Okay. I feel honestly blessed that you got this story validated in time. Because WOW.
I absolutely adore you took the wider context of the poem and turned it into this incredible story. I've had some amazing entries but you're the only one who's used the whole poem like that as opposed to just the quote, and while that was not required for the challenge, it works amazingly here.
Another thing that really stood out to me, is, actually, the ways you made it different to the poem. Namely, having this not from the point of view of 'Lady Lazarus', the woman fated to constantly die and resurrect. But told by her sister, a girl ordinary in comparison. It gives an even more poignant kind of melancholy to the story.
I'm really having trouble isolating specific lines I loved because they were all, just, so beautiful. Here's a few that especially stand out to me:
In my dreams I see you tumbling through mirrors like they were lakes, unraveling from a shroud of woven spider webs. I see your nails grow long for years in a dark coffin, your toenails scraping the edge as you grow old beneath the earth, your pale blue eyes glinting in the darkness of the grave.
^God, this whole line is so perfect, I just don't know what to say. It truly feels like an excerpt from a Plath poem itself - haunting and odd imagery that utterly captivates me.
If you are enchanted in mirrors then I am a Greek maiden tied to a rock, thrashing in the sea. In our way, we both are sacrifices.
^Perfect, perfect, perfect metaphor. I love this comparison.
As the terrified gasps turn to squeals of delight, as you are passed between arms which touch your cheeks and marvel at their warmth, ask for bits of your hair as a souvenir or good-luck charm
^I love this so much because of its similarities to the poem, the way she begins to exploit her exploiters by charging them for a lock of her hair, a splash of her blood. She's playing into their fascination with her.
Your hair burns red and you do not shriek. They wonder how you will succeed this time, if your body will reform and regenerate from the ashes like a phoenix, flesh finding knotted bone to form a smiling woman, reaching with blackened hands for air.
^Again, wow, you take parts of the poem and expand it out into this perfectly. It's haunting and intense and perfect for the quote.
I catch a glimpse in the reflection from a shop and there we kneel, two fussy, lonely old women in a busy street drawing a scene, as Bellatrix always encouraged you to do.
^This bit's amazing and so touching because it shows their reunion. I also like the link to Bellatrix - it's kind of like she's there, in a way, her before she went so crazy and then died, and at a moment when Andromeda and Narcissa are reuniting after so long it's kind of like all three of the sisters are back together and the last however many years of bad stuff didn't happen.
And somewhere from the depths of my own heart I hear the tiny snap of a string being broken at last.
^This was a gorgeous way to end it. I love the use of 'at last' because it gives an air of relief to it all - like her death isn't, really, sad, because it's where she's been headed to and destined for all along. I've studied this poem in English so I have a pretty good understanding of it and this totally, completely links to the poem for me. She's finally fulfilled her purpose and gained relief, at the end here.
I have to say, the quote I gave you is my favourite Sylvia Plath quote, ever. I love it so much that I was actually really nervous to give it away in the challenge in case someone wrote bad fic about it! But this is incredible and more than I could have hoped for. This is the style of writing I am most captivated by and you use it perfectly.
Well done! I'm about to post the challenge results so check out my blog on the forums :)
Author's Response: Hi Maia! Wow, this review is so amazing I don't even know where to begin. :) I feel so blessed just to have received this!
I knew right away when I got the quote that I wanted to use the whole poem, as I feel like conveying the themes and ideas of a quote are just as important as using it. I had a lot of fun coming up with this idea, though writing it was a little tricky at first- I kept trying to write it from Narcissa's POV but eventually realized that it really needed to be told by Andromeda.
I'm glad you liked how the story was both inspired by and different from the poem- it was really challenging but in a good way putting the story together. I really tried to draw inspiration from Plath's poetry and how creepy and often blunt it is, and I'm so happy that came across. :)
Ah yes, I thought the comparison to the myths that their names come from would be an interesting contrast as well. I'm so pleased you liked it!
Hehe, I have a bit of an obsession with writing about burnings and fires for some reason, and it fit with the poem perfectly what with the ideas of rebirth like a phoenix and the sort of danger of the woman coming back to life. I loved how in the poem Plath sort of takes ownership of the curse and turns it into an assault on the men and really wanted to reference that here as well.
Aw it is like a reunion between the three of them! I felt that even though Bellatrix did all these horrible things there would still be some family connection there after all those years, even if its a bitter one.
I'm really glad you pointed out the last line as I really liked it as well. I love how you pointed out that it's a relief for her to finally die a final time, and not sad but natural after all those unnatural deaths and rebirths. I'm really honoured that having studied the poem you thought the story fit it well- that's such amazing praise to receive!
Wow I'm so honoured that I got your favourite quote and did it justice! :D Thank you! I absolutely loved the challenge and am really glad I got the story finished in time. Thank you so much for the challenge, for choosing my story and for this amazing review! :D ♥