Reviews For Pat-a-Cake
Reviewer: Equinox Chick
Date: 07/21/14 5:45
Chapter: Chapter 1

Whoa, this deserves far more reviews than the one you have. I can't match the last reviewer for content, but can tell you that I thought this was quite brilliant.

I'm kind of attached to Molly (and the other NG kids, but Molly is a fav) but my version isn't at all like yours, not having the fire you've given her. Pat was a wonderful character, well-rounded and very real. She jumped off the page, to be honest.

I think what I particularly loved was seeing the Potterverse through her eyes, with the things she couldn't do and the things she could. And the way she interacted with the others was so good. I loved Charlie (I've always loved him, mind you) and here he was just as I imagined, patient and caring, but not at all condescending probably because he left the 'safeness' of the Weasleyverse for Romania and dragons. (I think Pat has more of a crush on him than Teddy - ha ha)

Great story. Well done. ~Carole

Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review! Every bit of feedback is so appreciated. I'm glad you enjoyed my version of the character Molly. Also, I, too, have always found Charlie to be a very lovable member of the Weasley family (although all of them are just so wonderful).

Reviewer: Oregonian
Date: 06/07/14 14:57
Chapter: Chapter 1

Hi, Foolondahill,

This is Vicki of Slytherin House, reviewing another of your stories. Of the four you have posted, this is my second-favorite, after Bliss.

I was taken by the unique and whimsical format of this story, the twenty-one random glimpses into the early life of Molly Patricia Weasley. Some of these tiny samples are more telling than others, but they all add up to a pleasingly well-rounded image of this girl, her personality, and her life situation. Despite the seemingly lightweight format, there is a story arc here, from Pat’s early, typical jealousy of the attention paid to her new baby sister, to her slowly developing realization that she is different from the rest of her family and her anguish over this fact, to her final acceptance and appreciation of herself as who she truly is and her steps toward making a satisfying life for herself in the non-magical world.

It is interesting to see Pat’s vacillation between the Muggle and magical worlds, her strong desire to be like the rest of her family, so that even as she is beginning to commit to a Muggle career and the dream of a Muggle husband, she cannot resist one last attempt to create some magic with her sister’s new wand. I loved that line “Just for a second and I won’t ever bother you again.” Even one tiny bit of magic, performed only once, would link her to her magical family, even though it is now too late to change the trajectory of her life. She lists all the things she wants, but all these desires are summed up in ”I want to be like them.”

I can’t help thinking about Lily and Petunia Evans; was there a deliberate echoing of Lily/Petunia in Lucy/Patricia? But the parallels are not exceedingly strong. Pat seems to have grown up in a supportive family, and the existence of the magical world did not come as a surprise to her. Given that almost every one of her kin on her father’s side was magical, Lucy’s talents were not unusual or unexpected. What is similar is the heart-wrenching longing for something that will always be out of grasp, something that never can be because the magic simply isn’t there. Patricia also has the advantage of living in the present generation when the opportunities for women, magical or Muggle, are much greater than they were for Petunia.

It is satisfying to see that Pat is managing to survive during her childhood, a non-magical person in a magical world, and to carve out a place, a role for herself. Rather than being eaten up with bitterness, like Petunia, she can see the advantages of her future life: a better academic education, a fulfilling job that she doesn’t have to apologize for, and a husband who doesn’t have to apologize for her. She sounds like a sensible girl who knows what is in her best self-interest.

Your writing style, as in your other story Bliss, is pleasant to read, and has a simplicity that is entirely appropriate for the voice of a child or young teenager. I was intrigued by your final little section, about the distant relative who had been an accountant. Is she someday going to contact this relative and ask him how he has reconciled his magical family and his life in the Muggle world? Would he have insights to share with her?

I don’t usually include beta-like comments in a story review, but since you specifically asked for them, in order to be able to clean up tiny flaws in your manuscript, I will mention what I noticed.
Section 4: One that little scrap of metal Did you mean On instead of One?
Section 8: talked o her in a quiet, gentle voice. You mean talked to her…
Section 9: crush of Teddy Lupin Maybe this is just a difference in British/American idiom; in America we would say crush on…
Section 15: muttered comforting words in her ear. I think you want the present tense mutter, to be parallel with the present tense brush earlier in this sentence.

There is some confusion in the usage of who/whom in these three places:
Section 11: …they were quiet, well-behaved children whom enjoyed playing tag…
Section 16: …tiny, unnamed baby whom had never really been much more than a soul.
Section 21: …second cousin of Grandma Weasley’s whom had been an accountant.

Who is the form of the relative pronoun used as a subject; whom is the form of the relative pronoun used as a direct object. To choose quickly and accurately between them, use this trick.
First, isolate the dependent clause containing the relative pronoun:
..whom enjoyed playing tag.
..whom had really never been much more than soul
..whom had been an accountant.

Next, change these dependent clauses into little independent sentences by replacing the relative pronoun (who or whom) by a personal pronoun such as he (subject) or him (direct object); use they or them if a plural is called for.
In the first of these three mini-sentences, that would give you They enjoyed playing tag versus Them enjoyed playing tag; obviously “they” is the grammatical choice in this mini-sentence, so you know that you need “who” (not “whom”) in your story’s sentence.
If you try this with your other two problem sentences, substituting both “he” and “him” to see what sounds right, you will quickly see that “whom” in your story sentences needs to be changed to “who” in both instances.

In cases where the direct-object form “whom” is correct, this test procedure might require a little rearrangement of words in the test mini-sentences. For example:
Mary recognized the man [who? whom?] I saw in the park.
The test mini-sentences might seem a little awkward: He I saw in the park versus Him I saw in the park, but if we rearrange the words into a more normal order: I saw he in the park versus I saw him in the park, then it becomes clear that the word needed is “whom”, not “who”.

I do not mean to go on and on about this, but I sensed that you did want your stories to be as error-free as possible, so this trick can help you fix, not only this story, but other stories also.

To leave off beta-ing and get back to reviewing, I will close by saying that I really enjoyed this little story and thought that it was quite imaginative. Maybe you tried this format as an experiment. If so, it worked just fine. Thanks for writing.

Author's Response: Thank you again for your review. I love reviewers like you because I can tell that you honestly care about what you are reading, which is a tremendous compliment to the writer in itself. I'm glad you enjoyed the format (it was a bit of an experiment) and appreciate that you noticed the story arc of self-discovery. I find it interesting that you noticed the parallel of Lily/Petunia and Lucy/Patricia as that wasn't intentional, but looking back on it I can see that that would have been a clever little touch to add, had I thought of it ;). I cannot thank you enough for pointing out the little spelling/grammatical errors and I'll fix them as soon as possible. Thank you, especially, for giving me the hint about the who/whom use. I've never been able to figure that out before. Thank you for giving me a quick and simple fix.

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