This was so good! I really love your writing :) Not to mention that I've always loved to hear anything about Oliver Wood and his little romances, haha. But seriously, the way you twist words just makes them so... I dunno, amazing!
And finally, I am back on your review page. It’s been far too long, both since I’ve read something not queue-related and since you’ve graced MNFF with more of your gorgeous writing. I’m glad we’ve both amended such poor practices. For shame.
I remember telling you this on AIM, but I think the most stunning aspect of this story is its sheer simplicity. It has minor plot and a minor timeline, but both in just the right quantity to fit both the length and the almost sad nostalgia that the story was putting forth. It rather reminds me of the song Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks (and beautifully covered by Westlife :D ). Of course, this connection didn’t really click until I looked up the word halcyon (if I do say so myself, it isn’t often that I need to look up a word). The definition just fit the story so beautifully that I cried little fiction tears of joy at its splendour.
Never will stop marvelling at the plethora of ways you can portray Katie and Oliver yet make them all feel right. Every nuance of the characterisation, from Katie’s omnipresent ability to identify Oliver from the briefest of glances across a crowded room to Oliver’s ability to bark commands on the pitch but not even know what to say in an interpersonal relationship - they all feel so murky and perfect for how I picture them in my head. Of course, I don’t know if you could possibly get your OTP wrong, or that I believe you ever could (hence why you’ve made them my OTP, as well).
Katie makes me so sad. Not because she never got Oliver, but because she spent so much effort making up for the fact that she never really got over him. Hence trussing herself up in that dress that she never would’ve been caught dead in otherwise, wearing those monstrous shoes, and pasting a plastic smile on to smile fly in the face of this farce. I’m afraid that your Katie and mine have one more black mark on their character in common, though, and that’s a small streak of cowardice, running away from things that hurt instead of facing them down and rectifying them. In a way, she never really grew up in that fashion, pawning off her problems on distance and the passage of time, hoping they wouldn’t still be there when she got back. If only life worked that way.
I’d like to say Oliver was a fool for not choosing Katie, but in the end, the choice was made for him. If she had stuck around, something could’ve come of their relationship. They had the golden things that many couples never achieve between them: they were in ‘like’ with one another before the relationship progressed. Sure, it didn’t in the story, but I don’t entirely buy that Oliver say no flat out. Poor love, he’s quite inarticulate, so perhaps (maybe this is me being hopeful), he simply couldn’t find the words to convey what he wanted to convey to her. Even “I don’t know what to say” says volumes about what one means.
Of course, no review from me to you would be complete without extolling the excellence of your writing style. It’s so simple and clear, but elegantly so. I’m never in doubt as to what the story is about, but peeling back the surface layer, there is a haven of things to be gleaned. For instance, take Morag and Katie’s physical similarity. While it doesn’t seem like a coincidence, it’s not as clear-cut as Oliver liking that type of girl or missing Katie; it tells me that Oliver had just as many unresolved issues about the relationship built during that golden summer. Whether these issues are romantic, or simply hurt that she left without saying goodbye are unclear, but how it’s left up to the reader allows individuals to get from this story what they wish to, rather than what they’re told. Personally, I think Oliver figured out later that he’d had those sorts of feelings for her when she left but simply hadn’t realised it until the pang of absence sent it into stark relief.
There is nothing one cannot love about this story. It is both warm and cold all at once, but it’s got so much packed into it for the word count it has: character, plot, angst, romance, and that desire to know more but not the necessity in order to understand and to gain from it. It is, in short, a perfect snapshot piece. If I could, I’d wrap myself in it. Thank you so, so much for writing it for me. This review falls short of what I really want to say, as it would’ve done had I attempted a review on spewswap, but you know me so well. I sincerely hope that you never get sick of me being like this, because as your writing steadily gets better with age, you will forever find ways to steal my breath with your, dare I say it, halcyon words. And, to think, these were meant all for me.
I really think that you should continue, because that was awesome writing!