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Reading Reviews for Full of Grace
  
20 Reviews Found

Review #1, by CambAngst It's Better This Way.

27th August 2015:
Hi, Beth! I know I can't fix your unfulfilled review swap, but maybe I can make your evening a little brighter. :) Or your morning, if you've already turned in for the night.

GryCReMo (Review #36)

You can summon some very powerful feelings of sorrow when you put your mind to it! I really, truly hope that there isn't much personal experience shining through in this story, because it's hauntingly, heart-wrenchingly beautiful. The type of beautiful that you feel very deeply in a way that hurts enough to remind you how good life really is.

I think you touched on all the right things to show how miserable Molly's life has become. The simple, little things that she always drew such satisfaction from have become burdens. Awful reminders of how life once felt. The food has no appeal and the table is forever imperfect because it will always be missing one place setting. Everything reminds her of what she's lost.

Children are meant to bury their parents, not the other way around. -- Ain't that the truth. This saying always seemed so cliche until I had children of my own. Now it's an invitation to ponder things that I can't bear to think about.

Arthur tries to help, but you make it clear why Molly is reluctant to want to let him.

Feeling better is dangerous, because it makes the next wave of emotion so much more intense. -- Again, perfectly explained. A severely depressed person feeling a bit of relief can be like a sip of water for someone who's dying of thirst. It only serves as contrast to make the lows feel worse.

Talking always seems to help a burdened soul, and I'm happy that Molly discovered her own form of therapy. It was a brilliant way to wrap the story up, along with all of her children discovering her standing in the snow, talking to a gravestone and perhaps wondering if she'd gone a little ways around the bend. But if they can all find a small smirk in it, so much the better. It's obvious that the whole family has a lot of healing to do, and sometimes that starts with a laugh.

Your writing was absolutely beautiful in this. You paced it very well and the words you picked were a perfect match to the mood and tone of the story. Keeping the dialog mostly out of it was a good choice, as well. I only saw one small thing that might be a typo:

The wind would rustle the leaves to deafening levels and the garden gnomes scampered through the crisp brush would buzz through her head. -- scampering through the crisp brush?

Awesome job! I hope this helped to brighten your evening just a bit.

P.S. - Not joking. D-E-A-D!

Hugs,
Dan

Author's Response: Dan,

You picked this one.

This was tough for me to write and (I've found) even tougher for me to reply to reviews.

I did draw on some personal experience for this one - but I can say thankfully that I've never had to bury a child. My experience might be considered a little 'lighter' than Molly's, but it was difficult for me all the same.

I wrote it for a bunch of reasons. It was cathartic and I'd read a few 'Molly grieving for Fred' stories and I didn't feel like they hit the mark. The song was also significant to me and when this challenge appeared, I signed up for it sort of as the push to get me to write it.

"...hauntingly, heart-wrenchingly beautiful. The type of beautiful that you feel very deeply in a way that hurts enough to remind you how good life really is."

Gah! This is probably one of the best things anyone has ever said about my writing. Your reviews are themselves little masterpieces of your amazing talents. I don't know how you do it.

Admittedly, when I wrote this, I didn't know where I was going with it or how I was going to end it. There isn't a turning point with grief - as in you can never go back to the way things were before, but hopefully Molly finds a new place to be that isn't so painful.

And haha! I didn't even think that the kids watching Molly would be amusing to them, but I really, REALLY like that the story can lead to different interpretations of how they reacted to her at that moment.

Oh! And I fixed my error and edited 'scampering' to the proper tense. Thanks for finding that!

And thanks again - you DEFINITELY brightened my day with this. It was so kind of you - and totally unexpected - and just awesome.


♥ Beth


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Review #2, by merlins beard It's Better This Way.

7th July 2015:
Hey, I'm here for the promised review.

Of course it's ok to review another of your stories. I've been meaning to come back to your AP for ages.

I usually look for stories with few reviews when I offer to do free reviews for people, but I didn't even consider that here. The reason I picked this is that I'm about to write something about Molly as well and I thought I'd have a look at how other people write her.
I'm really excited about this because I love your writing so much and I can learn so much from your approach of different topics.

Awww, I feel so sorry for Molly right now. I'Ve heard from quite a few people that they felt detatched and like a robot after losing someone they cared about. You've really described the feeling of despair and sadness to the point of not being able to function properly so well.

I feel like I'm there with Molly, going through it all with her, and it's tearing me apart inside (like Fred's death does every time).

This whole story was so heartbreaking and the song was worked into it really well. I've never written a song fic so far, so I don't know much about them, but I really like what you came up with.

It's so sweet and incredibly sad when Molly lets Arthur hug her for the first time in a long time. Emotional healing does take a lot of time, and it must be hard to let someone in at times. I'm sure it's a good thing that the others are suffering just as much as Molly is, otherwise she wouldn't have felt they understood her grief. I love Arthur's determination to make everything right again, or as right as it can be.

When Molly goes to talk to Fred it's the most beautiful moment in a long time. She finally accepts what happened and starts letting go. And then everyone is there for her, helping her do what she has to do. They all show they love and need her, so she finally gets something to do and enjoy for the future.

