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Review:Roots in Water says:
It's Roots in Water here with your review!

Wow. Just wow. This was a very original idea and very well executed. In particular, I liked the way you told it from finish to start, beginning with the statement that to begin from the earliest moment is not always the best way to start and concluding with the beginning of the problem. I loved the way it all clicked together.

I think that this was a very plausible idea made even more believable by your characterization. The way you wrote Lily made her come across as a real person, one who made the wrong decision and lived with it. She wasn't necessarily a bad person, just a woman who wasn't able to stop loving a man after the relationship was over. The way you continually described how the shadows, tricks of the light, tiredness made it possible for James to become Severus showed the depth of her feelings for Severus, that her life was miserable (clinging to straws) and explained why she had started the mess at all. It was all a series of mistakes, of unfortunate decisions, that spiraled out of her control.

You did a fantastic job of explaining and exploring the emotions of James and Lily and did so in an elegant fashion. The description of James' feelings were in particular very interesting and I found it fascinating to watch as he became more depressed and less open as he realized that Lily didn't love him, at least not as much as he had believed. Lily's changes were interesting to watch as well because she starts to feel guilty for her actions and becomes aware of the mess she has made of her life. You managed to do a lot of character development in this small (or not so small) piece.

As well, I liked the repetition of the line "Once more unto the breach" because it related them together. Furthermore, since James used it in a warlike sense, it brought a feeling of battle to Lily's situation, of her trying desperately to make the best of her situation, of refusing to let go.

All in all I really enjoyed this piece. It's the type that leaves you to your thoughts for a long time after you've finished reading it, trying to puzzle out the characters and figure out the nuances of the ending (or rather, in this case, the beginning). Thanks for requesting!

Author's Response: Wow! Thank you very much for this! I'm very glad to hear that this story effectively captured the atmosphere, structure, and characterization that I hoped for - the response to it has been low, and it made me worry, even with the compliments, that something was still wrong with it. I've often thought that it didn't reflect the initial idea I'd had for it, but after reading your interpretations and thoughts, that mindset is changing. I can't thank you enough for that, especially now that I'm looking to write a Snape/Lily story with a similar atmosphere. :D

It's wonderful that you liked the structure - this is my first attempt at full-blown reverse chronology rather than just using flashbacks or out-of-order scenes. The inspiration for this story started with the ending, that scene between Lily and James at the kitchen table, and then my mind kept digging backwards until it reached the beginning - it was a very strange way of creating a story, but I'm really pleased that it worked. ^_^

I think what gets me most about your review is that you liked my characterization of Lily in this story. She's always been an enigma to me, just outside of reach, and in this story, I took on the challenge of writing from her perspective, seeing the world as she may have seen it. That she's emerged as human and complicated, a victim of her own mistakes, is all I ever could have hoped for. Thank you!

James became the real sympathetic character in this story for me - Lily's mistakes may make her human, but they also distance her in her reaction to them and the somewhat cold way that she treats James. He, however, truly loves her and has changed himself so as to better suit her, but he still cannot connect with her - that becomes the tragedy of the story, that the expression of her love comes too late. Perhaps it will make a difference, but the damage has already been done to both of them.

I didn't think about Lily's battle reflecting that line from Shakespare, but it does fit perfectly, wow! She's constantly at battle between herself - the love for Snape and James more at war than were the two wizards themselves - and it comes out most in those post-battle scenes. Amazing that you picked that out!

Thank you again for reading this story and writing such a fantastic review! It means a lot to have heard your thoughts on this story. ^_^

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