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Review:Jet LaBarge says:
The easy stuff is the carefully crafted story. The glasses. New glasses shouted out as strange and different from their first mention, and Dumbledore mentions them again. There is magic in the glasses, and I would guess in Sadie's sight in some way. And "That thing," not the marks or the inability to talk but something. So many things, bad things that touched Sadie.

"But somewhere, buried deep inside, a little girl's belief in light and goodness had survived; the knowledge that love existed and there was more to life than pain and suffering. It's what made her fight to stay alive, to claw her way back up each time she felt she couldn't go on."

The Author in me wants to know how the story is crafted. But the father and grandfather, the human being, wants to know where Sadie came from. In our extended family, two sisters. Mother in the mental ward of Danbury Federal Prison; I really don't have to say any more. One got mad and survived. One bottled up everything, and despite almost being our 5th child, living with my daughter for a while and in our town, at our house Sundays, never opened up, never became that little girl who could trust. She ate and smoke and we had to turn off the respirator when she was 35.

You are a teacher. Sadie has to be, at least in some way, students that struggled and struggle with things that most people don't see. Students that survive and thrive despite horrible odds, and ones that fail despite seemingly having all the advantages.

Why not being able to speak? Just a plot device, or some familiarity with people who have a hard time communicating. Do you know some American Sign? My blind friend from college said that blindness was much less a handicap than deafness. Deafness was lonely. Being unable to talk is lonely.

"Sadie McLauchlin, you can do this. You'll see. You will rise, like a ph**nix from the ashes, and someday you will burn bright with life and hope again."

Somebody has to believe in you. I have not written anything but some post-Hogwarts stories, but I am sure there are good pre-Hogwarts stories to be written. There has to be a teacher or two who believed in Harry to have him turn out the way he did.

As a teacher have you had a Sadie or two? I certainly hope so. Have you helped someone find hope?

"For the first time in at least five years, her words finally escaped their prison in her mind.
And she had reclaimed her name."

Is this from teaching, or from personal experience? Only an adult who has lived through really tough times, either themselves or through others, could write this.

I look forward to the rest of the story. You HAD to write this. I apologize if I am getting to personal in asking why, and I will understand if you donít answer.

Jet LaBarge

Author's Response: I am honored that my story is touching you in some way. I've waited for a long time to respond to this because I didn't quite know what to say.

I do love this story, and it means a lot to me, and I feel like Sadie really wants her story told. And I'm happy it is somehow touching so many people, you included.

But, as for it somehow being my story, or the story of someone I know, even indirectly - I'm sorry but it's not. I'm just a girl with a good imagination who feels like somehow there is a soothing power in words.

Thanks again for reading. I'm taking a small break right now to get through a real life event that happens in the fall, but I should be back in December.

- Farmgirl


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