This was so great, I could go on and on forever.

I know I said that last time and then real life got in the way, but I still mean it. I'll be back for your other stories when I have more time.

Love,
~Anja

Author's Response: Hey there, Anja!

Gah! Thanks so much for this review. You're so kind and I don't know if I can ever express to you how much your reviews mean to me. And this story is a little close to my heart. I'd read a few Molly grieving stories (really only a couple) before writing this and I didn't think they went deep enough. At the same time, I really appreciate reviews that help me to realize I hit the mark on this one. :)

It wasn't my intent to write a "sad" piece - just an accurate one that depicted Molly's state of mind after Fred's death. She felt everything and nothing for so long and didn't know how to start again - but Arthur was there and now I'm tearing up all over again writing this response!

Thanks so much Anja - this review was such a gift!

♥ Beth


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Review #3, by ad astra It's Better This Way.

12th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

So I'm taking this HC as a bit of an excuse to camp out on your author's page and read through everything that has somehow escaped my notice, and your writing ability honestly makes that such a privilege. I'm going to try not to repeat all the things I've said about your other stories but you honestly have such a gift for characterisation that I can't leave that unmentioned.

Your Molly in mourning is such a powerful image - Molly, who was once defined by her warmth and cheerfulness and life turned silent and mechanical, but family seems like a damaged word, because Molly as a character is defined by her motherhood, and what does that leave her when she loses a child?

There are so many little touches that I love about this story, but Molly's struggle with the seasons stands out so much to me - her resentment of summer for the abundance of life, the colours of autumn reminding her of him, the transition into winter a constant reminder of the passage of time and every piece of time that Fred is missing.

This piece is a perfect portrait of grief and it is heartbreaking. I have tears in my eyes from reading this and it's a testament to the time you've spent on it. The progression of emotion is perfectly done, not racing towards some magical happy conclusion, and you've tied Molly's turning point to the song in such a poignant way - I know I can love you much better than this - and her realisation that she can love Fred in death the same way she loved him in life, that her stoic silence was never going to be right for the liveliness and warmth he brought to her.

This is such a stunning piece of writing, Beth, thank you so much for sharing it.

Author's Response: Hello,

I really didn't intend to take so long to reply to this, but this particular story was very personal to me and this particular review kinda hit me in the gut, so I've put it off for far too long (even after I've posted in the 'reviews that made your day' thread)

I didn't actually ever think I would write this story. I knew it was always there, but I didn't think I could do it. Then Emily hosted this challenge and this song just meant SO MUCH to me that I decided to go for it.

And Gah! I never thought I'd win the challenge and I never thought I'd get the responses that I have - so thank you so, so much for this.

In my experience, grief is often portrayed as something you need to get past, with time, but I also think most people miss the mark that with a life-altering devastation (such as losing a child), you *never* get past it, but rather move on to a different place. And many times, you don't know if you're there or not.

Sorry if this response isn't making sense. I'm very touched by this review - it meant so much to me.

♥ Beth


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Review #4, by Roisin It's Better This Way.

11th June 2015:
*sobs*

This was beautiful! And SAD. I really respect what an unflinching depiction of grief this was. It never felt melodramatic or anything, but it was so honest and accurate that it was almost difficult to read at points (in a good way).

The lyrics fit in really nicely with the story. I'd never heard the song before and gave it a quick listen, and I think that it both captured the tone, and also didn't NEED the song to convey the tone--so PROPS all around.

But I really am just a devastated weeping pile of mush right now. You did an excellent job making this story feel balanced and symmetrical. Sometimes with shorts it's just some stuff happening, where here, things came back and were built to and had conclusions. It also might be some of my favorite of your writing. The language itself was super lovely and very effectively conveyed your ideas (I especially liked Molly's idea that the 'time heals all wounds' adage is fallacious--she makes a good point).

REALLY well done with this!

xoxo
Roisin
~Gryffindor 2015 House Cup~

Author's Response: Hi!

I'm trying to get through all my unanswered reviews and I can't believe I missed this one.

Gah! Thanks so much for leaving such a heartfelt review on a story during the House Cup review competition! And I'm so, so glad the story came across as genuine, because that was something that I worried about. It took a lot out of me to write this one and, after weeks of fretting over it, I just let out a huge sigh and posted it, knowing it was honest.

I always feel like I have to have a turning point in my stories and I couldn't leave this one without *some* hope for Molly. But hopefully it came off as a small step in her larger journey to healing.

Thanks so much Roisin!

♥ Beth


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Review #5, by LadyL8 It's Better This Way.

5th June 2015:
Hi Beth.

I'm sorry it's taken me a while to get here, but my computer is not cooperating with me today. It keeps cutting off my reviews halfway in and randomly refreshning the page so I lose all I've written. But better late than never, right? And I had to do this story, because it was one of the two stories I wanted to do for the anon review spree. So I'm glad to finally get to read it now. And I love Molly, so I'm really excited about this story.

