Hey, Anci! This is a The Big Review review~ Disclaimer: this is also a phone review; don't step on the typos. I'm going to try to keep this short.I like your first sentence. It's very edgy and does great things for the atmosphere. It also A) managed to grip me; B) established setting and scene; and C) allowed me to acquaint myself with the narrative voice. I remember the actual first chapter, which was historical fiction, and although I've forgotten a great deal with regards to the original, I still caught whiffs of it in places. The dead uncle, Hawthorn, the general dreary air.... But the voice is much stronger here; it's not hesitant, and I like that. That said, I'm not the biggest fan of your second paragraph. It's a bit too vague for my taste and doesn't paint as clear a scene as the first two sentences. I'm not asking for in-depth descriptionz, but speaking as someone who isn't very familiar with funerals in the west, I found it slightly odd when the narrator says 'mother began to speak'. It's somewhat flippant, but it's bordering on an ambiguous flippancy. I'd like some grit on this--perhaps some detail? You could really take advantage of this first person narration thing, y'know, by employing a little more internal dialogue. I'd really like a better grip on Cass' feelings and internal reactions to their surroundings. I'm also keen to know more of Cass' relationship with their family, and also their reaction to the family + the mourning before they disengaged themselves from everyone else. I feel like there's more of a reason for Cass walking away from the crowd besides the fact that they thought it would be futile for them to stand around and listen to the eulogies/saw the kids on their own. Wouldn't it be considered rude for them to leave, just as their mum began her speech? Or did they actually use the kids as an excuse? I'm wondering if all the people (whom I'm assuming Cass doesn't know all that well) would be miffed at their leaving when they did, and if their actions had any consequences/repercussions. They don't seem too close. Maybe I'm looking too much into this. XD Hm. Reading on, I see that Darian thanks Cass for looking after Jenna, so I'm inclined to think they did leave the rest of the party simply with the pretext of looking after the kids, and maybe it isn't really rude for anyone to skip out on the burial? Anywhoo, I'm sensing a lot of family conflict here, except it's hinted at and only becomes really apparent nearing the end. I like that you're not blatant with it, but I feel like there's something missing. I can't put my finger on it--maybe it's because the narrator doesn't know these people well, and there's a bit of backstory lacking. How often does Cass see these people, anyway? And how do they know Darian but are meeting Lily for the first time? They're giving off ''I-am-in-an-awkward-situation'' vibes, and I'd really like some backstory--in the form of internal dialogue--to be conveyed, just to add a little 'meh' to the foundation. Did Cass know their uncle well? They're being comforted and seem to be affected by his passing away, so I'm wondering if they were closer to this uncle compared to the rest of the fam.Quick nit-pick: ellipses.
We have lost a most beloved member of our family, and today we gather here to mourn him....
"A house... Aa plantation house," I remembered triumphantly ...
''A house ... a plantation house,''...
''A house...a plantation house,''...
Hey! I'm here for the big review contest! This is a little on the older side, but hopefully you'll still be able to find this useful I'm not sure if you're planning on continuing this (or if you have and just didn't post it here), but I think you should. You have a really beautiful writing style and really interesting characters. I love the gender stuff you have going on with your MC. I'm sure you'd agree that literature needs so much more diversity, and it's really refreshing to see something different. I'm not sure exactly where you're going here with the plot (but it's a first chapter so obviously everything doesn't - and shouldn't - be 100% spelled out). But, I think you introduced some nice seeds, and there are many things I want to know.
They buried my uncle on a pale summer day. I stood in the shade under the oak tree and watched from a distance as they lowered his casket into the ground head-first.
I had excused myself when my mother stepped up to speak. There was no need for me to stand around and listen to them talk about him—they would all say the same thing, anyway—so I grabbed a bottle of water from the cooler in the back seat of my car and took my place, standing guard over the picnic blanket where my youngest cousins played.
The massive shadow under the canopy had dissipated a little, but it must have been suffocating under there.
Some had jobs or lives to get back to, people to meet, places to be.
She stumbled under the oak tree's shadow—I reached out to steady her by the shoulder, and helped her sit on the little memorial bench.
"It's just death and all, it tends to last forever.
Half of me wished that I hadn't felt feminine this morning.
"In my car," I mumbled as I found my keys in my pocket, then, "I'll grab you one, don't stand up."
My family would be the ones to forget hydration at a funeral.
With a wry smile, I found my beat-up little car in the line of other little black cars. Wrenching open the one working door to the back seat—if I didn't use enough force, it would jam on me again, and then I'd have to crawl through the front—I grabbed three bottles of water, just in case, and made my way back.
"That's good, I was worried it was just me.
She held her hand out to me, and I shook it, the cold metal of one of her rings cutting into my hand.
It felt wrong to talk about the Darton side of my family at a Waitely funeral,
I cringed at my own attitude and sat on the edge of the bench, next to Cousin Lily. Mom never got to spend much time with the Waitely side of the family, and these were the people she'd grown up with. I couldn't imagine going ten years without seeing my cousins on the Darton side.
Cousin Lily nudged my shoulder—my head snapped up, and my heart scrambled into my throat. Don't zone out, Cass. Sitting up straighter, I swallowed the fear and took a deep breath to slow my heart rate.
The way she tilted her head from side to side, her carefully-pinned curls kept bouncing.
but we were interrupted by a four-year-old's artistic interpretation of a royal fanfare.
"No problem." I shrugged and smiled back at Darian
About a quarter of the original party remained, and the lump in my throat warned me I was going to cry again.
"I'm going to a..." I tried to think of the words for it, but they escaped me. "A house... A plantation house," I remembered triumphantly, "in Georgia. One of my father's old friends is offering to teach me."
All their eyes seemed to be trained on my uncle's grave, however, and there was no savior coming for me.
Hello, steampowered here for a review! This is probably going to be a really short review, as I can find very little wrong with it and I'm struggling to think of decent feedback, but I'll try my best...First of all, I loved the interactions between the characters, and the dialogue was really realistic. This story has raised a lot of questions about the conflict and tension between the families - as well as the intriguing mystery of who and what these people really are... You also really conveyed the fact that it doesn't take a lot to make her mother annoyed or angry - perhaps she's a little... unstable?I also really liked Cass - her... slightly cynical?... approach made it more light-hearted, and I could kind of identify with her thoughts and feelings.
They buried my uncle on a pale summer day.
"I mean, I have my car..." I licked my lips and bit back the sarcasm with another sigh. Mom wouldn't like it if my behavior report came back negative.
Heya pretzelsing here for a review(and I am feeling like I am typing quicker than thinking )Okay so I usually skip intros but I have trained myself to give my reviews with great detail and with the scroll Let's jump right in:First of all to start, you didn't really show me Cass' emotions about her uncle.Was she close to him?Was she sad and crying or sobbing? Was she indifferent and wanting the funeral to end(that's how she acted). I really would like to know this: What is Cass relastionship with her Uncle?I kind of thought that this was weird:
I had excused myself when my mother stepped up to speak.
Wrenching open the one working door to the back seat—if I didn't use enough force, it would jam on me again, and then I'd have to crawl through the front—I grabbed three bottles of water, just in case, and made my way back.
It felt wrong to talk about the Darton side of my family at a Waitely funeral, so I took another long sip of my water and glanced back over at the canopy instead.
"We drove. Mom doesn't do the turbulent metal tube at high altitudes thing."
"I don't do airplanes, either.
"Really, then. Going to continue the Waitely tradition?"
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