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Review:CambAngst says:
Happy New Year! I'm celebrating the arrival of 2014 by tagging you in Review Tag.

It's been such a long time since I've read and reviewed this story, but it was easy to slip right back into the flow of it. Everything you write is so memorable.

Poor Rowena seems to be on her last leg. Even as she stares death in the face, I like the quiet sort of determination you gave her. She seems to believe that Venn will succeed in returning Helena to her, in spite of the long odds. Venn, on the other hand, is more realistic about things.

I fear she will not listen to my counsel. She will perhaps accuse me of lying to her. -- Or perhaps simply refuse to return even if she believes he's telling the truth. Regardless, he seems to be more in tune with Helena's mindset than her mother. His heart's in the right place, however. It was interesting to see how affected he was by Rowena's plight, even after she's judged him an inadequate suitor for her daughter.

Helena... part of me felt badly for her and part of me didn't. After all, she brought this upon herself. I doubt she ever thought about how difficult it was going to be to survive without her servants and her father's money. I was sort of impressed with her initiative, the fact that she wasn't above engaging in a bit of manual labor to feed herself as she traveled. It was definitely consistent with the respect that her family showed for their muggle subjects. I also liked the fact that she was still thinking about Venn, wondering how he was faring and whether his coronation had happened. She obviously does care for the big lunk, she just can't handle his Captain Caveman routine where married life is concerned.

Although she missed Venn, the truth was that she would miss herself even more. -- That one line really says it all. It wasn't right for a lady as brilliant and talented as Helena to be forced to sacrifice so much of herself just to become Venn's wife. What's saddest about this story is that everyone ultimately pays for his inability to handle her true value as a person.

Since this is the second-to-last chapter, I'm pretty sure I know what the rustling sound was. I guess I'll find out very soon. I just can't stop here. ;) Excellent chapter! On to the next...

Author's Response: Hey Dan, thanks for stopping by! Sorry these responses are a little bit delayed. Oh, and a happy (belated) New Year to you, too!

Yeah, I think both Venn and Rowena fall short of understanding exactly how Helena feels right now and how frustrated she is by how the situation in her life has evolved. They can almost bond over their mutual interest in getting her back, but we know that even if it worked, they'd go right back to having at least some degree of animosity toward one another afterwards. No one wants to give up hope quite yet, though.

Helena is definitely a very naive girl, but she's learning some hard lessons. I'm glad you pointed out the line about her missing herself more, because I think that's the biggest thing she's learned--it's just not worth sacrificing her own happiness to please anyone else or fit any molds. I have to wonder if she would be doomed to that fate no matter what in this day and age, or if some other man who respected her a bit more might have one day shown up for her, if her mother had only been a bit more patient.

Thanks for your fantastic review :)

-Amanda



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