Reviews for Lady of Silences
linnfromia chapter 1 . 10/14/2010
This is just haunting. I love how you show glimmers of the Boromir (rough affection, burdened by his father's favoritism) and the Faramir (memories of his mother's beauty & sadness- maybe Finduilas was wearing the cloak that he gives Eilonwy?, fleeing from Denethor after dinner) whom we know from canon. And the Denethor, he of the expectations that seem perfectly reasonable and logical to him. And you take them and weave them into this truly chilling story of silence and abuse and people locking themselves away. And, I assume, of Finduilas's suicide - which then, cleverly, illumines so much about canon Denethor! I am honestly in awe, but need to go find a happier story before bed :)
LadyoftheShield chapter 1 . 7/26/2010
Wow... scary. Denethor, you...

So sad how prevalent this situation is today.
Emily chapter 1 . 1/27/2010
Is it just me, or are the last few lines referring to suicide? Creepy. : /

But well-written and very expressive, as per always. And I loved the seagull-song. : )
duj chapter 1 . 6/2/2009
Powerful and tragic. Abuse can coexist with love - a twisted love that caresses with thorns instead of flowers, but still desire, longing, even a form of altruism that feels sincere - and Denethor is exactly the kind of man one could imagine capable of loving in this way. Poor Finduilas. Typically, the abuse starts with psychological domination and doesn't become physical until that has been achieved, imprisoning the victim in what feels like a self-built cage. As well chastise a pinioned bird for not flying as Finduilas for not running home.
Raksha The Demon chapter 1 . 5/5/2006
A bleak and bitter story indeed, but haunting.

It's obvious that Finduilas is at the utter end of her strength, unable to endure her husband's striking her younger child, much less prevent further abuse of both herself and Faramir by Denethor.

"'If you did not make him angry, he would not have to hurt you,'" - Boromir's reaction is particularly tragic. He's old enough to know much of what's happening, but too young to know why, and he's caught in the middle, between a father and mother he loves. Obviously, he was much more upset than he let on, since he shut himself up in his room rather than endure further contact with his parents that night.

I know from other stories, that Boromir will be haunted for the rest of his life by his father's abuse of his mother, and by his own words to his mother; and it's so unfair. Boromir will take out his resentment on others, sometimes unwillingly and sometimes willingly and (in Denethor's case) with some justice. Faramir knows more than he's let on here, and his knowledge, as well as Denethor's "heavy hand", is going to take a terrible toll on him; even though he strives to suppress the knowledge and his reaction.

I wanted to scream at Finduilas to get up, get out of there, and flee to Dol Amroth with her children. But this Finduilas, snared and worn and enslaved by duty, would not have gone.

The greatest trap is the silence; and it seems to have sucked them all in, Denethor and Finduilas and their sons.
RavenLady chapter 1 . 3/27/2005
Bleak and beautiful.
Linaeve chapter 1 . 9/12/2004
Lovely story. I saw it first on an archive; forget which one it was... Denethor's Throne, I believe. Or something (;

The song is very fitting, as is Fin's love for the gulls. Boromir, with his "rough affection", and young Faramir and Finduilas, with her half-fragility and sweetness, and Denethor... all characterized brilliantly.

Off to read some of your other stories!

-lin
Linaeve chapter 1 . 9/12/2004
Lovely story. I saw it first on an archive; forget which one it was... Denethor's Throne, I believe. Or something (;

The song is very fitting, as is Fin's love for the gulls. Boromir, with his "rough affection", and young Faramir and Finduilas, with her half-fragility and sweetness, and Denethor... all characterized brilliantly.

Off to read some of your other stories!

-lin
Grav chapter 1 . 2/13/2004
And I thought your First Person Faramir broke my heart! This is almost too much. I think, perhaps, the part I noticed the most was "When we go home" and she is talking about Dol Amroth. This was truly touching, mildly depressing, and another fantastic (are you sick of that word yet?) story from you.
wellduh chapter 1 . 1/19/2004
Sundered households are so depressing. Really need to go read a nice, happy Denethor/Finduilas story now.
Keep it up.
No name please delete chapter 1 . 10/25/2002
Chilling. Absolutely chilling. And brilliant.
Rociriel chapter 1 . 9/5/2002
This was a powerful and touching portrait of the dilemma of domestic violence. You have captured the limbo in which the abused person exists as well as the joy taken in small things most of us would miss, such as the gulls. And saddest and truest of all she blames herself.

Good work, as always.
Alawa chapter 1 . 9/5/2002
This is a very restrained and subtle portrayal of the dynamics of an abusive family but what I think is most moving about it is that there is still a great deal of love involved.

One of the most poignant moments for me is when we see the potential that has been ground down by the influence of the shadow. Denethor acknowledging his wife’s quietness and missing her song. Boromir bursting with enthusiastic energy to tell his story before it is perverted to confused anger (I have to feel particularly sorry for him - old enough to feel conflicting loyalties but not old enough to understand). Denethor even giving his younger son a nod of approval as they talk of the seagulls and the song. In spite of the growing exhaustion and despair these things still exist as a source of comfort for him and we can see why he reacts as he does when that fragile hope is disrupted – a reaction probably made all the worse by his own projected self hatred for his previous actions. No wonder he lavishes his love on Boromir” because they were unlike” as Gandalf later says. It is so sad that Finduilas is able to understand this but is too drained by the shadow herself to support him or Gondor any longer.

It is terrible to contemplate that Finduilas, who has potentially so much to offer, could yet be driven to take the action she does, but also sadly realistic. She was not able to speak for herself but you have spoken for her. Beautiful writing.

(P.S. – For anyone interested, Eliot’s evocative passage about the “Lady of silences” can be found in part II of “Ash-Wednesday”).
Kshar chapter 1 . 9/1/2002
See what happens when I go all recluse-y? People go and post ten thousand stories for me to catch up on, that's what. I'm going to shun humankind more often. :)

I knew this was going to be a tough story for me to read. I am angry at Finduilas. Again, it builds on the anger I've felt toward Finduilas in your stories for a while now. I hate the fact that she acknowledges that her child needs protection, and yet, she's still not prepared to provide it. I can see the position she's in-the way she's being pulled in three separate directions, and how everything she does feels like a failure (reinforced by Boromir's anger toward her).

Okay, okay, I like the story, you probably guessed that. Finduilas's fragility of mind is really well shown-I like the way she goes from strong to collapsed and back again within the course of the story. The story has a kind of fine, breakable quality to it (like Finduilas herself I suppose): I kind of feel afraid to get too close in case I break it. Lovely work...certainly has me thinking now.
Stephantom chapter 1 . 8/31/2002
Oh... How very, very depressing. Finduilas is one of the most tragic characters in Lord of the Rings. Moreso in the fanfiction world though. From Love as Sweet as Poison and this here... :( I just feel so bad for her. For some reason I feel like I can strongly relate to her, even though I know I can't have any idea what that must be like. But I feel like I could easily picture myself in her place and feel what she feels and act like she does... (heheh, perhaps it's that INFP thing we talked about) This was excellent. I love the steward family so much, they're so wonderful to read about, even if they are terribly depressing. Although, I didn't quite understand what Boromir got so upset about so I was a little confused there. But everything else was still wonderful. Faramir and Finduilas comforting eachother was great. But it's so sad because you know that she'll die soon and Faramir will have no one to turn to really. Boromir somewhat, but Boromir doesn't really understand. Sigh. Excellent piece to add to the rest Una.
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