Wow. This was ... it don't think I have words for that. That was just heartbreaking. Fred's death has always been the one I had the hardest time accepting, probably because he was such a life-loving guy and I lost one of those guys myself back in middle school to a heart disease. I also feel like that death really broke the one, good family we had in the series, and I really hated that. But you did the aftermath justice (if you can even say that), and I really enjoyed/hated (because it's not really something you're suppose to enjoy) reading that.

My heart broke for Lily. I met the mother of the guy I talked about earlier in the funeral, and I've never seen anyone as broken as his mother was. He was an only child, you see, and she took it really hard. To this day, I can never forget the expression on her face as they lowered the casket. And I'm not a mother so I can't fully understand that pain, but I do have a little sister and I know it would kill me if something happened to her.

And that feeling (and even more) was what I felt again as I read this. I think you did an amazing job at capturing a mother's grief over losing her child, because there really can't be anything more horrible than that. It was the small things like the fact that she still remembers the sound of his casket being lowered, or that she doesn't know if she should say she has six or seven kids anymore - it's those small things that really make an impact here. And I'm blown away by your talent, and my heart's breaking over Molly and her grief. It's sadly very believable, and I hardly ever cry from reading fanfics but this is the closest I've gotten in a while. So good job on that.

I'm just speechless, really. I don't have anything more to say - it was that good. Thanks for writing such a heartbreaking but well-written one-shot, and keep an eye on your MTA as I'll be heading over there soon.

Hugs

Lotte

Author's Response: Lotte,

Oh, you are just too sweet! Thank you so much for this amazing review! I almost made you cry?! Wow. I'm not happy that you're sad, but the fact that the story moved you so much really means a lot to me. I've written this in a few responses, but all of these reviews mean so much to me because I really wanted to accurately portray Molly's pain and I because the emotion was so intense, I wasn't sure if I'd got to where I wanted it to be - so thanks for the validation. :)

And I'm so sorry about your friend - that is really sad. I hope his mother found peace at some point.

And I saw that you put some questions on my MTA and *hides under desk* I'll get to them as soon as I can - I've been a bit distracted by the House Cup, but I didn't forget and thank you so much for BOTH this review and the questions!

♥ Beth


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Review #6, by Tonks1247 It's Better This Way.

3rd June 2015:
Hello!

I think Iím going to need a minute to pull myself away from this dark depressing hole of loss and sorrow and learning to live without someone you were never meant to know life withoutÖ

Okay, this was honestly one of the most beautiful and heart breaking stories I have read in quite a while. When I initially read it, I didnít have the song playing, I listened to the song afterwards and Iím kinda happy I did because I think I would have spent the entire time bawling and unable to read the story youíve crafted.

Seriously, your depiction of grief, specifically the grief of a mother losing a child is so touching and caring and perfect. Itís hard to be able to pinpoint how to put words to that loss, to describe how your life turns upside down at the loss but youíve given quite the insight into the issue. You really touch the subject and bring it to life, showing how someone so strong needs time to come to terms with it and to find that time really isnít the healer. I think you also highlight that as a mother, you face not only your own grief but the grief of every single one of your children that experience it all the same. You really did a great job of putting words to it.

Also, as a sort of side note here, I absolutely love how you included the following line: ďHer husband of twenty-seven years and two wars and seven childrenÖ or was it now six?Ö seven children.Ē Something Iíve come to learn in uni (in Nursing School Specifically) is that you always recognize a motherís children, living or not. Itís important that they know, despite the child not being physically present, youíre still a parent, a mother, a loving being who wants to protect. I justÖreally loved that you included that thought.

Characterization of Molly was excellent. I feel you really captured her character well, with finding the need and want to suddenly fill her son in on the life of every other member of the family, to keep them in the loop and included in the family. I could definitely picture that moment in my head, with Arthur coming to join her and I knew the rest of her family would join her as well. I also loved how you had Molly come to terms with her grief and how she just uncovered his name, leaving the rest of his grave coveredÖreally touched me.

Overall, Iím really glad I ran across this story. It was really, really sad and touching and I keep thinking about your beautiful descriptions and characterization and the song! Oh my gosh the song was perfect for the situation. Really, it was well done and I didnít find anything to nitpick at either and Iím just going to stop myself from rambling and gushing about this writing masterpiece! Great job!

--Mikaela

Author's Response: Hi Mikaela!

This review made me SO happy! Don't get me wrong - I'm not happy that I made you feel so sad and depressed while reading it, but I'm ecstatic that the emotions I was trying to convey with this came through. I almost didn't post this story because it *is* so raw and real, but at the same time, I sorta felt I had to do it - I wanted to give that voice to Molly. "Learning to live without someone you were never meant to know life without..." is such a beautiful description of this. Gah - your words have me tearing up too! I knew immediately that (if I wrote this), I'd be using that song. I didn't have to think about that part at all.

Thanks again for the review!

♥ Beth


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Review #7, by LastMinuteLuna It's Better This Way.

3rd June 2015:
Hello! Hello!

