Reviews for In Your Memory
jakc chapter 7 . 5/16/2008
Brindy,

Here's the promised review. I've decided to include as much detail as I can within an hour because I know you appreciate the feedback.

I enjoyed these last couple of chapters more so than what I read previously. Only because it attempted to step out of the tired Amy-centric circle. And it's sort of managed to do that. Sort of. It's half shifted to this extreme version of Alex feeling incredibly sorry of himself. And I know that's meant to be normal, I mean he would be calculating and cold if he didn't respond in that way but I worry about the effect this has on Tay.

I told you that I gained the impression that Alex felt his child was worthless and that he alienated himself from his child and you didn't understand how that came through your writing. I'll show you:

"I would never have even dreamed of bringing a child into this world if it meant Amy had to die."

It was a really simple thing to say. Sure, you can understand why he would have said it. Amy was his wife, she meant the world to him. But in this context, holding his child in his arms, contemplating this is abhorrent. Why? Because he isn't grateful for Amy's sacrifice (whether is was one or not). He doesn't look at his child and see a beautiful little girl for whom he shall now dedicate his entire life, he looks at his child and sees a social challenge. More importantly he blames her for her mother's death. If the situation were reversed and Any were to have lived, it almost feels like he would have been grateful for Tay's death. Why? Because HIS Amy survived. A woman that meant more to him than himself. It's sad to hear and it's harder to comprehend.

What even more confronting is that Alex knows this and all he does about it is continually feel sorry for himself:

"I should be sitting on her bed beside her calming her after her nightmare. But I can’t move."

"I don’t want anyone else seeing how shocking I feel at this moment"

"how terrible a parent I am"

And Jonesy falls in as a substitute to the father Alex should be. Which Jonesy always has. Making up for Alex's mistakes. What's sad to see is that Tay doesn't trust her father enough to ask him about her mother. She leaves the important questions to someone other than her father. And Alex only realises this when he's daughter wake up screaming in the night and JONESY walks in to confide her instead. Not Alex, never Alex.

It's why when Tay asked: "Do you miss Mummy?" that I completely laughed. What an ironic situation. Instead of Alex being concerned with his child's yearning for a mother his seven year old child registers that he has an unnatural obsession with a dead woman. And what's even stranger is that she had to ask. You make it very obvious that Alex misses Amy but Tay doesn't realise this? Maybe it's because Alex doesn't see the importance of Amy in the way Tay would if she were still alive. Tay see her 'mother' as a figure that innate important because she's simply exists while Alex see her as something that support his own existence. He's would be and is nothing with her.

:P Anyway, that bound to have demoralised you in some fashion so now I point out something I found amongst the Alex rubble:

PRETTY BRINDY WRITING! (I knew it you had it in there, somewhere):

"she was hiding the most ornate ivory blouse"

"I can smell the wine on her breath and the spicy aroma of the food on her skin. It clings to her like a silk sheet, thin and transparent"

Oh it's so perfect and delicate. And I noticed you used it in the very last scene with Alex and Amy at the end of chapter 11. It was simple but it spoke volumes. Very very lovely.

I've noticed something though. I posted up these whole series of questions that I wanted answered and you answered only one. So I post them again (just in case you've forgotten):

1. How did Amy die?

2. Why she chose to still have a child knowing that she'd die as a result?

3. Why did Amy experience a sudden shift in attitude (and you've begun to develop this with the whole Alex/Amy scene at the end but it doesn't explain why Amy's been more open just that she is being more open). I want to know why, it's the most important thing I need to know.

Also, I have some new questions:

3. Does Tay really miss her mother or the concept of a mother?

4. Does Tay love her father?

And I wish you luck with writing the rest. I'll be sure to read it soon.

jakc
jakc chapter 5 . 3/23/2008
Brindy,

This chapter was very lovely, emotion-wise. I think I keep on saying that but it's true.

One thing I've noticed as I've been reading is how incredibly Amy-focused this fic actually is. And yes, I know it's meant to be that way. It would be silly if it wasn't. It just that maybe, plot wise it's a little lagging. I do understand that Alex is meant to be grieving over the loss of a wife (whom he seemed to 'love') and sure, it's natural to miss that person every second of the day. And I understand how you'd want to describe that and you've done it well, it's just that there's such a focus on Amy being gone and how Alex wants her back that I feel like I'm reading the same paragraph over and over again. There doesn't seem to be any sort of progression. And there are all these questions I want to know the answers to. (I'll list them for convenience):

For example:

1. How Amy died (specifically, I know it was pregnancy related but you haven't mentioned why Amy would be predisposed to such a condition. Was it abortion related or just sheer dumb luck or one of those cruel twists of fate?

