I'm here for our review swap (finally)!
I just want to mention how beautiful the first couple of lines are! Typically, Spring is the season of rebirth and resurrection. In stories, it is usually a time for hope after having faced a treacherous winter (figuratively and literally). I love how you spun this concept so that Spring is a tumult time of year for Verity instead of an optimistic time.
Furthermore, the allusion to Persephone was amazing. Not only did it add some poetic depth to the paragraph, it further reveals how much Penelope meant to Verity. On a slightly unprofessional note, this is so exquisitely heartbreaking! The fact that Penelope was with Verity through the time when Verity's mother died, being a rock for her as a dear friend, further emphasizes that notion. Now, it seems Verity seems to be losing everybody that she's cared about. Her mother is gone, Sebastian is becoming distant, and Penelope is dead as well.
This line, "...until I found the shop in Knockturn Alley and demanded Borgin give me a job..." reveals a great deal about Verity's character. She's a strong person; she HAS to be if she's facing so much agonizing loss.
It is obvious that things aren't working out with Sebastian if leaving a dirty cup behind sets Verity off. Obviously, it is not just the cup that Verity is upset about; it is the principle behind leaving the cup unwashed. The little things that are annoying Verity about Sebastian over the course of the week further back my previous assessment of not thinking that Verity and Sebastian will work out...as does the bliss she receives from having some time away from him. *Cough* I also find it interesting that she doesn't want to run into George while she's with Sebastian...just saying. :D
Their relationship did seem to improve after the brief break, which is nice. Something about the way Verity becomes overwhelmed by too much of his presence makes me think that they would be better as friends, however. They seem to get along fantastically as friends, but it seem like they might be suffocating one another in the long-run. I'm just speculating ;).
Hey look! It's Rumple! *Cough* Don't mind me, I'll just be doing some self-insertion as the not-so-generous landlord ;). I could do it-I'm not afraid of the intimidating and temperamental blond lady. Sorry, I'll get back on track now...
The Scot man is fairly creepy, complete with rotten teeth. Not to mention, he's carrying some shady objects, as well. I would like to take this time to comment on how fabulously you manage to create a variety of different characters, each with very distinct personalities that define them from everyone else. Since no two people are exactly alike, I think that this diversity is wonderful!
Ugh...Dawlish. I think I prefer the creepy man to Dawlish at the moment ;). Dawlish is super sleazy and I LOVE the way you characterized him (because I just really do not like him)! I'm glad his nose was injured...
The book was a bit creepy in its own respect, but became even more ominous when the last line appeared, addressing Verity.
You cannot end a chapter that way when there is no additional chapters to ease some of the suspense as to what is happening!! Okay, technically you can-it's not very nice though.
I hope you update this soon!! It was fantastic!
Author's Response: Hello! :) Ah, I'm sorry about taking so long to respond to this- I've been in a place with limited Internet for a few days. I wanted to make sure I had the time to respond to this amazing review properly.
I'm glad you liked the opening lines and found them beautiful! :) Yes, for Verity spring is a time of death and grief, showing how dark her life is at the moment. I'm glad you liked the changes of that imagery and how it reflected her situation.
I'm so happy you picked out the Persephone reference, I love tying in classical images and allusions and it seemed to fit perfectly. I like how you pointed out how it showed how precious Penny was to Verity. I know, Verity has been surrounded by an incredible amount of death, but hopefully in the coming months she'll be able to find love and support from other places as well. I'm glad you picked up on the tragic and heartbreaking attributes of her life.
Yes! Verity seems quiet because she's very reflective and isn't a natural leader, exactly, but she can be forceful and able to take life into her own hands. I'm happy you notice these little details and hints about her character- you're such a perceptive reviewer! :)
Haha yes, Verity and Sebastian kind of have a weary relationship which has perhaps been drawn out longer than it should. I see Verity as being quite easily irritated and liking her own space, but she is being a little hard on Seb as well. Haha yes, she may not have admitted it to us yet but I definitely think there was a reason for hoping to avoid George... :P
Haha it is you! Oh dear, well poor Rumple doesn't have an easy time of it with tenants like that. The blond lady is quite frightening, and it was never specified why exactly there was fire damage in the room. :P
I feel like spooky characters always seem more frightening with a Scottish accent for some reason, and the teeth help a bit as well. I'm thrilled to hear you like all these wild minor characters, and how distinct they are- I think Verity's life in Knockturn would be fascinating if not a little terrifying just because of all the colourful characters who swing by.
Dawlish is the worst, I just knew I had to include him in this story to make him even more ominous and irritating!
Ah I know! I really want to update this soon, I've just been so busy with all my other WIPs. I'm going to try and get it done soon though! Thank you so much for the incredible review, it was just perfect and helped me regain some inspiration in working on this story again! :D