|Review:||Athene Goodstrength says:|
Straight off: this was not terrible, at all!
You did a really sweet job with creating the world in which little Louis lives. Favourite sister, nasty sister, pudding, bubbles, uncles, cousins, bathtime, cake. Love it!
I loved the little hints at the lives the other children are leading, and at the way they interact, such as Teddy's treehouse, and Louis's envy of James's broom. I also loved the little mention of Fleur and Bill's different parenting styles! I was worried she was going to be the cliched bossy, mean parent, but you had her trying not to smile and getting her kids washed and wrapped up and warm by the fire, so you definitely didn't go down that route, which I really liked!
Dominique was simply adorable. Her bossy but polite nature was that of a really earnest, sweet little four year old and seemed totally realistic. So sweet.
I liked Fleur bursting into French in shock! Haha. That felt very realistic to me, and I especially appreciated that the children understood her. To my mind, of course they'd be bilingual - I've seen other stories where they don't speak French at all, which is odd to me. Only one thing - shouldn't it be 'cette pauvre chatte', as Mimi is female? I know 'chatte' is also slang for female anatomy, but in this context there can be no doubt that Fleur is referring to a cat. Please correct me if I'm wrong!! But, meh. I seem to remember you're Belgian(?), so I guess you know best! Heehee.
My only issue is that, although you show us Mimi safe and warm and drinking milk at the end, she was washed in strong household products. I was really worried the whole time the cat was going to die, and this detracted from my enjoyment of the silly trick Victoire had pulled! My suggestion would be that they accidentally use hair dye or some harmless potion that nevertheless results in a bright pink cat or something. But that's not a criticism of your writing, more a reflection of my own over-sensitivity :P
Overall, this was a really sweet, very warm, adorable little story and I really enjoyed it! Well done :)
Author's Response: I really liked seeing this review sit around, but the time has come for me to answer.
I will never, ever write Fleur as a mean character. It takes me too much effort, because it doesn't cope with my vision of her, and I'm a very lazy person!
You perplexed me with your question about the french, and I had to ask my french nut of a mother for an answer. As it turns out, the french translation for female cat has become commonly associated to its slang meaning. To avoid sounding very, very awkward, we just make no distinction between male and female. But I think that's the same as english, isn't it? "The cat I have is stupid, but I love her very much" makes sense, yes?
I followed your advice about the household products, and Mimi has now taken a bath in a bucket full of water and soap, plain soap. Thank you (or your over-sensitivity) for pointing that out!
Thank you for your review, it made my day the first time I read it and continues to do so :)