paul can never have and that is the END of the section OMG.
Coming up: Pierre is coming. Prepare yourselves.