Hey there - sorry about the slight delay in getting here, but I'm here now! :)
Yay, we get to meet Eileen! I'm excited to see how you link the two passages, of course, and what this family curse business is all about, but I'm so glad we got to meet Eileen! Seriously - now I just want to meet Tobias ;)
I think you've done brilliantly with Eileen. We don't know very much about her from canon, and what we do doesn't really say all that much about her personality as such. That being said, I loved the little touches you gave her. The way she knew she wasn't very pretty, the way she couldn't apparate without staggering on landing, the way she calls everyone 'love'. They're all such lovely, personal little touches and they're just great.
The characters you introduced us to are brilliant too. Fabian seems like such a ladies' man - thinks he's such a charmer, lol - and Viola is a brilliant character, and I liked how you used her to reference Eileen's childhood and how life changes what you originally had in mind. My favourite, though, I think, is Hannah. I feel so sorry for her, but I like the relationship she and Eileen have - where they chat to each other, and they're clearly fairly good friends. I'm curious as to what parts these people will all play in her life and how they'll crop up again, but I like them all.
Also, I liked the reference to Eileen thinking about having a career in Charms - intelligence clearly runs in the family ;)
The details were great - the pins around the bottom of the skirt, her locking the door when her wizarding customers arrive, the way she has different times for each half of her business, different tills to put the different currencies in, her vault and the mention of the goblin and family heirlooms and suchlike. And she has a brother! That surprised me, simply because I've never thought that Severus might have uncles and aunts - but now you've included one, I don't know why I didn't... huh.
I'm honestly trying to find something you could improve on in this (because I always try to), but the only thing I can think of is to be careful of repeating words too soon after each other. Like at the beginning, you use the word 'stick' twice in close succession and maybe you could change one of them? It's being totally picky, though, because I have no idea what else to say... :P
But yeah, this is basically perfect. The characterisation is wonderful, the flow is perfect, there are no mistakes, no typos, there's a great balance of description versus action in this, there's so much lovely detail... yeah, I'm just really, really enjoying this - and I have so many questions! :)
Please, please re-request! :) (If not, I'll just have to stalk your author's page for updates)
Author's Response: Hello Aph! Don't worry about the delay - I'm a very patient woman and I'm just glad you read and reviewed!
I know, it's Eileen! Gosh, I just love her so much, I can't even handle it! There are going to be two storylines in this novel - Eileen and Tobias's and Penelope/Reynold's - I can't wait for you to see how they connect!
I'm just so stoked that you liked all the characters. In the past, I was known for my imagery and description, so I'm trying to work on my characters and giving them love too. I'm super excited that you like all of the characters - they'll be appearing again, don't worry! I like Hannah too. Another one of my reviewers said that she's very Mrs. Weasley. I hadn't thought of that myself, but it's very accurate and almost comforting.
Oh yes, Eileen is so smart. Severus had to get it from somewhere!
I'm always very purposeful in my descriptions, imagery, and those little details, so thank you for noticing! My hard work is paying off, yes? And yes, she has a brother! I don't know if it's canon, but it's my headcanon, haha!
Haha, thanks for mentioning that! I'll fix that repetition! And please know that I'm always open to good CC. It helps me to grow as an author.
Perfect? Oh goodness, you're making me all gushy and ridiculous. Thank you so much for the wonderful review! You're such a gem! (And I'll re-request ASAP!).