Reviewer: Oregonian
Date: 12/30/13 18:23
Chapter: A Box for Your Soul

Hi, Bec. I think I have read this story before, but did not leave a review at that time.

This is such a sweet story. It works, even though there is not much action, just Molly sitting on the floor (at least, that’s how I envision her) reading letter after letter after letter. Your combination of flashbacks, provided by the letters that trace her childhood history, and her self-criticism about the contents of the flashbacks provide an interesting way to juxtapose her childhood thoughts and behaviors with her adult judgment.

Most of us probably have seen a few letters that we wrote as children, something sent from summer camp and saved by our mother, for example. It is usually embarrassing enough to read just one or two such letters. It would take a true act of self-discipline to force ourselves to read a whole boxful of them. But it would be a maturing exercise also, as Lucy eventually discovers, that it is natural for children to be childish (often thoughtless and self-centered), and that the world in general does not expect them to be otherwise.

You make a good point in observing that there are two ways to regard Lucy’s long litany of complaints and problems as written in her letters: either she was self-obsessed and self-pitying, using Lorcan as a dumping ground for her negativity, or she was showing him her great trust by allowing him to see her innermost feelings and secrets. By showing us everything through Lucy’s eyes throughout almost all of the story, you keep us assuming the first interpretation, until, at the end, you spring the second, more forgiving interpretation on us as a surprise. That was neatly done.

A couple of thoughts came to mind as I read this. First, what was in the box of letters that Lorcan wrote to Lucy? We have seen only one of them, the one he wrote at age five. I realize that what was in those letters is not the point of this story, but my curiosity is piqued. How did he react to her written tales of woe?

Secondly, should we be surprised that all these letters, even the very first ones, have been so carefully saved all these years? Why were they not discarded, shortly after having been received and read, like all the other flotsam of childhood? Were they particularly precious to these two children because both of these children felt alienated from their other family members? Or are letters more highly prized in a culture that does not have telephones, e-mail, text messages, and Skype? (Perhaps our pioneer ancestors felt the same way.)

You have managed to write an emotional story without becoming maudlin, and that is a feat. Lorcan’s last letter is very well written, with many good phrases, just enough, not too much. It ties the story up very neatly. Good job.

Vicki of Slytherin House

Author's Response: Ah, wow, thank you so much for this review, Vicki! I haven't been around MNFF properly in a while now, it was such a pleasant surprise to see the email! Letters are such an interesting thing; like you said, it can be difficult to reread childhood letters, but also it can be a rewarding learning experience to see how much we've grown. I'm also glad you pointed out the different interpretations of Lucy's character. Given how we have only really been given her name, I found it fun to give her a little depth like that. On the point of all the letters being saved, I think things like letters do have different value for different people. I, for one, still have nearly all the letters I received from friends in pre-email and texting days. In the context of this story, it's a little headcanon I have about Lorcan, I guess, that he would have had a bit of an unsettled childhood with parents like Luna and Rolf, travelling all over the place and that regular letters would be loved and kept because of the unconscious sense of stability they would give him. But anyway, thanks again for all your comments and praise. I'm so pleased you enjoyed this little old story of mine :) Bec/Free_Elf

Reviewer: HumanHorcrux
Date: 09/11/12 4:19
Chapter: A Box for Your Soul

This was beautiful. No other words for it. :D :D :D

Author's Response: Thank you! So glad you liked it :)

Reviewer: sisena
Date: 05/30/12 0:08
Chapter: A Box for Your Soul

This is a wonderful piece of writing. Her parents are Percy and Penelope Clearwater, right? This story is understandable, relatable, and well-written. I love it.

Author's Response: Thank you for your review! I'm glad you enjoyed and were able to relate. Lucy's parents are actually Percy and Audrey, since I based this off the Potter-Weasley family tree drawn by JKR :)

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