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Reading Reviews for Astoria
  
3 Reviews Found

Review #1, by HeyHEYOHSorry Astoria

24th January 2017:
Wow. I'm struck by how beautiful this is. I love the pacing and how we learn more about Draco, their marriage, and the type of woman Astoria is through each conversation. Your Pansy is also perfection, especially her blunt remarks. And I love how they come together at the end even though the people around them seem to doubt that possibility. I just loved reading this

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Review #2, by Crescent Moon  Astoria

7th February 2016:
I loved this story, really well written.

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Review #3, by notreallyblonde44 Astoria

13th October 2015:
Hello Celestie! Thanks for requesting! I love all your writing, so I can’t see how I’ll be of any help, but I’m happy to toss out my two sickles when I feel inclined :)

‘That evening, the sky outside our window’ – not sure if you need a comma here.

‘Living in that house felt like lying beside a dead body.’ – o.O creepy. Very telling of their home life and how dead/stagnant it’s become. You drop lovely bits of description here and there that really show the readers what’s going on. Which holds the right amount of tension.

Astoria has a unique perspective. She notices things most wouldn’t – like waves in Draco’s robes marking him as an island, etc. You do a great job blending normal and creative imagery, which presents a contrast between the everyday items like kettle and cloaks to what’s going on in Astoria’s head. And her brown boxy wardrobe choice seems bland and odd...wonder what this hints at.

I also wonder where Pansy went, and has Astoria really never met her? I feel like they would know of each other in passing at events of house parties or through Daphne. It seems strange that would’ve never met before. Maybe not under these circumstances, but still. I wonder what Draco’s said about Pansy –since if Astoria never met her before, why does she seem so weighted? Someone had to clue her in that there was a thing in the past then, right?

I don’t get the comments about “should” – why is there never should?

Astoria is an odd thing, why is she doing this? I feel like I’m watching an extended (incoming: random reference) scene from the Notebook where Noah’s other woman meets Ali and they decide to try and be friends when it’s the worst idea ever. Like. Bad idea Astoria lol. No wonder she didn’t tell Draco, it would likely be viewed as disobeying him. I’m confused about the last sentences of her interaction with Daphne. Why would she fault her for what she’s saying? She doesn’t want Draco to be seen as hers or?

‘clothes on that she had lost weight in.’ – like they were baggy or so old? Unclear about what this means here.

‘by feeding her comfortable lies that tasted good but did not digest well´- love this line! Another one of those fabulous descriptions of yours.

It’s not until Pansy comes into the scene that we (and she) fully understands the dynamics of this new marriage, the past, the present, but still with an unclear future. Sounds like Pansy went through an emotional breakdown, and Astoria is going through one too and didn’t know who to turn to until Pansy came back. And they found solace in each other. Which I’m happy about. I’m sitting here rooting and empathetic for Pansy in a way I never anticipated. I expected her to be all other womany, but I was pleasantly surprised when this was not the case. I also enjoyed Pansy calling Astoria out-because it really did seem like she was rubbing her marriage in.

It’s sad that Astoria is so young, vulnerable, alone, yet closed, and has no idea how to make herself, or her husband/Draco, happy and is leaning on Pansy to fill that void. And though I never thought Draco loved Pansy, or felt fulfilled in her presence, you created a fresh characterization and plot. I’ve never given Draco’s marriage to Astoria much thought, but there seems to be oodles to do with these three.

The one thing I'm not buying their emotional display in public. I guess the cafe was remote and empty (like no one even came to ask if they wanted anything), but the two women breaking down in a corner upon meeting seemed a bit of a stretch to me. I logically get that they could break down, but I’m not as bought into the emotion as I should be if that makes sense. These characters are so reserved and while they were going through their own PSTD situations, and I think they would totally cry in general, the setting and timing doesn’t work for me. And the ray of light at the end was almost a little too perfect of an image. So I’m glad Astoria “thinks” the sun came out rather than it was, as it shows a change in her mindset and hope, rather than a real concrete YES all is better the end moment. So I like the idea and distinction there, but not sold on the café setting.

Overall, I enjoyed your take on these three. These women have been through a lot and your description and pace did their story justice :) There were a few minor things that tripped me up, but maybe another reviewer can offer another perspective and it’s just me being confused haha. There's a lot of depth to your prose, and I enjoyed this, thanks!

xx Ellie

Author's Response: Hello! Apologies for the late response :( I've had homework and an extra long work week, so no time off at all to do anything but perhaps mope.

Astoria is certainly in her own head a lot, which makes her observational. To clarify, Astoria and Pansy both know about each other, especially Astoria. It's unavoidable when you share a whole circle of mutual friends, I feel. Plus, that whole circle prefers Pansy to Astoria, and it's slightly Astoria's insecurity that Draco may as well. It's the fear a woman would have that her husband still prefers his first love.

The should comments are just alluding to how they feel about obligations. Draco feels that there are few obligations that feel like 'shoulds' like 'I should do this'. Astoria disagrees, which is a hint regarding her past and her mindset.

With regards to her comment about not faulting Daphne, she's saying that she doesn't blame Daphne for being so wildly off the mark. Astoria is actually in pieces about a very serious matter and Daphne, not knowing any better, reduces it to some catty girl fight about a guy. But Astoria recognizes that Daphne doesn't have any context to know better, and knows her sister means well; hence her comments on why she doesn't blame Daphne. And with regards to the clothes, it's a reference to the clothes being both old and baggy! They don't fit her anymore and it's a hint to a time of unhappiness in Pansy's life -- she's lost weight, but hasn't bought clothes that fit her.

You're right, Pansy did have an emotional breakdown, which is partly why Astoria seeks her out. She feels she's going through one as well, and hopes Pansy can help her. The story was meant to be a little deceptively other womany, since I think that's how a lot of readers feel about Astoria and Pansy together, but I tried to subvert that a bit!

I'm not sure Draco loved Pansy either, but Astoria thinks he did, which is more the point, I feel. It's also a bit of a reflection on how dead their marriage is, that she thinks he attributes more genuine emotion to a young school fling than to his wife.

I actually do agree with you with regards to the cafe setting and it was something I spent forever debating. The thing is, I worry that if it was in a more private setting, Pansy would've refused to show up. It was a cafe, which was like open and public, but also fairly abandoned. I've (sadly) cried in public, but I've certainly seen others do so, so I tried to reason it out like that. I do think it was a first time confession, which is often emotional, and sometimes things do burst out. I will strongly consider going back and rewriting this scene however, as I remain dissatisfied with it, and will consider a change in setting with some of your comments in mind. :)

Thank you so much for your comments! They made me reconsider quite a bit and think about why I wrote what I did. I apologize once again for the lateness of this response.

Thank you,
Celestie








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