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Reading Reviews for And Then
10 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Dojh167 Six Years.

6th March 2016:
For the HPFF Review-A-Thon

And now I get to read the sequel! In case I hadn't had enough feelings already (really, I'm fine)

Okay, so I kind of knew I was kidding myself, but a part of me really did want to believe that things would get better in this one. Six years of this. Poor, poor Amos.

While I of course wish he hadn't killed himself, I am not convinced thins would have ever gotten any better if he had not. It's been six years and he has pushed everyone away, and he has made no effort to take care of himself or attempt to heal. I don't want to blame him here because I know how deeply he is suffering, but he was the only one who could save himself, but he never tried. His focus on the words he never believed "It will get better" put the focus on time, on the idea that if he waited long enough as he was, the trauma would heal. But that's not how it works.

SO, yeah, lots of feelings. As dark as both of these stories were, they are incredibly well written and I appreciate you having the strength to write them.


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Review #2, by nott theodore Six Years.

16th February 2016:
Dee! ♥ I don't have a lot of time, unfortunately, but after all your incredible work this weekend with the Secret Cupid I felt like you deserved some love too! And I've wanted to read this since you put it up on the archives, because After was amazing and thoroughly deserving of your Dobby win :D

So, um... wow?

I really was not expecting that ending. I still kind of feel a bit like I'm reeling from that, so while I try and get over it I'll talk a bit about the rest of the story :P

You manage to write depression and grief so well in this story. It's not easy to read - which is only a comment on your writing in that you capture the feelings and emotions behind this so well that I really felt like I was in Amos's head and experiencing those feelings myself. The atmosphere seems so bleak, and the tone is dark, but not in a way that really makes you scared - it's almost accepted. Amos has been suffering this way for so long that he doesn't know any differently, and he's just learnt to accept this is the way he lives. It's so sad to think of the fact that he didn't even consider an alternative - perhaps couldn't consider would be more accurate.

Amos was so alone here, too. I can understand the people around him leaving because it would be so difficult to cope with someone you know and loved behaving the way he does, sinking so far into depression that they're beyond your reach, but I felt so sad that he had been abandoned, in a way.

The guilt that he felt, still, over Cedric's death was so heartbreaking. It really wasn't his fault - it was Voldemort's alone - but he can't accept that and that makes it impossible for him to deal with his grief. Losing a child is terrible enough without feeling that you're to blame, too. I really wish that he and Harry had been able to have a proper conversation after the war, because if there's anyone who would be able to understand and get through to him, it would be Harry. I'm not sure it would have worked, though, since Amos was so depressed.

The use of second person was so effective, and you wrote it so well. That's why I'm still reeling from reading this - I felt so connected to Amos and all that he was feeling because of the narrative voice. That was a fantastic choice.

And back to the ending... I'm really sad that Amos couldn't cope with how he was feeling any more and decided to take his own life. It's so heartbreaking - he felt like there was nothing left to live for and he would be able to escape his pain and rejoin his son. I can completely understand it, and his decision makes sense in this context, but I just feel so sorry for him. The way that you wrote the ending, so matter-of-factly and abruptly, was really powerful too, and definitely had a real impact on me.

This was a really great - heartbreaking, but great - story, and I'm so glad that you shared it with us, even if I'm upset at the way that Amos's life ended!

Sian :)

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Review #3, by pathfinder Six Years.

14th January 2016:
Reviewing this one since ohmymerlin put you on the hot seat.

I read "After" like you suggested and I think it's a great set-up to this piece. As others have already mentioned, you did an outstanding job capturing the despair and pain that Amos must be feeling. I echo their praise wholeheartedly.
I was thinking about your story hours after I had read it (the mark of a captivating story) and one question that I had was: why that particular day?
In "After" you mentioned that there was always a 'something' to bring back the pain. Over the course of the indescribable five years of constant suffering that Amos was enduring the thought of ending the pain had to have crossed his mind. What was the 'something' that pushed him over the edge? Was this an anniversary of him writing the letter?…did he find something that had been lost?…did he finally run out of money and that was the last bottle of fire whiskey - which meant he would have to face the pain sober? Just something to tie the two stories together.
Thanks again for the great story.

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Review #4, by velajune Six Years.

14th January 2016:
So, like promised. Here for the hot seat.
And it probably wasn't too smart reading After ... And Then this. lol

I think you capture grief perfectly because even though we all carry it differently, there's still that something we all relate to. For me, your grieving Amos hit close to home. And I loved reading his progression- or I guess, in this case, regression.

Again, with limited words, you gave us such depth.

The last line is still echoing in my ears in Jeff Rawle's voice. Agonizingly beautiful.


Author's Response: Another gorgeous review, June. I can't thank you enough. I' so glad you enjoyed both parts to Amos' story.

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Review #5, by Felpata Lupin Six Years.

9th November 2015:
Hi, Dee.
I know I promised you a review on here a long time ago... Well, better late than never, right?

There is this strange phenomenon, anytime I read your stories... I think I have something in my eyes again...

It's supposed to get easier... Does it ever? I suppose it does (well, not in this case...), but you never heal completely... Sorry, I'm digressing, and I'm having some trouble seeing the bright side lately (maybe I didn't pick the right moment to read this...)

Let's get back to your beautiful (if heartbreaking) story, shall we?

It really broke my heart to see Amos like that. His solitude, his cutting himself out from the world. The world turning its back on him in return... It is all so sad...

When you first talked about the two bottles, I didn't realize what you were aiming too. I just imagined different degrees of alchool. But when I did understand, I was like... No! Don't! Please, Amos, don't do it! Of course, my pleas went unheard...

