Reading Reviews From Member: tabula_rasa
3 Reviews Found

Review #1, by tabula_rasaA New Life - Speed Dating Entry: A New Chapter in our Lives

18th February 2014:
I'm so glad that we got to do this together, because this is such a beautiful story. You added flesh to Petunia and Vernon's marriage and togetherness over the years so beautifully. It was poignantly shown, choosing the moment when they are being separated from all they built up over the years made everything take on the quality of reminiscence. I don't think it would be possible to portray Petunia more accurately. The grief, the regrets, the pain and then that beautiful moment when she and Vernon play at imagining the future. They have always represented a certain unconditional love for each other which the fandom overlooks ever so often. The solidity and support of their marriage, their love for their son and even the complexity of their feelings towards Harry, you managed to show it all and with so much elegance. I can say with much happiness and pride that I got to work with you. :) This chapter makes me re-evaluate everything that love can be. This kind of silent, enduring love has a beauty of its own.

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Review #2, by tabula_rasaThe Network: Sneak

27th January 2014:
By the time I finished reading this chapter, I was officially in love with how you carved Ettie out. It's absolutely amazing how she is very aware, internally, of how she is not the best person around but there is no self-pity there, which would have been annoying. There is this strong defiance instead, as if she's almost challenging us to reconsider whether there is any fairness in expecting everyone to be brave and noble. And there is the pragmatic streak which she is battling with. She is only doing what is sensible, the course open to those who don't hang out with the heroes or never quite feel at home with them and she knows it. But at the same time she's not the kind of character who is a layover. You see that in her sharp replies and the simmering dissatisfaction with her life. I like this chapter the best, because in a very subtle way it sets the stage for what she's going to do in the next chapter and also shows us that she is capable of feeling, that she is trying very hard to connect.

It also made me think of how cruel Hermione's actions were, we can justify it given the context but it was also very primordial, physically marking a traitor. I love Reg and even though you kind of feel Ettie's frustration very strongly, it doesn't compare to the half-there fears that Reg voices. Also because we know what's going to happen at the hearing, it makes it all the more gutting to read his fears. I can't really explain why I like this chapter best, probably because it does the task of bridging the beginning and the ending so superbly, it fills in the blanks but leaves enough questions so that you're not entirely sure of where Ettie stands but you also have a sense of where she's heading. I'm sorry if that doesn't make sense but basically, I love a story where you can say, 'aha! she did that' and this chapter helps me say that when I read the next chapter.

Okay, I'll just apologize for the long and rambling review and thank you for writing this amazing chapter!

Author's Response: Hello again! ♥

Oh, thank YOU for reading and leaving yet another wonderful review! I'm delighted that you like this chapter best; I've always been worried about this one - if it was too long and started to drag a bit, but your comments are really reassuring! This chapter is indeed a transition between the first and final chapters. I did enjoy writing this part a lot because I got to work on Ettie's character a lot more, as well as on her interactions with Reg. Your analysis of Ettie's character and motivations were absolutely wonderful, and you're pretty much spot-on with them. Being a working adult isn't the easiest thing for Ettie, but still, her situation is far easier than what folks like Mary Cattermole are going through.

Hermione's actions were indeed harsh, but I'd be lying if I said that Ettie didn't deserve it, at least partially. She sold out the DA and was indirectly responsible for Dumbledore's flight from Hogwarts, which led to a further onslaught of problems for the Trio.

I completely get what you're saying about the 'aha! she did that' bit; thank you! This is such a perfect compliment! Always love it when the character motivations and actions click together and make sense for the reader. You understand Ettie so well!

Apologise nothing! This was an absolutely fabulous review, and I loved it. Thank you once again for reading my little story until the ending and for your wonderful feedback. ♥


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Review #3, by tabula_rasaThe Network: Rat

27th January 2014:
I'm reviewing in retrospect, having been unable to stop myself from clicking on the 'Next Chapter' button till I had finished the whole story. That's how utterly brilliant and engrossing this was. I can't really express my admiration in terms of how this story takes a minor element from a major event and gives it flesh and blood. But I'll save all of that for when I review the last chapter.

Having just re-read this chapter, I was struck by how carefully it was constructed. The mundane quality of everyday gossip contrasted so well with Ettie's rebellious office, right down to the angry cabinet and the atmosphere. It was so brilliantly done, we were finding out things about Ettie not directly through her own thoughts but by the depth you lent to her surroundings. It was like a scene in a play where the whole set, props and all, are alive and pushing the story further, giving it more depth.

The interaction with Cho was a pleasure to read. It conveyed the instability of their relationship and the demise of their friendship without really overtly declaring the two. Their conversation progressed with that sense of something having died between them but not quite having left, like a dead body, slowly rotting but neither of them have the courage to remove it. It was good to see Cho with that because by refusing to acknowledging Ettie's existence entirely she would have become too unreal a character, she does cave in and go for coffee and it made the whole thing more real because people like to have their judgments known. The rat in the mail which followed was like the symbolic representation of their encounter.

I loved this chapter, there is no other way to put it. This is like reading my dream story. Marginal disliked character: check. Fantastic writing: check.

Author's Response: Hey there,

First, thank you so much for reading this fic to the end and for leaving me such lovely, thoughtful reviews! I'm honestly so flattered and grateful that you found the fic engaging enough to read until the end; this really, really means a lot to me, especially as this story isn't one which I have a lot of confidence with. So thanks again.

I'm glad you like the details! I really had a lot of fun crafting aspects of the Ministry setting, and I love how you referred to Ettie's workplace as her 'rebellious office'. Ha! I did want to make the scene come to life, and so your comments really made my day!

Ah, I'm glad you like the scene with Cho! Yes, there certainly is a lot of bitterness from the latter toward Ettie (LOVE your metaphor of dead things in between the two!) and I'm pleased to hear that Cho's charactersation is realistic, despite her brief appearance in this fic.

Your dream story? THANK YOU ♥ ♥


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