I'm LastMinuteLuna and I'm dropping by to leave you a review for the Pass It Along Challenge! I know. I know, the deadline has passed, but they don't call me LastMinuteLuna for nothing!

But enough about me. Let's talk about your fabulous story!

This was a stark and depressing story, but you've written is so beautifully. You've done an amazing job of writing about the depression and grief that comes from mourning someone you've loved so deeply. A lot of the times stories that cover this subject can get over wrought and cliche, but you've done it in a way in this that makes it seem so real and raw.

A lot of the beauty of this comes from your fantastic descriptive quality. You paint images and allow the images to show us what Molly is feeling. The sad, lumpy mashed potatoes that are leaning to one side and the greyish colored split pea soup, really speak to the emptiness that she's feeling. The way she responds when Arthur holds her or how she's tended to Fred's grave through the different seasons. It all made it very clear and vivid and tangible.

I have to say that I am incredibly impressed with this. Not only have you chosen to write about a very tough subject, but you've hit it out of the park with what you've done with it. This is by far the best thing of yours that I've read so far (and I've read a lot of your work). Excellent work!

Uh oh! Times up. I have to run. I've got a few more reviews to leave and Iím already late! Thanks for such a haunting story!

From,
LastMinuteLuna

Author's Response: Hi there LastMinuteLuna!

Wow - this review was incredible! Thank you so much. This story was a bit tough for me to write and you never know when you post these things if the emotion came through in the way that you intended, so I wanted to say a HUGE "Thank You!" for letting me know that you felt it too. I think that's really what I was trying to get out of this - wanting to capture the emotions on a level that I felt was appropriate.

Thanks again!

♥ Beth


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Review #8, by Shadowkat It's Better This Way.

28th May 2015:
Oh my gosh, this is absolutely amazing. I'm not lying when I say I actually started tearing up with this. I don't think I'll ever forgive J.K. for splitting up the twins.

I love how you incorporated this song, it flowed so smoothly with the words and fit amazingly with the feelings conveyed in the story. I felt my heart braking for Molly, and I almost lost it near the middle.


It is silent. It is still. It is beautiful. There are no sounds to interrupt her thoughts, no colors to invade her mind, no smells to breach her nostrils. And with the absence of sensory overload comes a clarity - the clarity she has been seeking, without realizing it.

Oh my gosh, this part. I love the contrast between this and how she felt at the beginning. It was amazing.

All in all this was fantastic, and I'm so glad I had the chance to read it. Thanks for the swap. :)

Author's Response: Hi there!

Ooo - you picked this one - well it isn't exactly a peppy story, but I'm really glad you liked it.

I'm also really happy that you noticed how I changed Molly's mood from the beginning. She was in a muddy deep cavern, and she finally feels a little lightness.

Thanks again!

♥ Beth


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Review #9, by alicia and anne It's Better This Way.

27th May 2015:
Hello hun! I am finally here!

:D

Such beautiful descriptions to really set the tone of the chapter, showing me the wonder that is to come.

Seriously, I am really jealous of your descriptions. I forget to describe everything haha :D

Wow, it makes sense that it'll take her three days to prepare dinner for christmas. Her family is huge, so I don't envy her having to cook for them all. Awww, poor Molly, her heartbreak is so clear to see and it's devastating. Oh, Molly, I want you to be you again. *hugs her so tightly*

I really love how the seasons just flowed so smoothly into each other, it showed that things just didn't have much meaning to her now, she didn't seem to care.

Aw this was so heartbreaking, and it made me so sad for Molly and Arthur.

But I like that she's slowly getting better, that there's small things that are changing, that she's talking to him finally, she needed to.

Absolutely beautiful writing! I love reading your work :D

Author's Response: Hi Tammi!

You're reviews are always so kind and give me all sorts of warm fuzzies! Tbh, this story was really, really hard for me to write. But I loved the song and I entered the challenge, so I followed through with it.

And I do always try to have some sort of a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm a hopelessly optimistic in that way :)

Thanks again!

♥ Beth


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Review #10, by cherry_pop94 It's Better This Way.

1st May 2015:
Here for the Blue vs. Bronze battle!
Beth this was fantastic! I like to pretend most of the time that Fred Weasley never died, so every time I read a fic about the aftermath of his death, it hits me just as hard as the first time I read it in DH.
"or was it six?... sseven children"
This line absolutely broke my heart. I think it must be a question every parent who has ever lost a child must be asking themselves. You've captured Molly's grief so expertly, I just have no words to say.
I'm also glad that you didn't let the song overpower or completely carry the plot. I find that many songfics use the song as the central point, instead of as a device, if that makes any sense at all...
Anyway, this was fantastic and I'm so glad to have chosen it!

Author's Response: Hi there!

I breathe a sigh of relief with every review that I get on this story. I really, really, REALLY wanted to hit it just right and I it took me FOREVER to edit. I'm a little bit sad that we can't write songfics this way anymore due to the copyright laws, but at the same time, I'm glad that I DID write it.

