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A White Shell  by Celeritas 3 Review(s)
VirtuellaReviewed Chapter: 6 on 1/29/2010
Yay for Merina! Well done, that lass! :D
And yay for me, I've caught up.

As ever, your descriptions of a busy hobbit gathering are wonderful. So much to notice and to consider! Great chapter; I enjoyed it very much.

Author Reply: Merina is probably my second-favorite character to write (after smitten!Tom) because she's such a flaunter. And the Fair scenes are some of the most fun to write, because I can put Kira in contact with people she normally doesn't get to see and because there's so much going on. That's probably why the Fair usually drags out to a chapter a day.

Hooray for catching up!!

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 6 on 1/25/2010
Ah! I want to take Kira's mom and just *shake* some sense into her. Yes, Kira's had a hard time with her health; yes, she means well; yes, she loves her daughter; yes, she has her own issues and buttons that were pushed by the issue of Kira's learning to read. But she has gone about it ALL WRONG! (And, YES, I know it's the Evol Author's fault in the end, who has her own agenda, but it just shows how real you make these characters seem that Kira's mom can infuriate me so!)

What she has done is take a young person who is essentially honest, who values truth, and turned her into a deceitful liar. Poor Kira! Contrast Kira's attitudes about the story-telling, insisting on telling only the truth as she knows it and not a bit more, to her more pragmatic and troubling attitude towards her mother. And it is mainly because her mother will not listen to her, nor give her any credit for having her own good sense.

Kira is trying hard to do what she needs to do without hurting her mother, but it's going to hurt more in the end when it all comes out. For one thing her mother is going to feel like a fool when she realizes that she's practically the only person in the Farthing who *doesn't* know what Kira's been doing!

But I am not 100% in sympathy with Kira; I think that somehow she could have come up with a better solution. Perhaps one reason she resents Merina (who is a good deal like her in many ways) is that Merina refuses to dissemble, but rebels outright, and I am sure takes the consequences (though not lying down, I'm sure!). I have a feeling that wind or no, Merina would probably have revealed herself after her win anyway, and enjoyed the resulting hoop-la! Kira, on the other hand, is outwardly meek and seems to capitulate to her mother-- all the while putting off and pushing away the inevitable results as long as she can get away with it. I'm sure much of it has to do with her years of being sidelined by her disability, but she values peace *too much* and rather than trying to resolve the situation openly, she simply tries to avoid confrontation.

Now, to the issue of Tom, I think perhaps Kira underestimates the power of puberty, that makes an adolescent react in totally unexpected ways to persons of the opposite gender-- even when not truly interested in them, LOL!

I hope we get to see the effort to persuade Kira's mom. She keeps talking about what "those people" did "to" Kira, but sooner or later she's going to have to realize they were doing "for" her daughter. I just hope that the rifts do not end up being even more painful and hard to heal than they need to be.

Author Reply: Okay, let's see if I can do a reply that does your review justice...

Kira's brush with dishonesty is really hurting her, which is something that she doesn't seem to realize. And you're right, she could have gone about this in better ways. But she's too introverted to get the thrill from rebellion that Merina does, and she's tried confrontation before--and it got her into an incredible mess-up. Merina can get away with being who she is by virtue of her position. If Kira were to try anything, the consequences would be such that the only ultimate escape she could have would be in running away, which is a possibility that she'll probably begin entertaining at increased intervals if this keeps up.

The simple fact is that a lot of us have well-meaning idiots put in positions of authority over us, and it's hard to say what the right thing to do is in such a situation. It doesn't help that Kira still loves her mother.

The other thing that makes this problematic is the fact that Kira can understand where the other side is coming from in a way that Merina never could, and it can be so much harder to have an outright disagreement in such a situation.

So a lot of this mess is Mother's fault, and a lot of it is due to Kira's environment and past experiences, and a good deal of it is due to Kira herself--something which a lot of people tend to forget in the effort to point their fingers. She may be sympathetic, but she is still lying and disobedient, and to give Kira a simple victory at the end would be dishonest to reality. But in the end, however this ends up getting resolved, Kira's mother will be the one left with more regrets. Which is a real shame.

I do think that Kira plans on coming clean eventually, but she has six more years before she can do that safely (because she'll be legally independent). And a lot can happen in that time...

The conversation regarding the wedding is going to be really interesting, whether I decide to show it or not, because it's not like the last time one of these happened (when the Master talked Aunt Penny into letting Kira learn to read). If Mother says, "No, she's not going, and that's final," there's nothing anyone else can do about it.

The issue of Tom makes me laugh amidst all this high drama. Of course, now Kira is going to have to wonder what's going on with her, and what it all means...

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 6 on 1/24/2010
Merry's grandchildren are all themselves magnificent, and so very Brandybuck! Love Alder's approach, and that she was kind in her way to Tom, even.

Now, to get to that wedding!

Author Reply: Thank you!! Alder surprised me as a character, but I'm not complaining about his showing up!

I honestly don't know if Kira was being kind to Tom. She was being nice, but she was doing it just to make him feel awkward, and then regretted it immediately afterwards--because she was encouraging him!

Ah, but there are obstacles in the way of Kira's attending the wedding... *cackles*

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