|Review:||Cherry Bear says:|
This was heartbreaking to read. I love that you wrote this about Poppy Pomfrey and her sister and I love the relationship you portrayed here. As someone with five older sisters, I found it very easy to relate to Poppy here. Especially her adoration for her sister and how she wanted to do everything her sister did - and then the pain of Iris growing up and away from her, of wanting more out of life. And, as always with your writing, this was beautifully done.
It is a bit cliche to make her want to be a Healer because of her sister's death but, at the same time, you did such a good job with this that I can't really complain. I think it's also interesting because if Poppy had been a Healer, there's a chance that she could've saved her sister, that she could've stopped the bleeding with a wand - unlike Muggle doctors, where even all the professional training in the world won't necessarily mean that you can save someone. And now you've got me thinking about how that's part of being magical: you can fix a lot of things that Muggles can as long as you know enough, as long as you can act fast enough. It's kind of depressing because it paves the way for a lot of guilt if you don't.
Anyway. I like the theme of laughter that you started with because it painted such a vivid picture of Iris and really showed why Poppy loved her so much. But I felt like that theme faded out a little as the story progressed, and you maybe could've included more about her lack of laughter in the end - just to tie it back to the beginning and the title better. You did reference the laughter a little bit in the end, but...I don't know. It all just happened so fast, and parts of it just seemed off. Like, with this sentence: "Iris was supposed to laugh. She was supposed to run. She was supposed to go to Asia and scratch her itch." The third sentence just didn't seem to fit very well with the seriousness of the ending, although maybe that's your way of showing how childish Poppy still is. I don't know! I'm all sad and mixed up. Why do you do this to me.
I did like the last two sentences of this piece, Poppy deciding to take control of her own life and stop living through Iris'. It's hard to ever say that someone's death does anything good but, I think, in this case, it did do Poppy good. She would've eventually learned to take her own life into her hands, but this sort of forced her to. And I feel like I'm doing way too much pondering and not enough reviewing in this review...sorry! I think you should be flattered that you're making me think this much when I'm so tired right now hahaha.
I think the most fascinating part of this story is Iris, and the change she undergoes. And, in a way, it's kind of sad that this is from Poppy's perspective because I think Iris' perspective would've been very interesting. I think that everyone gets an itch like Iris does at some point or other - a sudden irritation with all of the familiarity and overwhelming urge to scratch that itch and break from your own bubble. But I really wonder what took her to such extremes. I don't know if I'm reading this the wrong way, but did she actually intentionally run out into traffic? Or are you leaving that up to reader interpretation or something?
I don't really have any solid criticisms for this, besides my semi-confused ramblings, so good work, overall. You really do have a knack for creating believable characters and believable lives for those characters in a short amount of time. Now I definitely want to see what your multi-chaptered stories are like.
Author's Response: Wow, I'm so glad you thought I did a good job with Poppy as a little sister! I'm the eldest of two girls, so the little sister perspective is a little foreign to me. ;) I'll totally own up to the fact that her decision to become a Healer is a bit cliche... Oh well. It's a little too central to the story to change now. I'll also go back and look at the laughter theme again, and that line you pointed out.
I think you're also right about Iris being almost interesting than Poppy in this. I think I remember that I, the writer, was also almost more interested in Iris as I wrote. I don't think I intended to imply that she purposefully ran out into traffic, but, looking back, I can definitely see how you thought that. And I don't think it's a bad thing that that's an option. Definitely makes the story read a little darker than I intended, though!
(Interesting that you mention multi-chapter stories... Those are where I consistently struggle. I've been trying to get at them for years, though, maybe someday it will work!)
Thanks again for the review!