Hello Shelby! I'm finally here with your requested review. I really appreciate your patience with this!
I really liked the style of this very unconventional piece. It's like Come, Sugar in that I don't feel that I understood every nook and crevice of it and I also don't feel like I really needed to do that. I liked the way Eileen experienced the first part of the piece from really inside her body, feeling the muck and cold and the edges of her ragged clothes. I liked how you gave us a glimpse into her most bizarre thoughts in the parentheses, too.
I thought the theme of desperation I saw here was excellent, and I felt like your descriptions amplified that. My favorite line was the one here: The rains leak down the sagging wall in the kitchen, hitting the bottom of the pail. You get at the simple, underloved nature of the Snape household without hitting the reader over the head with it all.
Characterization was a shining point, I think. I really find the Snape family interesting, but I have never found the courage to tackle Eileen and Tobias for myself. (Of course, I still feel nervous writing Severus, and he's quite familiar to me.) I liked that the themes here diverged from the typical story of Eileen being a victim to Tobias. There was probably a period of love in there somewhere, and I see it here in all its bleakness. It's not too sunny to still be their story, though, you know what I mean? You've struck this really lovely balance (and now I kind of want to try).
You're probably going to get a wide variety of reactions to this story. Whenever I write something "experimental," as you've termed it, I usually get a few people who love it and a few people who lament the lack of a concrete plot and direction. To me, though, one-shots were made for this sort of disjointed creative moment. Very well done! :)
I hope this review is helpful!
Author's Response: Hello Amanda! Thank you so much for reviewing! Please don't worry about any sort of delay - I'm a very patient woman!
I'm so glad that you liked the style! I know it's sort of experimental, especially when it comes to fanfiction. Thank you for saying that - a lot of my readers think that they need to know every single thing about the story. It's so nice to have such a perceptive and, well, understanding reader!
I had hoped that the themes would shine through in the description, since that's the primary method of getting them across, rather than dialogue. That line isn't one that is often commented on, but I'm so glad you liked it (it is definitely one of my favorites!).
Thank you so much for that! Tobias & Eileen Snape are my OTP, for sure. I've always felt that we get such a limiting perspective from Severus and that just isn't fair to them. I mean, she was a pureblood marrying a Muggle, so there had to have been love somewhere, you know? Oh please, do try an Eileen/Tobias and let me know when it's up - I'm basically one of the only writers who explores their relationship and I'd like to see other takes!
It's so good to see someone else who understands that some of the reviewers on anything experimental get their panties in a wad - you want to say, "Don't you understand?! It's literary and artsy and unconventional. It's supposed to be a beautiful statement of blah blah etc etc!" Haha, at least, I get like that.
Thank you so much for your review, Amanda! You leave great reviews and I appreciate it so much! :)