|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
Ahh, Faulkner! I knew it reminded me of something, those repetitions like a warped record wobbling on an old gramophone. I thought that they added an interesting rhythm to the story, as though her mind kept getting caught on a knot, having to repeat before it could complete the thought. It fits how I saw the story as three threads braided together, but every so often, one is knotted. The stylistic complexity of this one-shot goes beyond what you've done before - the result is beautiful, very lyrical with vivid imagery.
The content is equally fascinating because you alter the common (mostly headcanon, only hinted at in the books) perception of Eileen and Tobias's relationship as negative, wholly abusive and repellent, an ugly pureblood witch marrying a muggle who came to hate her magic. But here, it's different, she loves him almost because of his scowl and sharpness, yearning for it even after it's gone. There's enough wiggle room in canon for this to fit - Snape's point of view is limited (and limiting), and we never see enough of his mother to ever guess at her own perspective of her marriage.
The part that I'm still thinking through is the whole thing about the daffodil. It's the thing that she desires most, and she doesn't lose that desire with the knowledge that it effectively killed Tobias. That flower is her narcissism (can I generalize and say that it makes her appropriately pureblood :P), and she literally becomes Narcissus when she also falls into the water - but I like your twist on it, that it's the flower, and not her own reflection, that attracts her. Her love is for the flower, but why? Not that you need to answer that - it's the kind of thing crazy people like me run off and write essays about. I like the ambiguity and open-endedness of it.
This is the kind of story that gets published. It's like a perfect little package of literary candy. You've totally outdone yourself with this story - it's more refined and complex than "Come, Sugar". You push your style and technique further here, and the result is breathtaking! There is so much more I could write about, especially about the descriptions (it's a wonderfully tactile story filled with dirt and textured, earthy things) and the narrative voice, but then I'll go on forever. Amazing work with this story - it's definitely find a home on my favourites list. ^_^
Author's Response: Hi darling! I keep coming back to your review over and over again because I'm just so astounded.
Yes, Faulkner! I've definitely come to appreciate that old nutcase! :P You know, that is a fabulous analogy for this - like an old gramophone. We definitely do that, I believe - let something run through our heads over and over until we can get past it and finish the thought (at least, I do!). Thank you - I don't even know how to respond, I'm so over the moon!
Oh yes, I like to alter canon/headcanon when it comes to Eileen & Tobias. As you mentioned, Severus's point of view can be limiting. We honestly have no idea what happened in their relationship because perhaps what he remembers are only those rough patches in the relationship, you know? Every time I write Eileen & Tobias, I want to give them something more, give them depth and meaning, not cruelty - Severus was a very pessimistic character, so I think his memories should be taken with a grain of salt. I'm really glad you picked up on the fact that she loves him for his sharp nature. I think that many of us may know someone in our lives with that sharp nature, but we love them anyway.
Ahh, the daffodil. I did throw a bit of myself into it, if I'm being honest. Daffodils are my favorite flowers (I'm Southern, so we call them johnnyquils). Random fact! Back to the daffodil! Why does she love the flower? I don't think I should even attempt to answer it because I don't really know myself and I wrote the piece! It just sort of flowed out of my subconsciousness onto the paper. She desires Tobias and the daffodil after fifty years - it's an odd, yet I think relatable thing. It's human nature.
Susan, I just don't even know! That's one of the biggest compliments I could ever receive! You're too kind, I think! I've gotten into the stage where I do want to push my boundaries further and further every time, and I'm so glad that it worked! Thank you so much! I've been on cloud 9 all week! Thank you! :)