|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
Wow. This is quite an impressive story - its narrative voice is powerful, yet it's also so bleak and empty, the voice of a woman who played the roles others expected of her, thinking herself forgettable because she stayed on the sidelines. She finds a sort of fulfillment at the end, but it's still prefaced by a "perhaps" - she doesn't quite believe in it, not entirely. What's extraordinary is that, in spite of the sadness and emptiness the rest of her narrative exudes, she can state with assertion that she is satisfied with her life, that she never wanted to be a hero, never wanted to be great. She just wanted to be.
It's the kind of thing that few authors write. Literature is filled with "great" people - even the simple, humble characters do more than just exist because there's always some sort of quest, something they have to do, to make them worthy of their own story. However, I think that Andromeda as you write her short-changes herself - she does achieve a lot, even if it's not something visible or something that can immediately be named. For instance, she doesn't once mention how she came to be married and the scandal it caused with her family - it's entirely left out of her narrative, yet it's the one event in her life that most people talk about. It's not a weakness of the story in the least - I think it's a fascinating gap in Andromeda's narrative that reveals something about her, her beliefs, and her relationship with her family. As she says, they didn't need her anymore, and so it's as though she drifts away from them to someone who does need her: Ted. Maybe there's something else in that conscious omission that I'm missing - what did you have in mind for it?
There were a multitude of lines that I loved in this story, especially when you describe Bellatrix and Narcissa's relationships with their husbands - the language you use in those sentences is so measured and perfect. You tell every thing in two lines and it's fantastic! The style you've assumed for Andromeda's narrative voice really stands out - it has a lyrical quality to it and that, along with the sad, thoughtful mood puts me in mind of 19th century lit or some of the early 20th century authors like Forster and Woolf. It's an excellent study in narration as well as a refreshingly different exploration of Andromeda's history and characterization. I say this with all of your stories, but you're an amazing writer, and it's always a treat to read one of your works. :D
Author's Response: Hey Susan, nice to hear from you :)
I love Andromeda because of her strength, and yet she's so hard to figure out. I've been wanting to write her for a while but haven't been able to find the appropriate angle. I still don't know if I chose the right one, but I'm pleased that you liked my take on her!
Your comments on writing about "great" people really resonate with me. I think Andromeda can be viewed like a less cheery version of Molly Weasley; both of them worked hard to help the Order during both wars, and yet they aren't the ones on the front lines charging into Battle, so they may escape notice. Molly, of course, got her "big moment" of greatness at the very end of the series, but we don't see anything like that for Andromeda. I'm so curious about her - did she make up with her only remaining living sister? How did her marriage to Ted affect how she lived after his death? What kind of mother was she to Tonks, and how much personality-wise do they really have in common? She's just one of those characters where there is so much left to be explored.
I honestly think Andromeda's departure from her family was one of the most painful and confusing moments of her life. She probably felt so happy to have found the person she wanted to be with and so unhappy when she realized just how angry that choice made her parents and sisters. In the context of this story, I view it as the first time she was forced out of a role in which she'd become comfortable. Her whole life was altered, and that must have brought a lot of pain to a time that should have been happy: her first few years of marriage with the love of her life. Maybe this is her way of rationalizing that and healing from it.
It's wonderful to hear that you enjoyed the writing and liked the style I chose for this piece. I just really tried to put myself into Andromeda's mindset and this is what came out. Thanks so much for your lovely review!