I actually hadn't read too many songfics before writing this, so again, I wasn't sure if I was doing a good job of combining the lyrics with the story. Thanks so much!

♥ Beth


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Review #11, by BookDinosaur It's Better This Way.

11th April 2015:
Hello! I'm here with your (late, late) review for entering this into my Songfic Challenge, I'm so sorry for the delay! It's not even like I have a good reason :/ But you posted in the BvB review Battle and I told myself to kill two birds with one stone by tagging you.

But I'm here now! And I really loved this. I really, really did.


A lot of the time, I think, stories will focus on teenagers or young adults, because a lot of the authors here are of or around that age. (Also because writing teenage angst is really quite fun.) But that means that the grief of the adults in the HP series is very often passed over, and it's unspeakably amazing to have a story like this, which focuses so much on Molly and her grief and rebuilding after the war.

You've characterised her so, so well here - the emotions in this piece really do jump off the page, and Molly seems so real; on one hand, the same wife and mother that we saw in the canon series, but on the other hand she's grieving so hard for her dead son. She pushes everyone away and eventually lets someone in, and I love how you showed us that she shut down, essentially, and relied on those normal household things to keep her sane - seriously, everything you wrote here was so real and so raw, and it was amazing to read.

And of course, we need to talk about the song since this was a songfic challenge. :P I have to admit that I've never heard of this song before you wrote this to it (the members of HPFF have such diverse music tastes, honestly!) but it suited the story so well, and your placement of the lyrics was beautifully done as well. ♥

Throughout this piece, your description was absolutely beautiful, as well, I'm in awe and also slightly jealous. Your words are all perfectly placed - I know you said it took a long time to write but I think it was certainly worth the time, this is stunning.

Ugh, I strongly suspect that this review ill have just said "i love x i love y" without being helpful at all, but yeah, this portrayal of a mother's grief was stunning, Beth, thank you for writing it, and for entering it in my challenge! ♥

Emily

Author's Response: Hi there Emily!

I've taken so long to respond to this that you've already posted the results of the challenge!

Thanks so, so much for this review AND for the challenge win! Even though it was a few weeks ago, I still smile when I think about it :D

I remembered from the OotP that Molly's boggart turned into each of her children dead on the floor of Number Twelve, Grimmauld place - and it was too much for her to bear. She couldn't overcome the fear of losing one of them (someone had to step in and take over). So that is kinda where I started with this.

Yay! I'm so glad you liked the song. I listened to it the entire time I was writing this - and I don't actually remember the number of times it played, but it was a LOT - haha!

Thanks again for running this challenge and thanks for this amazing review - gah!

♥ Beth


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Review #12, by BellaLestrange87 It's Better This Way.

13th March 2015:
This is for the Blue vs Bronze review battle!

I really loved this! All your characterizations are really well-done, in all your stuff, but this shone out. All the major characters are really hard to write and write well, yet you just managed to do it perfectly. It's even harder when they're grieving, as only JKR herself would be able to say definitively how her characters would react. Beth. This is why you're one of my favourite authors.

The lyrics were integrated really well into the story; every verse described what was happening and described it perfectly. You chose just the right spots to place it and the perfect song too (well, lyric-wise. I've never heard it).

Molly's grief was written really well. I loved how you showed how she relied on everyday motions and turned into a machine in order to deal with her grief. Her repeated thoughts about the changing of the seasons and how it was another season without Fred made me sad. *totally isn't holding back tears*

Your description here was gorgeous. I could see everything perfectly in my mind, exactly as if it was playing out in a movie. And the way you described things, made everything seem so bleak and sad - which was appropriate with the subject matter - it's as if everything had greyed out and was very depressing, which is fitting because that's Molly's state of mind for most of it. (What a terrible sentence. Oh dear.)

I know you said in your A/N that this took a lot longer to write but it was so worth it; this is amazing.

~Olivia

Author's Response: Olivia,

First off, I need to apologize for the lateness of this response. I'm so sorry and your review was one of the loveliest I've ever gotten.

I did worry about readers having heard the song, so I was happy to hear that it worked with just the lyrics. If you get a chance to check it out, you should - it's very sad.

I chose to write this one for a few reasons. First, it was personal to me. The other reason is that I've read a few fics about Molly grieving for Fred (a while ago, I'll admit) and I always thought that they just didn't go deep enough. Losing Fred would consume her very being - at least for a time. I keep thinking of the boggart from OotP, where Molly's worse fear is any of her children (Harry included) dead.

I don't know if I can tell you how much this review means to me. I wasn't sure if I hit the mark with this story - so I am both relieved and elated by this!

Thanks again!

♥ Beth


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Review #13, by tangledconstellations It's Better This Way.

24th February 2015:
Hey Beth! ♥

This was absolutely beautiful. You made me well up a little bit at the end - this is such a beautiful portrayal of the complexity of grief. It also worked so well as a song-fic. The lyrics and your accompanying prose went together so nicely, neatly. You managed to capture the emotion of the song and put it so seamlessly into a situation. This was really, really special to read.

