This is a sweet story about surmounting failure and disappointment to go on to what is really important and satisfying. No, Mr. Bagnold will probably never approve of his daughter's not getting a prestigious job at the Ministry, but it is his loss for failing to see the value of any other occupation.
June makes a big step into adulthood by coming to understand that it is no longer her obligation to direct her life so as to please certain other people. The life and the decisions are hers, and the opinions of other people, even people as close as her parents, simply don't matter any more. In metaphorical language we refer to it as cutting the apron strings, and I suppose that most of us have gone through this process, even when we didn't graduate with disappointing grades.
I like the structure of this story: a series of snapshots to illustrate the pivotal moments in her journey, so that a long tale could be told in a brief span. (That is an art, as I have learned in trying to cram a whole story into the word-limits of a drabble.) Some less important considerations must of necessity be left out, such as what did her father think of her final decision? Did he ever come around? And, as she knows now, that IS unimportant. Once she is released from paternal expectations, she is free to grow in the directions that are right and needful for her. Mr. Bagnold's insistence on an "important" and "prestigious" career in the Ministry suggests a basic insecurity on his part, due to his family's attempts at upward mobility, whereas June is moving past that level of development.
I like the fact that the relationship between June and Vivian did not appear to be strained. There was no reason that it should be, even with their individual differences, but some authors might have been tempted to insert some tension there. This author wisely did not.
Although this story is made in large part of June's thoughts, without a lot of dialogue, the narrative carries along at a nice pace and does not get bogged down. The characters of June and her mother are well developed, and the lesser characters of Vivian and Mr. Bagnold fit neatly into their roles. A successful and enjoyable story.
I wanted to hex her dad into the middle of next week. Horrible man. I felt very sorry for June and the insecurity she felt here, but loved the way you twisted this. Usually it's the pretty girl who has the confidence (in stories I mean) and the intelligent girl is overlooked, but here - I'm guessing Millicent Bagnold casts a long shadow, and poor June didn't feel at all valued despite getting good results in everything else.
Intriguing story, I must check out the fairytale :) ~Carole~