Hi! Here from Review Tag!
I really loved this. Your ability to make the most of imagery is astounding. As of now, I can only dream of writing a long, detailed piece like this one, and yet these are some of my favorites to read. I would pick out a favorite phrase or two except I don't know where to begin. Mostly, I loved the way you described Merope's changing ugliness, the way pregnancy was cruel to her malnourished, unloved body. I also really liked how you showed the change between Tom in love with Merope and Tom after the effects of the potion had worn off--I almost wish you had described more of why Merope had decided to stop giving Tom the potion.
My favorite part, though, was Merope's vision of Tom Jr., the first time she really fell in love with her baby and decided to start doing what she could to take care of it. It was such a weird contrast, such a grotesque person loving something so purely, and you could detect that love right up until the moment when he finally stopped crying.
I was also impressed by the fact that you researched pregnancy and tried to make it realistic. It's a breath of fresh air after seeing so many easy, pleasant pregnancies depicted in other stories. I thought you were just capitalizing on the filth that was Merope's life and her home with the pica, but to add it in as a realistic element gives it a whole new sort of importance for me. Great job there.
This was a delight to read overall. Wonderful work!
Author's Response: Hello Amanda,
gaah, thanks for this absolutely lovely review :D This piece is definitely heavier on the imagery and descriptive detail than my other pieces! I'd been relying on imagery and figurative stuff to sort of build an atmosphere of despair and to accentuate Merope's hopeless situation and how ineffectual she is in dealing with her the state of her life. Without being too dramatic, I hope. I really enjoy writing stories that are a bit more flat in tone rather than dramatic.
And unlike many writers, I can't write a short sharp piece focusing on a single aspect of a character's life and delving really deeply; I'm not skilled enough :P So I have to make my things a bit longer :)
I'm glad you liked Merope's dream of Tom Jr.! I was worried that it might be taking things a little far, but this /is/ magic after all, and I dunno, it might be possible. Also, pregnant women can have really weird dreams :P It's one of the effects of pregnancy.
I'm glad you liked the detail about pregnancy! I really did have to make it realistic seeing as the entire story was going to revolve around this, and while I'm familiar with pregnancy, having been pregnant before, I did have to look up the more severe side effects such as oedema and of course, pica (which isn't that common). I chose pica because nutrition / nourishment is really important during pregnancy, and Merope lacks the desire to take care of herself after her abandonment by Tom (as was mentioned in HBP), Also, all kinds of growth (healthy growth and parasitic unhealthy growth) and nourishment are sort of recurring motifs in the story :)
Ooh, long review response :P Thanks so much once again for your fabulous review, Amanda! I really appreciate it.