For one, i'm so sorry how long this review has taken for me to do! I feel absolutely ashamed at my tardiness! Especially for a piece like this! I read it quite some time ago actually, just haven't had the time to put my thoughts to words.
Right, so I really enjoyed reading this. It has such a visual effect to it. I don't think there is any issue with your imagery and i think that and your style is what you use best in your writing. I'm always partial to nature so all the imagery of the daffodils or leaves really just gave this a natural, dreamy feel to it that almost made this whole thing feel like a past rememberance of someone else. A pensive memory if you will. To me anyway, i know that wasn't what you had in mind but it just gave me that feeling for some reason.
I think maybe I feel that way because although the writing here is lovely and the style is so different and unique i feel detached from your main character, i don't feel emotion for this piece. So i feel like i was an outsider looking into this really emotional part of this woman's life but knowing nothing about her i didn't feel what she was. Which is a weird place to be in because I think that you meant it to be emotionally driven. It was strange to still feel like a stranger to the character after everything is said and done. I think there is a point that you need to balance your use of language and style and then the actual human story of Eileen. Don't get me wrong, i like the ambiguousness of this and the abstraction. However, bringing it more down to a level where people can connect more to Eileen wouldn't even take much or change that ambiguousness either. It would just be a sentence here or there that may point more towards her and Tobias' relationship perhaps? Anything really that gives us something else to hang on to.
There was also the dialogue bit with the young man, i liked how she imagined it being Tobias and loving him because he was angry, that was a great bit of characterization mind you but then it goes into this younger man and i felt like it didn't fit with the rest of the piece. This could be improved i think in either changing how they say what they say (namely him) or just integrating the dialogue better, as in, have some of your stunning writing around the dialogue which may help the visual and emotional bit during that part and help it seem like it's part of the story. I hope that makes sense.
Honestly though, this was really well done. Your language is absolutely stunning and the way you handle your descriptions is beautiful. What was really cool was how some of the smallest actions, like her picking at the frayed bit of her robe, or falling down the bank was probably some of the most poignant lines that showed me her state of mind.
I liked how she seemed to be at the end of her rope, where she can't seem to distinguish past and present and the general repetition of pastpresent and how she felt so distant from herself at the moment. I'm really glad to have read this because it is a good piece of writing and i hope that my comments before didn't make you feel down because although i said that, how it is now is still a lovely piece of work. It's very haunting and gripping.
I hope you've found my comments helpful and i'm so sorry for the long wait for the review, yet again!
Author's Response: Hi darling! Please do not apologize for the delay - it means so much to me that you reviewed at all! (And I would like to apologize profusely for not responding sooner - I'm graduating university in less than a month and have been swamped!)
It's interesting that you get that kind of feeling from that piece - I understand where you're coming from - it feels like this twisted time warp remembrance piece about the past. It's so intertwined between the present and the past that it does seem to give off that kind of vibe, no? I'm really glad that you like my imagery! I could go on for days. I'd love to write like I do here and in my other piece, "Come, Sugar," but it would probably be too much to handle in a novel - it would be too Faulkner and Woolf for current audiences. I have to be honest and say that it has taken me years to cultivate my style and voice - if only it didn't seem so...literary!
I have to admit that, at first, I didn't see where you were coming from about the main character, but now I understand having reread the piece. I've got to learn to find a balance between the style, the imagery, the voice, and the characterization. Stories must be carefully crafted and while I wrote this with the utmost attention and honed it just so, you are definitely right. This piece, unlike "Come, Sugar" has very little connection to the MC which is its downfall. Thank you so much for pointing that out - it's definitely something that I will continue to work on!
Dialogue is one of my weakest points in writing. I'm Southern and my normal speech patterns and the dialect(s) that I hear and speak are different for what should be in fanfiction. It's difficult and something I continue to work on, so thank you!
I do hope you liked it despite the discrepancies concerning the characterization and dialogue. Thank you so much! I really pride myself on my language and style (probably because they're my strong points as a writer! :P). Please don't think you've offended me! No matter how much experience any writer has, they need CC, me included! Your CC will help me grow as a writer and become well-rounded.
Thank you so much again, darling! You're a gem!