AHH THAT BANNER IT IS SO PRETTY! *runs off to read story now* *just had to say how pretty it is*
And... wow. Wow. This was. Wow. Such a painful life for everyone, but I think what hurt more was knowing that it's so common, and that you presented it so well.
This was so beautifully written. The beginning had me absolutely captivated, even though I didn't fully understand what Mary was doing then. As my understanding grew, so did my interest, but every time I learned something new, I thought I couldn't possibly be more drawn to something until the next piece came along.
I really liked how you split this into smaller pieces within the story, as built Mary's progression into a story of itself. The moments between heartbreaking scenes made it pull me in farther and yet let the pain of everyone involved sink in.
This was absolutely amazing and incredibly sad, but very very good.
AnnieAuthor's Response: Hi Annie! IT IS A LOVELY BANNER YES *drools over prettiness*
Alzheimer's/dementia is actually surprisingly common- I didn't realise until I was talking to a few relatives about it all.
To be honest, most of my knowledge comes form the film 'The Notebook' and I kinda filled in the rest myself :P So this probably isn't very scientifically correct to say the least.
Thank you so much for such a lovely review!
Annon x Report Review
Um, wow. This is was so good! I don't know that many people with Alzheimers, but it was crazy to think about it from their view!
Seriously, I loved it. 10/10~
/SarahAuthor's Response: thank you so much for reviewing! it means a lot to me, and i loved writing this so i'm glad people enjoyed it and it made them think about different viewpoints.
~annon Report Review
ANNON, THIS WAS SO LOVELY AND SO SAD :'( I probably should have picked a better time to read it than when I got home from the local care home...you just described all the symptoms so well, and it really felt as though I was drifting away with Mary, never quite sure of who's who any more D:
Your characterisation of all the characters was fantastic. It must have been so difficult to write 1st-person POV for someone whose mind is so confused, but you did it so beautifully! It really made me feel like a bewildered old lady, trying to remember the facts that slip by me.
And your description of the memories, how they interwove with the present to confuse it all, they were so amazing! I felt genuinely turned around, all unsure in the head, and feeling helpless. You wrote the feeling of helplessness so well, it really came across in the piece and reached out to me.
And Arthur - you showed his love for Mary so perfectly, so completely, how they would have fitted together so easily once, and now were split apart and he was trying to bring her back when he could. It was so sad to see him from Mary's POV too, especially for that last heart-wrenching line - Forget me, Arthur, I think. Please just forget me- like I have already forgotten you. It just made me tear up :(
The "ways to die" bit was really original - and really sad, because the way each way to die was almost a metaphor for something more ordinary that felt multiplied in Mary's eye. And the way she wanted to die was just heart-stabbingly sad :'(
In a weird way, I was reminded of two of Helen's characters, and it almost added an extra layer of meaning. Firstly, Mary MacDonald - this is obviously a different Mary, but since Helen's Mary never made it past 16, it made your Mary's slow descent into death somehow even more tragic because she made it that far into life but still went early, and not on her own terms. Secondly, Jenny reminded me a bit of Euan's wife Jessica in Azkaban - that acceptance of a painful mental situation, and trying to brush it off and turn it into a you-hate-me-you're-deliberately-hurting-me situation to hide the pain :( So it made her extra-real, in a way, since the clarity of Jenny in Mary's RL had been blurred by the memories.
It was just so beautiful, all of it; there was such a sadness to it all from putting yourself in her place, and seeing it all muddle together as she had to ask Arthur over and over why she was coming to St Mungo's... and the realisation that she will stay there, asking just that, for the rest of her life... it made me cry :'(
You have so much talent for description and characterisation, Annon! And this is so wonderful in its evokation (?) of tears and sadness, 100/10 (wait, you can't go to 100? damn). Please never stop writing!
~LottieAuthor's Response: ASDFGHJKL I LOFF YOU.
-before i continue, please note this response will be utter drivel and a lot of squeeing- :3
so much love and nutella coming your wayy
it was difficult to write a story where the main character was losing her mind, and especially as it was from her point of view, i have to say. but somehow i just managed to find the right words to get that feeling of helplessness you described and i really have no idea how i did it, and if i tried to do it again i'm pretty sure i couldn't. that's the worrying thing. whenever i write something i'm vaguely happy about, I'm always convinced i could never write it again! O.O
but enough about my silly insecurities. :)
The "ways to die" thing was completely spontaneous, and to be honest the one-shot would definitely work without it, but i just thought it was a nice way to divide up the scenes? :)
You're right about jenny being like Helen's jessica, actually! I think the part where jenny slams the door is when you can see the resemblence most clearly. hmm, interesting..
Meh, thank you thank you thank you
(love you) Report Review
My mum has Alzheimer's and oh my god this was heart breaking for me to read. I hate it and love it at the same time. You captured the emotion do wonderfully I'm just bowled over. I keep reading it and seeing myself as Jenny and its like reading about my own life except not magical of course and then I was crying and...oh my god. Just...yeah. This is amazing. Thank you so much for writing.Author's Response: Hi, I'm so honoured by this review I just can't tell you. You're so very welcome, and thank you so much for reviewing. I'm so pleased I got the emotions right, as I have little experience with alzheimer's!
x Report Review
So, this was a right old emotional piece and horrible and beautifully written. Alzheimers is one of the worst things, really, and it's one of those things that I truly honestly hate. It's just so undignified and raw to forget everything that makes you yourself and have it all just stripped away from you because of a disease. But, even just old age by itself is pretty brutal - when you watch someone struggle to find the right name out of a catalogue of many. Its difficult.
