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Review:patronus_charm says:
Wow this was so beautiful and haunting, Jenna!

The whole story had this ominous feel to it so when we started and Thackeray and Swift were just planning innocently together it felt as if a dark shadow was always lurking behind the two of them. I really loved how you showed their relationship though with the way the two of them could only really understand one another and no one else would get them. I really wish we could have seen more of Swift as he does seem to have a beautiful spirit as you said with the way he helped Thackeray through everything and was always there.

The way you discussed gender issues and how each one was viewed was really interesting and really worked well with the story. The first thing which really stood out to me was how early on Thackeray realised he/she was different and that was at school and how they placed you according to your gender and it really made me question whether that was right or not after seeing how problematic it was for Thackeray. Then there was that moment with the woman being yelled at for her dress and it really made me sad how much people can be chastised for things like that.

Ah, Swift’s death was so heart-breaking! It was even more haunting because Thackeray was talking about it from later on so she could recount his last night and last moments making it even more tragic for the reader. There was so much powerful description surrounding his death and how the darkness took over him but this line ‘My brother slaughtered himself’ really stood out to me and stayed in my head for a while because as Thackeray took that view I can understand why it took her even longer to recover.

The ending was written beautifully though! Even though her name wasn’t mentioned, Roxanne’s spirit just seemed to seep through the writing if that makes sense. It was so moving to see what a positive change she had in Thackeray and really gave me hope that they could always be happy together!

This was a really beautiful one-shot, Jenna!

-Kiana

Author's Response: Hi Kiana! :)

I'm so glad you found this story - I was thinking of putting a little mention in the AN of TEG but it's awesome that you noticed it anyway. This was one of the first one-shots I've written in a while that was just inspired and not for a challenge so I was so nervous but excited to post it, and it's also one of my first sequel-style stories too. So thank you! :)

I definitely know what you mean about the ominous feeling, that's how I felt writing it as well. What happened to the family is so sad, and I got quite attached to Swift so it was a little upsetting when the time came. I'm glad you liked Swift and the siblings' dynamic as it was so simple in a very complicated story.

Thank you! I'm so pleased to hear that. I've studied gender identities and roles in some classes so it was interesting to find creative ways to show that in the story. I agree, I do think that things are changing but people still experience discrimination and feeling excluded from society, and showing that through a child's eyes was so challenging but poignant to work on.

I'm glad you liked the description around his death and the way that Thackeray took it, even though it was heartbreaking. :( Killing a character is so hard, especially in this case where mental health and other sensitive issues were involved, but I'm pleased it stuck with you in the story. Poor Thackeray definitely felt some self-blame and anger against Swift and I tried to show those stages of grief as well.

I'm glad you liked the ending and the tie-in with TEG! :) I'm so glad you liked seeing Roxanne even though she wasn't named, and the positive ending. I loved that bit, it was one of the first scenes I imagined when writing. :)

Thanks so much for the lovely review, Kiana! ♥ I've really loved hearing all your thoughts, and appreciate it so much! :)


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