This is amazing! What a brilliant story! I actually cried reading this! You have a real talent for writing.
You said in your author’s notes that this was your first time writing a tear-jerker. After reading your poems, particularly Your Eyes, I have come to the conclusion that the tear-jerker bit of it has become your signature. You have a very distinctive style in writing, and it really stands out to me, particularly in this story.
As well as the powerful language you use — I’ll get to that in a minute — I thought the style of this piece (in this first person/second person style that I still haven’t figured out what the fancy term for it is) was really effective. I have recently read a lot of brilliant pieces in this style, and this is another one. It really brought out how personal the story was, from Alice’s POV. You pulled off her voice flawlessly, and you conveyed Alice’s emotions throughout so, so well. I thought it fitting that Alice would be addressing her son; in fact, if I didn't know that this was fanfiction, I would have been thoroughly convinced that this was canon. In canon, the issue of Neville’s parents isn’t explored as much as I would have liked, but then, since it’s Harry’s story, that’s what fanfiction is for :)
I was completely blown away with how frighteningly accurately you manage to get into Alice’s head. The words you used were simple, as they should be, and yet you described Neville so well. What I loved about this the most was that this was just one scene, one snippet of Alice Longbottom’s life, and that’s what made it so heart-wrenching and beautiful. The scenario that you presented — Neville visiting Alice and giving her the Droobles — was one that I was familiar with, and one you made Neville and Alice familiar with as well. I particularly liked the part when Alice mentions she remembers how the gum tastes. The use of present tense here really helped get me into the moment, you know? A very good choice, and one that made this piece even more poignantly written.
The whole premise of the story — that Alice could sometimes remember things and was not completely insane — is one that I think was very well-executed. It was also very real; my pet peeve is when a sensitive issue like a mental disorder is mishandled, but you did so very well. The way Alice was unable to understand why Neville was behaving a certain way, and how she didn't even recognise her own husband... it was so tragic, yet so perfectly written. I really liked how you described Frank, and how Alice seemed to understand that Neville and Frank were related. It’s the simplicity of your writing that I think is what makes it so brilliant; there’s a real raw feel to it that I love.
Your use of dialogue was very well-placed and sounded natural, as well. Neville was perfectly in character; so often in canon, he is seen as clumsy, but here, his caring nature is really brought out, and my heart really did go out to him after reading this. Particularly when Alice seems to recognise that Neville is indeed her son... I really was close to tears by this point, it was so touching. And Neville’s characterisation was spot on because in the books, he always became serious and the hopelessness in his personality was shown at its fullest at those points. You built on that so well, and I could see why Neville was so desperate to be with his mum. The ending was so emotional as well. The repetition of “I love you” worked so well, and you conveyed Neville’s words heartfelt words brilliantly.
All in all, Emma, an excellent piece. I really need to start reading/reviewing more of your work, because I really loved this story and I think you definitely did the Longbottom family justice. Well done.
It was a good, albeit sad, story. I felt like I was inside Alice's head and it was interesting to show things from her muddle perspective. I've written a similar kind of story but from Neville's perspective. Anyway, it was a great read, and the last line really summed it up.
(If this review gets cut in half, I’ll PM the rest of it to you. MNFF review boxes hate me >.>)
Weeeell. I loved this fic. It was really well written for your first tear-jerker it certainly brought tears to my eyes! The emotion portrayed in this fic is just .>
The emotion portrayed in this fic is just so believable and wonderful. The description you use is very effective; it is very detailed without being too much. And that last line=
Author's Response: I got the rest of your review in PM. Mucho love, Rush <3
This is an extremely emotional piece with a tragic ‘heroine’, Alice. Your ability to have us be moved by her plight is through your use of the first person narrative (specifically the inner monologue technique) and your simple yet moving diction. You make me feel and experience Alice’s frustration, as well as sense Neville’s pain—even though he is a secondary character only briefly mentioned through Alice’s eyes. There is a fluid character development, of sorts, where I can see the transition from Alice not recognising Neville, to acknowledging him, and finally to needing him. Again, all of this is expertly executed with the right diction and structure.
I especially like your utilisation of motifs such as frustration, helplessness, confusion to convey your overarching theme of losing control of one’s mind or memories. This unfortunate truth can come with age and/or disease (or in Alice’s case, torture). It is the inevitability of losing one’s cogitative senses, and it is a terrifying notion. You do a wonderful job of portraying this sentiment. You manage to show Alice’s feeble attempts to cope with her condition and the frustration that she feels because of it. One could imagine that it would be like being trapped in a body, unable to move or speak. It forces us to stop and think of our own life, comparing it to Alice’s, and we become grateful. This is a story that is supposed to make us feel sad and cry, but it also uplifts us in a selfish way—making us all appreciative that we are not her, or Neville.