I've always loved Molly as a character. I think because we only see her as headstrong, fiery and overly-motherly from Harry's point of view it's easy to forget that she's as vulnerable as everyone else. I can't even imagine losing a child - and she must feel the burden so much heavier because her role as the mother is so ingrained within her, it's who she is. I imagine everyone instinctively looking to her for help or support and this song fic really hit home that she might not be able to do that so effortlessly after the war.

Your writing is so lovely! It's interesting that you said in your authors note it took you a long time to write this - well, I think it most certainly paid off! You captured a certain tone throughout this piece and it didn't falter at all. I was so swept up when reading it. It's so heartfelt and painful but there's this underlying abundance of love - for Molly, from Molly - and for all of the survivors, really. This, in particular, I thought was really beautiful: "The crisp air is a shock to her warm lungs, but she feels more alive in this moment than she can even remember. Her head cocks to the side and she notices how deep the snow has become since sheís been out here. She reaches forward with her raw fingers and swipes the top of the stone, so his name is visible, but that is the extent of her cleaning. The rest of the snow, she leaves." There's such rhythm to it and it's simplicity is what is really special. But there are a million other bits I could pick out too!!

This was really beautiful - thanks for agreeing to review swap otherwise I may not have had the chance to read this!

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Hello Laura!

Wow. Thanks so much for this lovely review. I've been reeling for a while and I had to take some time to respond to it. This was a really hard piece to write, but I'm glad I did it, as I hadn't seen a story that I though had covered the depth of grief Molly would feel from losing Fred. I'm a mom and I think that was a big part of me wanting to write this.

I did rewrite parts of this a LOT and I was so happy to see that you found a rhythm to it. I wasn't intentionally going for that, but I can see what you mean by it.

Thanks again!

♥ Beth


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Review #14, by Claire Evergreen It's Better This Way.

11th February 2015:
Hi, just stopping by for the BvB Review Challenge :)

I almost didn't read this with the song playing and I'm so glad I put it on because it just fit so wonderfully. My eyes were tearing up the whole time, this was just a beautiful story.

The descriptions in this are to die for. They are so beautiful and not once did it ever feel like it was too much. I mean, the opening line- White puffs dance lazily through the chilled air, plunking themselves across the back garden, stubbornly affixing to the grass, weeds and brush that line the property. - is absolutely stunning. I can't get over it, this is such a well written and thought out story, everything just flows so nicely together.

Going along with the descriptions, the emotions that you've written into this are just so powerful. I could feel everything that Molly was feeling and, like I said before, I was almost in tears for almost the whole story. I'm trying to think of another word to use, but powerful is just the only one coming to mind. I'm in awe of how well you were able to portray everything with just the right balance.

The dynamic between Molly and Arthur was wonderful. It was just enough interaction for this story length and the small descriptions and actions you wrote in conveyed the dynamic between them perfectly. The little part about Molly not hugging him since Fred died was so heartbreaking but it fit so perfectly with the other emotions that you put in.

The ending was just fantastic. I know I struggle to end pretty much any story I write, but yours came across so effortlessly and it just felt right. It was the perfect way to end such an emotionally charged one-shot.

I'm honestly in awe, this is such a fantastic story. I'm so glad I got to read it!

-Claire

Author's Response: Hi there Claire,

Yikes - I apologize for taking so long to respond to this.

I'm so, so happy that you played the song! I played it over and over and over when I wrote it and I'll admit, I cried my eyes out every time I sat down to write this - and there were many times. I really struggled with striking the right balance of pouring feeling into the piece and handling the subject matter with dignity.

Gah! thanks for your comment on the ending - I wasn't exactly sure how that came off and I heaved another sigh of relief with your kinds words on that ♥

Thanks again for this wonderful review and thank you so much for reading this story!

♥ Beth


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Review #15, by patronus_charm It's Better This Way.

5th February 2015:
Hey Beth, I thought Iíd check this out as Iíve got an entry for this challenge too!

Aw, this was so amazing Beth! ♥ Seriously, everything about it was great from the characterisation, the lyrics chosen and just the emotions conveyed, I loved all of it!

The entire style of the writing with the bleak description and the often stilted sentences were really great as they tied into the overall theme of the story Ė grief and sorrow. This is where the lyrics really added to the story as they conveyed this similar idea of everything stopping and slowly down in Mollyís life while everything else carries on and you really did make a good choice with this song as it just goes perfectly with the story.

This is probably one of the saddest post-war stories Iíve read about Molly too, because she really is broken here with no light in her life and sheís trapped in this endless world of grief. It just showed me how important her children were too, and how they were her job and now one of them is gone she just has less purpose in the world. You showed that really well when you talking about the stats (for lack of a better word) of her and Arthurís marriage and how they had spent all these years together and had all these children, and now they had lost one were those stats as impressive and as meaningful.

Linking into what I just said, I really liked how you used nature to show the transition in the world and how it is this natural thing. Summer goes to winter, day goes to night and the way you focused on that makes me wonder if Molly noticed that too and whether that helped back into the real world or not, because as time passed she did ease out of it like she was a process of nature too. Okay, I have no idea if that last bit made sense but I hope you get the gist of what I was trying to say.

