I can actually remember reading this before, but I've checked, and I'm gutted to see that I didn't leave a review (I know- I need to be shot immediately. Failing to review is a truly awful thing to do). But I have to say, this drabble does exactly what you intended for it to do. It's touching on so many levels that I can sense another long review coming on!
Firstly, I love the idea of the garden as a sort of metaphor for Alice's life. The way you've written her backstory, it's entirely evident that she had a wonderful, happy childhood- and this is beautifully reflected in the wonders of her grandmother's garden. I love the way that you describe her particular appreciation for the roses, and it's almost as if every rose is fundementally the same, so that their beauty can never truly die, as even though one might grow old it is always replaced by another, just as splendid. This is such a gorgeous, idyllic view of the world, and gives a wonderful impression of Alice as an enticing optimist.
And then, when she takes Frank to her garden it's like she's openning up a secret part of herself, just for him. It sort of reminds me of The Secret Garden (which is, incidentally, one of my favourite films) With all these metaphors for hope and life growing up all around them. The mention of naming their daughter Rose is perfect, and the discussion of baby names and their future fits wonderfully amongst this verdent, fertile setting. It's a lovely image, and so vivid in my mind's eye.
And then, to cut to the heart wrenching moment, we find Alice alone, and obviously scared, in her hospital ward. And suddenly the garden is an escape for her. This is amazing, as it really reminds me of the ideas vested in the Romantic poetry of the 1700 and 1800s. So many people see nature as an escape from the harsh realities of real life, and it's heart breaking to imagine Alice lying alone in her hospital ward, desperately picturing the garden which represents the freedom of her childhood, and the shattered dreams of her once bright future. It's incredibly sad, and I think you portray these emotions wonderfully. I simply adore nature in literature, and I think you used it perfectly in this fanfiction.
I think I've probably said too much (in fact, I know that I have) but I really did feel that you needed to know how much this writing has effected me. It's wonderful.
Take care X
Author's Response: No, you definitely haven't said too much! In fact, you said just enough to light my face with a lil' smile! lol.
Thank you so much for understanding my writing. I've never before had any reader (in both fanfiction and personal writings) understand my intentions so well. These reviews that you've left, both for this story and my others, have been so inspiring and kind.
Thank you so very much!