2. Why she chose to still have a child knowing that she'd die as a result (I thought that was a little out of character)? And sure you've touched on the fact that her attitude has changed. But the Amy I know has this pathological isolation from everything. In that case it would be extremely difficult for her to just wake up in the morning and feel good enough about herself to want a child. But if she did wake up one day and feeling competent enough, why did she? Was it Alex? Was it being married? Or did aliens implant a chip in her brain?

3. Why did Alex want a child so much (given the fact that I heard he was hopeless with his son Rory, which begs the question, does Rory exist?) but now that Amy has gone he doesn't seem to have ever wanted one? Even that simple gesture of holding Tahlia up at the funeral for the crowd to see her 'beautiful Amy eyes'. Why Amy's eyes? Why not Tahlia's? Why does Tahlia have to emanate Amy, not just remind him of her. It seems that Alex's life centred on Amy and now that she's gone, so has everything. But WHY has it? What did Amy mean to him?

Although now I've written all that down I've realised that you've probably already answered those questions and I haven't yet read them. But anyway, it was worth mentioning.

I should mention all the wonderful things you have done as well (I'll list them too, I like lists):

1. The entire Amy-focus of this fic. Not because I like Amy in any way but because Alex's fixation on Amy's death and his compulsive longing for her is something so very human. As incredibly selfish as I think it is, it's still what would happen to anyone who loses someone they love. As much as it's all about Amy, it's secretly Alex feeling incredibly sorry for himself. There's no real thought about how Amy feels, or where she's gone, or how she suffered or even what her friends feel for her death. It's all about how Alex feels, where Alex is, how Alex can't cope and how Alex suffers. I think that shows, that you have a very good understanding of human emotion. So, well done! ;)

2. Speaking of understanding humans (I thought I should put this in a separate point). I enjoy what you've done with Alex dismissing his daughter so. It doesn't seem very fatherly but then it draws on the first point I've made that he's human. And well, human's are funny things that react in silly ways, some would find such a deep solace in a mother's sacrifice for her child while others would lament that fact that she didn't have to. ;)

Also, remember how I mentioned that your writing was arabesque. Well I meant this: "I’m sending her off to the angels that tap lightly on my shoulder incessantly, telling me to let her go." How pretty is that! It's lovely. I like that about your writing. That in those moments where I completely lost in the story line it salvages itself with these lovely bits of description that seem to make sense to me. Thanks!

jakc
jakc chapter 3 . 2/26/2008
Brindy,

You did say this chapter was short but I liked it, just on the sake of emotions. I have a feeling this will be a fic with more emotion then plot. I still can't decide whether I'll like that or not but so far, it's very engaging so I'll keep reading.

n.b.

'her skin pale and clammy, and her whole body radiating exhaustion'

I enjoy the little bits of description you do, very reminiscent of 'Still Broken' and I loved that one!

'She threw up her guts for four and a half months'

You've officially put me off ever considering having children. Vomiting seven times in the space of an hour was frightful, possibly having to go through that for four months is unfathomable.

'Can all women read minds?'

Ha! We all can but woman are superior to men in this little skill. I find it fascinating.
Grace chapter 1 . 2/26/2008
Solid writing. You have a nice style but I'm not sure about the plot so far...it seems a little contrived and cliche. But I'll give it a chance and keep reading I suppose.
jakc chapter 2 . 2/23/2008
Brindy,

Now I know what you mean by 'mushy, lovey dovey'. But it's still very good maybe because there's this overshadowing sadness about it. That's all good. I don't like it when things are perfect, perfection is so blasé and unrealistic.

I have this thing with names, that they have to sound 'pretty' or otherwise you've burdened a character. And I really like the name 'Tahlia'. Did you look it up by any chance? Hebrew names are very beautiful, there always so purposeful.

I hope you post the next one soon. I start Uni next week and you know just how slow I am!

Emily
jakc chapter 1 . 2/22/2008
Brindy,

This one's wonderful. Utterly confusing (I'm not good with scenes that change without notice) but very very touching. Particularly Amy's sacrifice, whether or not it was intended.

And I, I prefer THIS Alex. I really do.