This story is simply wonderful. The structure and the plot mesh together perfectly, and compliment each other. While the order of the scenes is fragmented, it fits with the idea of memories, and the image of a mirror. You never remember things in the order that they happen, you remember them as you are reminded of them. Each scene is a tiny jewel that, when placed together creates a lyrical analysis of Minerva. You really explore who she is, and why.
This piece is filled with gorgeous writing: metaphors, images, etc. But this one part stood out to me: "Their eyes met, and once more she gazed into the mirror of her soul.
Love, that force of betrayal and pain, of suffering and passion, of wonder and glory, shoving the world off its course and felling the bravest men on its endless course of destruction. But this was different. It was not the love of youth that blossomed in each flower and rose with an eternal sun. It was not the love of stolen kisses in the dark and other secrets of the night. This was the love that would not shatter at the slightest touch nor fade with the final dying of the light. "
You are describing a remarkably complex emotion, yet you make it accessible to the reader through these images. I can't really even find the words to describe it hear. I can only say what it isn't. It's not romantic love, per say, but more intimacy, in the old-fashioned sense of the word (describing deep friendship, but without today's sexual connotations).
Minerva is really trying to grasp at immense concepts throughout this. The idea of love. The idea of grief. And, in the end, the idea of a person. I would never be able to write about all these, and still have a coherent story, but you manage to and do it well. And in doing so, you really create a humanity in your Minerva. She struggles with the philosophical concerns we all do, to an extent. And yet, you manage to convey them through writing and through this story. At the same time I feel both that I can relate to Minerva and that I will never truly understand her.
Really, I cannot think of critique for this. I am blown away by your talent as a writer, and by your perception of the world, as shown in this piece. Absolutely brilliant work here!
Author's Response: Wow! Thank you! I don't know what to say in response to this, but hopefully I'll come up with something worthwhile. This review is fabulous!
Your reading of the fragments is really interesting - I hadn't thought of it that way at all, that it's actually a more realistic way of exploring memory. You're right that the mind associates things together rather than follows a linear timeline, so what this story ends up being is an exploration not just of the relationship, but of Minerva's way of remembering it. It leads one to ask why these memories stand out to her, and what do they say about her as a character? This reading makes the story far more complicated in its design, and I like it. :D
Did I write that paragraph? I don't remember doing so - one of those automatic writing moments, I guess. O_O It's scary when that happens, and I'm glad that it made sense and was a powerful statement. Their relationship is a different kind of love, and describing it was a challenge - I think in that paragraph, I was struggling to find the right words, so I used metaphor after metaphor, trying to approximate what I meant. Even now I don't know what it is, though I know what it feels like. It shows just how useless words can be sometimes.
Thank you for that compliment in regard to Minerva's character and the feelings she works through in this story. I never realized when I first started writing this story that it would grapple with these really big topics, and then when they started taking shape, the story just kept growing - not in length, but in depth and breadth. I'm still boggling over how and why it happened, but if it means receiving amazing compliments like this. ^_^