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Review:Ravenclaw333 says:
Hey! Sorry it's taken me so long to get onto these reviews I owe you!

This piece is amazing, it really is. You do a remarkable job of bringing your characters completely to life in your one shots, and this is a stunning example of that. The way you've characterised Nina is flawless, first as a sister missing her brother, then a daughter bound by duty to stay at home while Amos travels, and finally (and most poignantly) as a young woman constrained by fear. I wasn't expecting that to come up at all, which I think is the most amazing thing - even within the story Nina manages to disguise her real reasons for staying at home, and the excuses she gives to her father and to the guests ring so true that even the reader is fooled into thinking that's all it is.

The way you've described her fear is perfect as well - the irrationality, the self-awareness, the isolation that comes from knowing nobody will ever understand the nature or extent of that anxiety - it's incredibly well done.

I loved your choice of why she's afraid - the bus in Cardiff seems like such a minor incident to outside eyes, but its effect on her is immediate and obvious (as is so often the case with anxiety/phobia related issues - it really emphasises her isolation and frustration with herself, and I have to commend you for that)

The way you've threaded her wanderlust throughout the story adds such a layer of bittersweet wistfulness - she wants nothing more than to travel and see the world, but at the same time she's too afraid, and I can't really put into words how much I appreciate seeing something like that in fic - the way you've shown how debilitating anxiety is, but at the same time you've included hope. She may not be ready to travel yet, but one day she will, and she's already working on leaving the house - her sanctuary - behind.

Overall an amazing piece of writing with perfect capturing of emotions, and I'm still a little bit blown away as I write this. Stunning work!

Author's Response: Hi Lisa! Don't worry about it, I understand that real life can get busy (not to mention that you pretty much wrote an entire novel in less than two months so you have my adoring worship because WOAH)

Wow, thank you! I'm honoured at your lovely compliments and really happy that you enjoyed Nina's characterisation. She's using every excuse in the book to cover up her fear because she's scared of admitting it, scared of her own fear and the way people might react and I think that's heartbreaking, particularly as there doesn't seem to be much mention in the books on how people cope with trauma. Look at the Longbottoms, locked up in St. Mungo's when they could easily live in a care home or an assisted living facility. I'm really pleased her excuses were able to convince you though because I wanted this story to be as realistic as possible and to do the subject of agoraphobia justice.

I actually googled agoraphobia to research it more thoroughly prior to writing this one-shot and found out that most agoraphobics don't consciously realise the real reason they're so afraid and it's through therapy that the counsellor works with them to go through their memories and discover why they're so afraid and I wanted Nina to have that. I wanted the agoraphobia to be realistic, and most of my research suggested that it was a gradual process so that's why I made her slowly recede from Cardiff to the village then to the street then the garden until eventually she's trapped inside her own home.

Thank you so much! The wanderlust was actually down to last year's HC -- the theme was travel, and I wanted to do something unique so I came up with Nina who wanted to travel but was held back by her own anxiety. Unfortunately, when I tried to write the one-shot back then it didn't feel like good enough so I left it to simmer in my head and then nine months later there was the Writer's Duo and one of the prompts was travel which seemed like the perfect motivation to pick up this story again, particularly since my partner (who wrote about Amos' journey across the world) loved the idea! I'm really honoured by your lovely comments because making this story realistic was my main aim while writing and it appears that I've done that judging by what you've said.

This review was so lovely to read so thank you so much, Lisa ♥


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