The ending was so lovely, as you came back to the idea of Molly having purpose as she was reminded of her other family and how they were still alive and growing and developing and how they needed her. Especially Arthur too, and the way you highlighted that with the way it was just his name was really special as Molly canít be Molly without him like Arthur canít be Arthur without her.

This was a fantastic one-shot, Beth! ♥

-Kiana

Author's Response: Hi there Kiana!

Eeep! Thanks so much for this amazing review. I'm so, so glad you liked this story :)

Sorry for the sadness of the story, but I've read a few (very few) post war stories about Molly and I didn't think they really did her grief justice. I did have to pull on some personal experience here, but at the same time, I wanted to treat this topic with care.

Grief is so draining. It can consume you and make it so that time stands still. That's why Molly is both surprised and saddened at the change of seasons. Sometimes, that is the only thing that will mark time because you're stuck in your own world.

I wasn't too sure about the ending. I didn't want it to seem overly happy and I'm still not completely thrilled with it. Hopefully it didn't come across that everything is all better, but that Molly has come to a small milestone where she might be able to let others in.

Thanks again for this review. It really made my day!

♥ Beth


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Review #16, by daliha It's Better This Way.

4th February 2015:
Wow, I usual don't like songfics but this brought such joy and sadness to my heart. To see Molly struggle over Fred's death has always saddened me but to see her able to see hope in the end, to see her family with her. I can't even explain what I feel right now, I'm so happy to been able to review your story.

Author's Response: Hi there!

Thanks so much for reviewing this. It means a lot - especially since you don't usually like songfics!

I'm glad I set the right tone for the story including the sadness and a little bit of hope :)

♥ Beth


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Review #17, by Aphoride It's Better This Way.

4th February 2015:
Hey there - stopping by from BvB :) Seeing that you'd posted this so recently, and for the Songfic Challenge too (and songfics are always so good, imo!), I just had to stop by :)

This really is an incredibly heart-breaking one-shot, with the way you portray Molly and her grief, so enhanced by the use of the lyrics throughout. It really just tugs at you, and it's one of those stories you end up feeling after you've finished reading it, you know?

I love how you've portrayed Molly - even if that's kinda harsh to say, given what this story is about - but there's something so perfect about the way you write her. It's so exactly in canon, and in character for her to react in that kind of way - her family was always the most important thing to her, and it's been broken, in a way which can't be fixed. It's so desperately sad - I just want to hug her or something, her and Arthur both :(

I loved as well the way you tied in the seasons with it - how the season is changing and Fred's not there, and that's the hard thing, because it's the simple things, rather than the big things, almost. It really speaks of the depth of Molly's grief; as does the bit where you talk about how she feels the pain of all of her children, so the pain she feels at losing Fred is then multiplied because of the pain each of children feels at his loss, too. There's something so beautifully, poetically sad about that idea which I just adored.

Your writing in this was just stunning, too. The way you wrote it, with the description of the scenery outside and the grave and everything, was so gorgeous and brought the whole thing to life. It really let the emotions shine through - making them so powerful.

Gah, I'm so glad I read this - I'm sorry if this review is short, but I'm kinda lost for words, really, about how to review this because it's so beautiful :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi there Aph!

Thanks so much for reviewing this. It was a difficult topic to write about and it was very, very important to me that I was delicate with the emotions.

I know that not everyone loves songfics, but I really loved this song and it just seemed to fit with what Molly was feeling.

I think you really are spot on about it being the simple things instead of the big things. It is so hard to get through your daily life when every little thing you do reminds you of what you've lost.

I also think that seasons are a reminder of the cycle of life and the change for each one is a reminder that things move on - even when Molly isn't quite ready to.

Gah - thanks for the compliment on my writing. It really, really means a lot - coming from you :)

This review WASN'T too short - it was absolutely perfect and I LOVE it!

♥ Beth


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Review #18, by eunoia It's Better This Way.

2nd February 2015:
Hi, I'm here from the BvB thread!

To be honest I'm kind of at a loss of what to say. This songfic is beautifully written and one of the most powerful song fics I've read in a long time.

Your descriptions are amazing. The way you wrote the changing of the seasons was so well written that I could imagine the scene in my minds eye as if it were being painted in front of me.

Your characterization of Molly and Arthur is very realistic and emotive as well. I found it very believable that Molly would throw herself into routine tasks and I loved how Arthur was always there for her as well, never pushing her or forcing her to talk, simply waiting for her until she was ready. You portrayed the strength of their relationship wonderfully.

You described their grief so well too, even though the way they grieve is different, I could still feel the agony they were both going through. I've never read a story about the loss of Fred from their perspective and you've done a really amazing job.

I really liked the scene at the end when Molly finally talks to Fred and turns around to find Arthur and everyone else is there. They all miss Fred and they all want to support Molly and it just shows how close they all are.

Finally, I loved the tone of the story throughout. It has an almost lyrical quality, it flows like poetry.

