|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
It's great to be back again for another chapter of this story, and I'm glad that you've returned to Penelope's story because I'd been hoping to hear more of how her story intertwines with that of Eileen. The historical aspects of this chapter turned out well, especially because they were subtle, appearing most in the language and behaviour of the characters rather than in long descriptions of the setting. I also liked the letter exchange and the details it revealed about education, Hogwarts itself, and Penelope's life - you found the perfect way to reveal a lot about Penelope and her world without exposition. That was excellent.
A comparison between the two witches would be an interesting exercise because it's evident that they have similar attitudes and personalities - the Princes seem to share these kind of qualities like the Blacks do - but at the same time, the difference in their opportunities makes them very different women. Eileen has her independence and relishes it, but she's also older and has had time to find herself (as the saying goes). Meanwhile, Penelope's youth really shows here because, at least to me, her reasons for refusing the marriage were less than clear. She has no real reason to refuse it - she seems to do so because her parents sprung it on her without warning, and she lashes out in the only way she can. Penelope knew that something like this would happen, and soon from the sound of things - you later explain that she's deceptive, and I thought that explanation came a little late. I didn't get the feeling that she was being more deceptive than a usual adolescent is - she obviously lies when she says she's happy to visit the Bartletts, but how much more is there? Is she simply being rebellious and desiring greater freedom and independence? Does she pretend to be obedient merely to keep her father from losing his temper? It seems to have worked against her, since they throw this marriage at her and expect her to accept without question. What I would like to see is a clearer version of Penelope's thought process because I feel as though there are gaps in the narrative here. I can't understand Penelope's logic quite yet.
The writing itself is pristine - I really like your word choice and the flow of your sentences. They read easily and pleasantly, which is something I always admire. This continues to be a fascinating story, and I look forward to reading more of it! :)
Author's Response: Hello Susan! Thank you so much for another wonderful review - I'm so sorry for the incredibly late response! Forgive me.
I do hope you are enjoying it! I look back at the first couple of chapters and see how weak they are, but they also serve to show me just how much I've progressed and also become comfortable writing the story. I really did try to convey the historical period without too much description. For me, I love period pieces, especially anything medieval. However, many readers turn away from them because they tend to have so much exposition that it's a bit...boring. So I tried to mix it nicely here to keep readers engaged (and make it fit better with my style).
I'm not going to lie when I say that characterizing the two of them is a very difficult process. I want readers to see the similarities, of course, but they are each unique and bring to the table a unique personality, like all people. And here's where I think I've failed with Penelope's narrative. You're definitely right, Susan. There are large gaps - I need to go back and revisit this chapter. She is a very deceptive young girl and I think I've put that into the story too early. Later you will see that she is deceptive and, frankly, bad. I went back and looked at it after your comments and see exactly what you mean. Thank you so much for pointing this out. This is definitely going to help me for future chapters with her and when I'm finished with the novel, I can go back and edit. Thanks :)
Thanks Susan! As always, I love hearing from you and really appreciate your time and critiques, as always! They mean a great deal to me. Thank you ♥