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Reading Reviews for end of an era
  
2 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MargaretLane page zero.

3rd April 2016:
I have the same impression with regards to mental health. They don't seem too advanced on the matter, do they? A lot of people seem to write Lavender as having mental health issues after the war. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

Really like the opening paragraph. There's something very conversational about it and it just sort of rings true for some reason.

I've actually kept a diary since...let's say a few years before the dates in this story.

That last line of the first entry is quite sobering for some reason. I think because the conversation they were having as teens is so casual and cheerful and then we are reminded of what has happened. It works really well because we sort of feel Lavender's sadness.

I really LOVE the way you've rounded out Parvati's character here. I think as teenagers a lot of us believe people are simply as they appear and it is only as we get older that we realise it's rarely that simple. Lavender knew Parvati better and saw who she was in total, but other people just saw the way she first appeared.

I think doing something even though you are terrified is pretty much the definition of bravery. I am not brave. There is no way in a million years I would voluntarily take part in a war.

I like the way you mention them being terrified though. Ireland is currently commemorating the centenary of the 1916 Rising and the picture given is always that of the rebels singing as they marched out to surrender or James Connolly declaring cheerfully, "none whatsoever" when asked what their chances were. They must have been frightened - the city was being shelled around them - but that is never the impression given.

I really like the language used here - the way Lavender sounds annoyed and dismissive of things. It's very true to life and believable.

You really portray her perceptions so clearly when she talks about how she wants to believe the Healers and cooperate but can see no light left in the world.

The reference to the true or false game made me laugh and I can see how it would also be a good way of discussing painful things.

I really like the part where Tracey indicates that Parvati would want Lavender to move on.

Oh one thing: you've said on the 2nd of August, that it was five months to the day since Parvati died. I think you mean three months.

I'm now intrigued as to what is wrong with Chloe, because she seems like a pretty confident and well-adjusted person, but I guess Lavender doesn't know how she feels, so neither do we.

And a few lines later, Lavender begins to wonder the same thing and then it is explained. Poor Chloe. She does seem to have a fair amount of determination though.

I can totally imagine it would feel different to be told by Chloe that they have to move on than to be told the same thing by the Healers or her parents, because she knows how it feels.

There are tears in my eyes now. This is an excellent story.

Author's Response: Hey!

Thank you so much for the review and I'm so sorry I'm so late with this reply. Especially because this really is a lovely one


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Review #2, by Anonymous page zero.

6th March 2016:
Hey Plums.

I was going to leave an anonymous review, then I wasn't, then I was, then I wasn't. In the end, as you can see, I've chosen to be anonymous, and this is because I want to be honest with you and your story, and I really hope it's okay. If not, ah... Sorry!

And here's where the honesty comes in; my best friend died when I was sixteen and, eventually, I wanted to kill myself over it.

So, as you can see, your story has really resonated with me. I'm not sure if you have any experience with suicide or if you just took a plunge writing this about Lavender, let me tell you that you were tasteful and you were honest. I was frozen, eyes glued to my computer screen the whole time, wondering how you had captured the feeling of extreme hopelessness and emptiness in a HPFF.

I think it was the memories that really did it to me. You forget, sometimes, I think, about how a single death can affect a huge amount of people, so I'm glad you wrote this about Lavender. But I had the same memories with my friend, even the planning of our weddings and futures and children. I once predicted she'd have twin boys, and now I'll never know.

I'm overjoyed that you've ended the story on a high note - I'll admit, I was worried she wasn't going to make it for a bit there!

And I'm sorry if this story was just meant to be a challenge entry, but at least now you know that your story has affected at least one person in a huge way, and that I'm grateful to have read something so real.

So, you wonderful talented (probably shocked) Plums,

Thank you.

Author's Response: Hey,

First of all, don't be sorry that you've remained anonymous. Anon reviews have never bothered me in the first place and after reading the review, I understand 110% why you'd like to remain so. You've spoken about a deeply personal subject here and I respect that.

Secondly, this might not be much help, but I am genuinely so sorry for your loss. I don't have much experience for suicide, though I do have a little, and it wasn't due to a loss like this. Therefore, it really does mean so much that I didn't completely butcher the topic when I wrote it. It was a difficult one shot to write and I really wanted to capture the raw essence of the effect of the war.

A lot of Lavender's misery was based off my experience with depression - the complete hopelessness, the way it felt like no one truly cared or understood or had the right to tell me what to do. Similarly, I have several memories just like Lavender's, just like yours. I wanted to bring about the small, seemingly insignificant moments that can so easily be taken for granted and really capture how much meaning they have.

I knew from the very beginning that this would end positively. Though there's a struggle ahead, I wanted to show that despite all the pain, there can be happiness at the end, no matter how unlikely it seems.

Thank you for the wonderful review. It truly means so much to me that 'end of an era' could evoke something so powerful in someone, even if it was just a challenge entry. There are no words for what I feel right now.

Plums xo


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