Anyway, this was amazing and lovely and so sad.
thanks for writing :)Author's Response: Hi! :)
I have to admit, alzheimer's scares me. A lot. It's probably the worst thing that could happen to someone, in my opinion. Undignified is an interesting word choice, but I can see what you mean by it; the person afflicted literally has to depend on others for their every need. I watch my grandma struggle to do up up buttons or put lids on bottles and I think; gosh. humans are fragile.
But anyway, so glad you liked it- it means a lot to me!
Wow, this was very intense. I could just feel the stress and confusion radiateing off the narration of poor Mary.
I thought that Alzheimers was a pretty brave topic to write about. I know that a lot of people probably can relate to this, I know I can. My grandma has alzheimers, and every time we go visit her she thinks we are her old neighbor's kids. Its rather depressing.
Since I do have a little bit of backround knowledge on the disease though, I can honestly say that I thought this chapter really embodied the feelings that went along with it. Everything from the confusion she feels, to the pain that Arthur feels.
The entire 5 ways to die thing was an interesting way to organize things. It made the emotions seem more intense since we know that she's dying, but since there are five different ways you really illuminate the idea of a slow death. Its very sad, but it was good.
Anyway, great one shot, everything was very well written. Hope to see you around the BvB battle some time again soon :)
-LizAuthor's Response: Hi Liz! Thank you for reviewing (and nominating this for SOTM :P).
Alzheimer's is actually a surprisingly common disease, and it's all the more awful becasue there really is nothing anyone can do about it. You're right- lots of people can relate. i don't know why, but I find it quite important that people can relate to my writing.
Yay! I'm so pleased you think so :)
See youa round the CR ;)
-Annon Report Review
Blah! This was such a beautiful and tragic story. It almost feels a bit chaotic with the changing scenes, but in a very good way. Nothing is tangible, it's almost like I feel the memory being ripped away - but it was never concrete because there were just small bits of what she had being relayed to us. It was just such a great and realistic way to set this all up and really strengthened the piece.
Your descriptions are heart breaking, I feel so bad for Mary and Arthur both. Jenny, too, of course. But I can't help but imagine the man in the Notebook as Arthur, completely broken without his other half.
Being magical would have so many amazing qualities, but then there are these things that even magic can't help. The deterioration of the mind would be such a terrible thing to experience, you matched her confusion with fear perfectly. Especially when Arthur was first taking her into St. Mungo's and she was thinking to herself that she's not crazy.
This was a very impressive one shot, I don't think I even have any CC for you!
JamiAuthor's Response: Hey! Thanks for reviewing, this was so lovely to read.
I fiddled around with the layout for ages actually, trying to get that smoky, not-quite-real tone, because it is from teh point of view of someone who really doesn't know what's happening anymore. I'm so happy you think I've done it well :D.
I wrote Jenny to be getting a bit impatient with the whole thing actually, when she slammed the door etc. I don't know if that's realistic or not, but I thought that would be her attitude. But Arthur, oh poor Arthur! You're so right actually- it is a bit like the ending of the notebook (love that film). Especially the part where Allie and Noah are dancing and then Allie forgets who he is and thinks he's attacking her. That's the same sort of confusion and terror that I wanted to capture in this.
Yeah, I chose to write about Alzheimer's because I didn't see a way that magic could cure it. It is purely a mental disease, and all they can really do at St Mungos is monitor her progress.
Thank you Jami!
-Annon Report Review
First of all I have to say that the composition is spectacular. I like the mix of old and new scenes, it just added to the jumble of thoughts and memories that must be inside her head.
Second: wow. You approached this so sensitively and what I can only imagine is true to the real thing. There were a whole mix of emotions mashed together and I could feel her panic and desperation and wanting to remember and hold onto lucid thoughts but struggling so much against her illness. It's not her fault but her family were so concerned and frustrated at the same time by it. They can't help her being ill either but it must be so painful to have to go through that. You really wrote this perfectly and beautifully and it was so heartbreakingly tragic.
Wonderful. ♥Author's Response: Hey Marina! Eee, this review has made me so happy :).
Mm, yes, I wanted to have those fragments of Mary's memories in there to really emphasize how confusing and upsetting the whole thing is~ I wanted it to build a sense of panic, as well, and a sort of 'history' of the disease. I wasn't sure whether to do more or not, but decided that they were pretty angsty and there's enough angst in this already :D.
Like I said in my author's note, I really don't have much experience with this illness apart from the fact that a neighbour of mine has it, and I often bake her cookies and it's always really scary how helpless she seems.
Anyway, gosh, you have no idea how much this review means to mee, or what a compliment it is :O. Thank you so, so much! Report Review
ohmygosh. i'm crying, like, actually crying. this was absolutely completely amazing and so special. wow. i love this so much, its so sad but wonderfully written and true. never stop writing!Author's Response: Ahh, thank you so much for reviewing! I'm really touched that you think I wrote this well- it was very hard to do, especially because I don't know that much about alzheimer's or anything. I won't stop writing! Thank you :3 x Report Review
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