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Review:Roots in Water says:
It's Roots in Water here with your review! Just a warning, though: I'm not typically the greatest with realizing what the metaphor is but I shall try my best!

To begin, I did really enjoy this story. I've only read a few Tobias/Eileen stories so far and each one of them has seemed to master the sorrow of their relationship, just as you did so masterfully here.

One this that I found particularly interesting here is your characterization of Eileen. You didn't make her naive or completely innocent; instead you portrayed her as a vain and selfish person. She's not necessarily a bad person; she acts to get what she wants and doesn't think about the long term consequences of her actions. It was very interesting to see her fall as the years passed and the one thing that she prized above all else disappeared. All at once, she seemed to be both Snow White and the wicked Queen (I haven't read the Grimm Brothers' version of the story, though, so this portrayal could be very close to their Snow White and I just don't know it).

I think that this piece definitely flowed very well and the imagery was amazing! I loved how you wrote her downfall over the years. Even though each of the sections was short, you did a great job of capturing her essence, her feelings in that moment. Furthermore, the repetition of certain well-known words from Snow White helped to solidify the connection between the scenes.

The imagery of a dark princess, red, black, white colours and beauty pushed us into her mind. We saw the world through her eyes, saw it how she saw it. This was particularly interesting because her view of the world was much more fantastical than most- she created a version of it for herself and she lived in it and died in it.

And now on to the more difficult part of this review: the metaphors. To begin (once again), I don't think that this piece was heavily laden with them. You could read it and understand it without searching for them if you wanted and you wouldn't have problems following the storyline or you could search for them (or happen to spot one) and the story would seem that much better and more thought-out.

I really liked how you would refer to the well-known traits of Snow White and twist them to reflect her situation and emotions at the time. Painted lips, bitten lips, lips as red as blood... They all give such vivid pictures that in turn give pictures of her life at that moment.

As well, I loved your use of repetition. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, they helped to reveal the changing of her circumstances and her feelings about her life. They helped to create connections between the sections and give the piece a common, solid feel.

The only thing that I paused at was the mention of her brother. Now I know that Eileen's history probably isn't very defined but I do wonder how her having a brother influenced Snape (or even if it did, in any way). Your thoughts?

All in all I really liked this story and think that as an experimental piece it's a huge success! Thank you for requesting and I hope that my comments are helpful!

Author's Response: Hello, and thank you for stopping by!

You really nailed it with your description of Eileen. I meant for her to sort of evolve from the flawless princess into the deranged queen. I'm not exactly sure if that's what drove me primarily or if it was something else, but I didn't want to do the traditional version where she's this helpless girl at the hands of a husband who no longer feels anything for her. I wanted her to hold her own, in a way, and yet to feel the burden of her own mistakes. And of course, I still wanted Tobias to come to hate the thing that made her so enchanting.

I love how you said that she lived exclusively in a fantasy world--that's so right. Her pumpkin never turned into a carriage, so to speak. Her prince never really emerged here. She just doesn't know what to do with that. I'm glad that the use of the colors from the fairy tale and the repetition solidified all that.

I'm glad the metaphors didn't feel too heavy. The fairy tale certainly inspired me, but the last thing I wanted to do was re-create it with a different protagonist and antagonist here. This was a really fun experimental piece for me and I'm very glad that you enjoyed it.

Oh, good question! That was just a minor detail I threw in, something to help ramp up her desperation. If this were my head canon, I would say that Eileen's blood family probably never met Severus, if they even knew he existed. I would think that all ties would be cut as soon as she married a Muggle man. It would probably be very, very strange for Severus to one day run into his uncle, hmm?

Thank you again for this very kind review :)

Amanda


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