Beautifully written, wonderful read, I really really enjoyed this!

Author's Response: Hi there!

Wow! Thank you so much for this beautiful review. I'm so happy that you liked the story.

I know it isn't about the most uplifting topic, but I really felt that I had to write this piece. I haven't read any Molly and Arthur stories that were on this topic.

I wasn't too sure about that ending scene, because I don't think there is usually a defining moment when grief is gone and I didn't want it to come across that way. I really just wanted that moment to be one little step along the way to healing.

I'm so excited that you found the words flow like poetry. This review is so lovely!

♥ Beth


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Review #19, by Infinityx It's Better This Way.

28th January 2015:
Beth. I cried. I read through this whole fic and then I listened to the song and pictured everything in my head and I could feel what Molly was feeling and I don't think I'll recover from this any time soon. I waited for a while in the hopes that I'll be able to gather myself enough to write a proper review but I understand Molly's pain and her grief still resonates with me so I hope something in this review will be substantial.

Your writing is just beautiful. You have brought out all the emotions in such a powerful manner and it's just amazing. The descriptions in every part of this fic conveyed the entire mood and setting perfectly, and combining your lovely writing with that intense song made this so hauntingly beautiful.

Your characterizations of Molly and Arthur are perfect as well. The way Molly throws herself into the routine tasks because of her grief was so realistic, and the way she was unable to do them because the memories of her lost son and her guilt at not being able to protect him overwhelmed her was just... Beth, I have no words.

I like the way you've brought in that correlation between different seasons and Molly's stages of grief as well. That was incredibly effective. I also love that you've set this in the winter. It seemed very befitting.

Arthur is such a rock for Molly through all this. He's obviously dealing with all the grief as well but despite his pain, he's there for his wife, to support her and love her, and he holds in his own sadness to make sure she's ok. That made me cry even more. You've remained so true to Arthur's character and all the love just pours out from the words.

The ending was just perfect. The way Molly finally found an outlet for all her grief and in her own time, coming to the realization that even though her son is gone, their love for each other can never be erased, and then knowing that she can pull herself out of the grief to be there for her family and all the while love Fred... I am overwhelmed again.

Beth, I really don't know what to say. This was just so deeply moving and you've done such an excellent job at writing this. Thank you for agreeing to swap with me, I'm so glad I read this absolutely gorgeous fic. ♥

Author's Response: Hi Erin,

So I need to admit that I've taken a few days to respond to this for two reasons. First off, this story was hard for me to write and secondly because this review is so heartfelt, I wanted to give the response its due.

I'm sorry I made you cry :( but I'm glad that my writing was able to create such emotion - does that even make sense?

I'm so happy that you listened to the song! I know that I don't usually do that in songfics, (maybe once in a while), so I really appreciated that you did!

Gah - so glad I did alright with Arthur as well. His grief will be different, but no less intense. It was tricky to show it when Molly is unable to fully see beyond her own pain.

I'm actually tearing up at this amazing review and I don't want to gush too much more over it, for fear of sounding insincere, but I want you to know how much I truly, truly appreciated your kind words.

♥ Beth


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Review #20, by toomanycurls It's Better This Way.

23rd January 2015:
Hi Beth!!

I don't read a ton of sonfics but I think you did a stunning job with this. I just felt so much of Molly's grief and sadness throughout and you did a wonderful job iwth her slow climb back to herself.

The connection you make between perfunctory tasks and staying focused while utterly checked out are very haunting. Her emotions certainly come through in your writing. The combination of a lack of desire to do work she previously enjoyed and the inability to do it well are such ringing halmarks of debilitating grief. I also like the way the seasons seem to mark a painful journey for her. It's always difficult to think of family who have died and what they have missed during big events or even just the coming of Spring.

Arthur's role in this perfectly shows their relationship. I imagine how helpless he felt with his wife in such a state of grief. Ooh, and her decision point on whether they had 6 or 7 children killed me. :'( I admire that he is trying his best to bring people together and yet he can't stop the sadness that consumes Molly. The line about feeling better being dangerous also hit my feels quite hard.

When Molly does start to climb out from under the grief, I am glad that it is on her terms. She's come to a point where she is comfortable with the idea of feeling better and begins that journey.

Your writing in this was so breath-takingly beautiful. Every word and phrase like art. Folding in her cooking made it feel almost like a dance or routine people could perform and the imagery of the passing seasons gave the story longevity that I can't quite articulate.

Amazing work!

-Rose

Author's Response: Hey Rose,

I apologize for taking so long to respond to this, but I'm really glad you chose this story and even more glad (or rather, relieved) that you liked it.

I've read one or two Molly-Fred fics and I wasn't sure they really covered the depth of grief. This song meant a lot to me during a difficult time and although this story was really challenging to write, I'm glad I did.

I think you captured it perfectly when you said that Molly is comfortable with the idea of feeling better - because that is really, really true.

Gah - thanks so much for the kind words about my writing. It was most important to me that I handled this topic with care, but it means so much to me that you found the words and themes so artistic.

♥ Beth


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