Why, Dee? Why are you so cruel? :'(

This was absolutely beautiful! Just like After had been! I'll go to see if I can pull this annoying thing out of my eye now...

Tons of love, hugs and kisses!

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Review #6, by SunshineDaisies Six Years.

31st October 2015:
Okay so I read this for the first time like three weeks ago and I've been trying to come up with a coherent review ever since. Obviously, that hasn't gone so well.

This is just absolutely haunting. It quite literally has followed me around for weeks. It was honestly a bit difficult for me to read, emotionally. You did an excellent job of writing accurate emotions and it definitely affected me.

This is brilliant and I don't know how you managed it in 500 words but I am so impressed. And I'm sorry I can't leave a better review but it left me speechless!

Author's Response: Katie you are just one of my favourite people ever. This review is seriously so amazing. Thank you so much! ♥

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Review #7, by Pixileanin Six Years.

23rd October 2015:

It's me with the Review Exchange. Woot!

Okay, so I've read a bit of short-short stories and a lot of times, I've come away with something missing. They sometimes read like short vignettes, or they're character sketches, or they don't have a twist.

This was excellent. It had everything one needs for a great story with a big impact. You focused on a singular turning point, where every change matters to the character. It's amazing how you can capture that in the short word count, with the emotion and the suffering, and the twist. I think that was my favorite part of it, where he finally smiles after all the hurt. I didn't expect that, but it makes your point, it explains the reasons why he thinks he has to do this horrible thing.

I went and read the companion piece to this first, just so I wouldn't miss anything, and I think, besides being a horribly tragic continuation, it fits perfectly with the setup. This poor character, he can't break out of the guilt and the pain, and it's just so... so tragic.

Excellent piece!


Author's Response: Hi, Pix! Sorry for the delayed response to this lovely review ♥

I've grown a huge soft spot for Amos recently, and thought about his life after Cedric a lot. This is pretty much my headcanon for him, I really don't think he would have coped without him.

Thank you so much for this review!

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Review #8, by Rumpelstiltskin Six Years.

14th September 2015:
I couldn't help myself, but I can't guarantee that this review will make any more sense than the last.

One thing that I did neglect to mention in the last review, and good thing it pertains to this as well, is that I just can't conceptualize the amount of pain that Amos is in, between his sons death and his wife leaving him. I've heard that, statistically, it's difficult for couples to stay together after the death of a child, but it feels so wrong (and you wrote it so wonderfully)!

THIS, though, my god. I can't say I didn't see it coming, because that's a very real outcome, and its very obvious that Amos just can't continue on without him. His life is a gigantic numb haze, and that's not really a life, now is it?

Beautiful job!


Author's Response: I love nonsensical reviews when they are as lovely as this, omg♥

I heard that a lot of couples don't stay together after the loss of a child and as sad as it is, I really can imagine it happening to Amos. His son truly was his life and I don't think he would have coped at all without him.

Thank you so much for the gorgeous reviews♥

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Review #9, by MuggleMaybe Six Years.

12th September 2015:
OH MY FREAKING GOODNESS, and in my last review I was all like "How much sadder can it get?"

IT GOT SADDER, DEE. IT. GOT. SADDER. What are you doing to us? Are you alright?? I hope you're alright. This is just.

"and for the first time in six years, you smile"

I seriously think I might need a microscope to find the tiny pieces you just broke my heart into. I hope you're proud of yourself.

No, really: I hope you're proud of yourself. Despite (or rather, because of) the insanely difficult feels, this is a profoundly moving piece. Not to mention, extremely well-rendered. It makes me ache to imagine Amos passing 6 years like this, wasting his life away in pain and unable to escape it.

Your writing is breath-taking in its honesty.

The only extremely minor bit of CC I can squeeze out of this is a missing period after the first sentence in the last paragraph.

You, my dear, are an incredibly perceptive person and an incredibly talented writer. :wub:

I, meanwhile, am currently a puddle of feels.
xoxo Renee

Author's Response: Renee♥ You are such a sweetheart.

I'm so sorry for breaking your heart, but also yay that it made you leave such a gorgeous review :D

Thank you for pointing out the missed punctuation, I've fixed it now :) And thank you for your extremely kind words♥


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Review #10, by TreacleTart Six Years.

10th September 2015:
Hey there!

I just saw your message about this story, so I came here immediately to check it out!

Excuse me while I verge into a sad, rambling mess and lots of shouty text.


Ok. I feel a little better now.

First let me say that I'm thrilled that you wrote a bit more of his story. You handled Amos brilliantly in After, so as soon as I saw what this was I couldn't wait to see where it went.

Initially, I had hoped that maybe his life had picked up a little bit. Silly me. Of course it hasn't. The moment that Cedric died destroyed his life and you do such a wonderful job of illustrating that. As with After, I can really feel his despair and hopelessness, but in this there's also a very tangible weariness. He's just tired of fighting and trying to move on when he can't and you made it very understandable.

The ending is so tragic, but I feel like it's sort of inevitable in a way. I think from the moment I read After, I knew that this was the direction he would go. I think losing a child is just one of those things that causes some people to give up.

I also liked that you kept this short. I think I mentioned this the first time around, but sometimes when people write grief they add too much to it. It gets cluttered and overly dramatic. Limiting it to 500 words and trying to find simple ways to show his grief really works well and that's exactly why After was so powerful. You've managed to take that same sort of concept and continue it here. It really works well.


Seriously, I'm so glad that you found this amazing inspiration in my challenge because healing after trauma is such an important topic. I'm blown away with what you've done with it and am thrilled to see your stories getting the recognition that they deserve!

Brilliant job as always!


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