You certainly did an excellent job. I really did get misty eyes. Mission accomplished, my dear. ^_~
Author's Response: Um, WOW. Thank you so much for the absolutely lovely review - you actually made my day :)
Thanks for all of your wonderful observances, too - every little detail is SO unbelievably appreciated :)
Ah, so Elene's propaganda has led me to read this, and I must say, though I generally dislike both second person and present tense, anything else for this fic would have made it much less potent. It fit Alice's world perfectly, confining her existence to the here and now, because she really doesn't remember anything else.
Poor Neville, to have to do this every year, even though he knows that it will never get any better. No one really thought that he was a brave boy, but not many knew that he had the gobstones to do something like this, when some would not have thought twice about simply leaving them in St. Mungo's.
Very nicely done, and yay for Miss Emma. :D
Author's Response: Haha, yes, Elené's propaganda is indeed very powerful :)
Thank you so much for the lovely review, Jess; your compliments and your general comments. It really means a lot to me :)
I honestly didn't expect this to impact me as much as it did but, I'll admit, I definitely got teary. You write tear-jerkers very well - a lot of good description. I liked how you told the story from Alice's point of view, too: her mindset didn't feel forced or contrived. And poor Neville. He's so tragic, but continues to one of my favorite characters.
A few tips: watch your continuity. In the beginning paragraphs, Neville was sitting on the edge of the bed and then Alice got up and walked to him...Maybe I missed something. Also, I think there was one typo. But just one. Hahah.
Very good, though! I thoroughly enjoyed it. :)
Author's Response: Aw, thank you so much for your comments! Oooh, point taken about the continuity - I shall go change that there. Thank you for your lovely review, it really does mean a lot to me :)
You have a good friend in Elene for shamelessly plugging this for you! The first-person, stream-of-consciousness style was well done. It's hard accomplish that sense of character, especially when the character is not our own, but you did so marvellously. I truly enjoyed this little piece!
Author's Response: Ha, I know, and I didn't even have to ask her to do it! Thanks taking the time to read, and more importantly, to review! I honestly do appreciate it :)
I can't believe I haven't read this before. Emma, this is simply wonderful, and deserves far more reviews and plaudits than it's received. Everything is so beautifully written and wonderfully evoked. I'm actually tearing up here - hmm, but that's another story. My father has Alzheimers (have I told you that?) and the Longbottom's state is so reminiscent of that and the desperate hope that beneath everything they do remember - although perhaps that's worse because Alice and Frank can't do anything. *sigh*
I think the utter tragedy of the Longbottoms was brought home to me when she's jealous of Neville kissing Frank. She can't remember her own husband - so sad.
It's thoroughly depressing, but then right at the end you slip in a nugget of hope because she does recognise him. OOOH, I hope he heard that.
Brilliant story, Emma, you're so very talented. ~Carole~
Author's Response: Carole, thank you so much for that absolutely lovely review. Honestly, not only did they make me smile, they made my day. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story and took the time to read and review. It means a lot to me :)
Oh Emma Emma Emma
Where to start? The narrative was amazing. The emotion was so raw and real, I could feel Neville's pain so clearly, even though you didn't write from his POV. I loved your take on Alice's thought when taking and giving the wrappers. You're a great writer! Keep it up
Author's Response: Oh, Elene, Elene, Elene! Thank you so much for all your lovely comments! They mean the absolute world to me :) <3
Awwww... :( This feels like such a regular occurance. The confusion, the struggle, the realization, the oblivion... So sad. Great job at capturing it.
Author's Response: Thanks! I always thought there was something so touching about Alice and Neville's relationship, so I decided to see what I could do with it :) Thanks again for reading & reviewing!
This was so sad! Stupid Healers. Don't they know they're hurting her D:. Awesome story though, I never thought much about this.
Author's Response: Aww, thanks for the lovely review! It's good that there aren't many stories about this :]
sob!! but its amazing. it never occurred to me to go into alices story. thankyou for writing this
Author's Response: Aww, why thank you! I've always wondered what it would be like for her. Thanks for taking the time to write the nice review :)
OMG that was so sad! Tear tugger is right! I sort of know how Neville feels there as my Grandmother has alsimers (Not sure how you spell it). It's so sad to see it from her point of view...
Great job though, it was written very well!
Author's Response: Oh wow; thanks so much! I'm glad I got the point of the story across, and I'm sorry about your grandmother :( Thanks again for the review and your nice comments!