Um well. I have to say I've never read anything quite like this, and that I'm fairly sure I enjoyed it. In fact, I might just read the entire thing over again right this minute. I like that it's so... pretty, and I know that's not the word for it but it's the only thing I can think of. It just reminds me of a mass of colour that twists and turns and never really ends. Something you could probably look at forever, and never fully understand. And well, I think that's very pretty. Or perhaps some other word that makes more sense but is lost somewhere in a continuous circle of time and forever out of my reach.
But I won't get philosophical.
Impressive, really, how you have a, er, "happy ending" sort of thing without minimising all the loss. I really do like that, and I think it's an important thing for an author to remember in a story like this (though no story is quite like this, of course), that the characters should really earn their peace. Not so much by their own actions or thoughts, but by... well, the way it's all written. I suppose I'm saying the ending was well worth the story, and the same in reverse. Though I'm not really sure that makes any more sense.
In any case, I feel very much... at peace with this story. And I do like that. And I think you're a perfectly lovely writer or perhaps in a less poncey way that's drifting off in space. But it is there somewhere, I promise.
Well enough of this, I'm sure you've loads of things to do, just wanted to let you know I appreciate it all.
Author's Response: This review has floored me for a considerable amount of time, and I'm sorry for my failure to respond to this sooner. To see that someone had "got" the story like you have is a wonderful thing, and I'm very thankful that you read and reviewed. It's a story that has meant a lot to me, and your review has helped cement that.
"Pretty" works well enough - I think I understand what you mean. I love how you described it as a neverending mass of colour and that elusive thing, like a strange painting, that attracts one's eye, but remains just beyond one's grasp. Wow! It's incredible to hear that this story has had that effect upon a reader. I've never been able to see this story from the outside, but it is unending - at some point, the plot turned back on itself again and again until Lily's life became not the linear time of most, but an endless cycle. It's the thing I've wanted to see in other time travel stories, but it never quite happens. For some reason, here, it did, and I still don't know how.
You're right about the ending. There can't be a happy ending, not in a perfect fluffy way - the trauma that both characters have undergone is too powerful, and to evade it would undermine any realism I may have achieved in this story. They both will die; they both will be unhappy; but that's what people do; it's the natural process, and there's no way to escape it, not even if you have power over time. I'm really pleased to hear that the ending was worthy of the rest - I have a fear of ending stories because most endings are let-downs in their own way, and I didn't want that for this story. I wanted something that provided closure, but was equally open-ended.
Thank you so much for this. I hoped to write something different, something to evoke emotion and thought, and that, from what I see, is exactly what it did. ^_^