I decided that I didn't want to leave this review hanging, because it was still buzzing about in my head, determined to not leave me alone. So I decided to swing by and leave you a (hopefully) semi-coherent review tonight!
This is basically one of the best Charlie/OC stories I've yet read (and I went through a phase where I read any I could find!). And I feel supremely confident that I would say that even if I didn't know you outside of this review box, because you have a very gifted way of writing people, of getting inside their heads. When I'm reading about Apricot's interactions with Charlie, they feel so real, like they're people I actually know, or would like to know. They go beyond characters on a screen, and not a lot of people can do that. I have a large amount of appreciation for it. :)
I love the bits you've thrown in -- the yellow flame and the letter about Cedric and the copper cups of porridge. They help ground the story, and I think that's what I was trying to say above -- when I read a story of yours, I'm not reading, I'm there. And I love that, in writing. I can tell you work hard to do that -- or maybe it's natural -- but it really shows.
And as a quick note -- sprinkling the bedtime story through this? Pure genius. You write wee Charlie and wee Percy with such squee-worthy cuteness! ♥ And of course bedtime stories must have morals; they are not complete without one. ;)
I cannot begin to tell you my joy that you came back and finished this. The world would have been a touch drearier without it, you know. Fantastic chapter, as always, and I am very much looking forward to the fourth (and, alas, the last) chapter! ♥
Author's Response: You're so nice to me!! I love semi-coherent things. As you should know, having read a lot more of my stuff than is fit for the public eye, heh.
UM YOU ARE TOO MUCH. STAHP EET.
To be honest, I think it's because writing people is a way of looking for myself and trying to learn about other people. It's funny--I love to write about people but it's very hard for me to be around them in reality, and accept them in reality as well as I do in my stories, in the great overarching name of literature. I really do try to carry over this empathy for people when I think about it into life.
There's this theory that I hold to more and more fervently that is not my own, but that of the rather brilliant William Gass--we're reading him in class and he's tough to read but beautiful--no description in writing, just creation. It had been a specific problem of mine, to ground a story--I like to get philosophical right away in stories--or at least used to like to get philosophical right away in stories--so I worked on it specifically. I hope I am not amiss in saying that what you see here is the combined product of my practice and luck, that occasionally dips down to collect me up.
The bedtime story is the story of this story--that doesn't make sense but, it's the backbone, if you will, from which the ribcage fans up and out, the ribcage of Apricot's personal narrative, and Charlie's, in the present.
And yes. I learned so much through bedtime stories about goodness that I sometimes feel my degraded character should shuffle herself over to the dusty bookshelf to read some more about puppies with more than one cookie rather than these newfangled killing or morally ambiguous stories.
I CAN'T EVEN RESPOND TO THE LAST PARAGRAPH FOR ALL THE WELLING UP OF THE JOY OF MY HEART ♥