Reviews For The Maidens and the Tower


Name: Dojh167 (Signed) · Date: 13 Aug 2018 12:34 PM · For: Summer

Quodpot Match 1 - Friends to Lovers

 

I genuinely thought I had read both of these chapters. Derp. Did I run away from that word count? Anyway, I’m here now. And thankfully I think I mostly remember the first chapter. At least that the father is a dumbass and doesn’t know how girls work.

 

I’m still in awe of you for writing this. I’m so afraid of doing anything historical and being wrong about everything, but your tone of narration and dialogue is really so perfect.

 

Ah, a silo! I was wondering what the “tower” was going to be. Clever idea.

 

Mr O’Malley is awful and I hate him, but we’re just going to move past that and focus on these girls and their future happiness, okay?

 

Typo alert - Martha’s name became Marths

 

I kind of respect Hattie practicalness. I know Martha has every right to be upset, but she is a little annoying when she’s crying? I feel awful saying that.

 

The fact that Mr O’Malley can spare eight months of supplies for two people makes me wonder if he’s more financially well off than I assumed (or maybe that’s a fact that I forgot since I read the first chapter).

 

The hair braiding is a great mix of intimate and casually familiar.

 

Okay, favorite line: “I try not to complain about it, but I know Martha is feeling the same. She complains about it plenty.” Can I headcanon Martha as Cordelia? I think that will help me like her more.

 

The making of playing cards is so cute.

 

Real talk, I’m wondering where the garbage goes. And about menstruation. .

 

This got gay faster than I expected, and I am super here for it.

 

If I were to offer a suggestion for this chapter, I’d say that there’s an awful lot of telling instead of showing, which might be necessary, but I would recommend showing something earlier on to make Martha’s likeable side more apparent.

 

You have to write more - these gals deserve happiness.

 

Sam.



Name: Dojh167 (Signed) · Date: 19 May 2018 08:01 AM · For: Before

Renee!

 

I‘m glad I’m finally getting to read this (though to nobody’s surprise it took until a reviewing event)

 

I’m super proud of you for writing and posting OF, and the historical fiction angle is so creative and brave, and you’ve pulled it off really well! (as far as I can tell. I too am not a historical accuracy expert)

 

You do an excellent job from the start of setting a tone that both immerses us in the time/place and character. And it totally feels like it should be ready with an accent?

 

The Mr. O’Malley bits were hard for me to read, but I’m glad that I did. I’m really looking forward to reading lots of moments between Hattie and Martha where he is well out of the picture.

 

I can’t help but wonder how exactly his mind works and why he’d think this would be a good idea. Like, if his expectation for Martha to get married is based in pragmatism, giving her all these resources and privacy doesn’t seem too logical? And making it on her own is more the kind of adventure Martha is interested in than married life? Though it’s possible that isn’t how she’ll react, and being cooped up wll be very hard on her adventurous spirit. Also it’s very possible he doesn’t know squat about his daughter and has never made a rational decision in his life, so this is wasted wondering.

 

I look forward to more and hope it’s not all pain!

 

Sam.



Name: nott theodore (Signed) · Date: 12 May 2018 04:02 PM · For: Summer

Hello again!

 

This was a brilliant second chapter to the story.  The description at the beginning of the abandoned silo and the path leading up to it really helped to foreshadow what was to come, and added a bleak sense of foreboding to Hattie's confusion about why Mr O'Malley was taking her and shutting her up in there.

 

And of course!  Hattie is the servant who's locked away with the Maid Maleen (Martha) when she refuses to marry the man her father has picked out.  I really enjoyed that twist, and seeing it from Hattie's eyes, so that she becomes the protagonist of the story, is a clever twist, and I love the different angle that it offers the reader on the story.

 

Somehow, though, I think that Mr O'Malley's plan to shut his daughter up for a year until she regrets not agreeing to marry his choice is going to backfire on him.  Particularly as he's locked her in the silo with Hattie...

 

(Yes this ship is a-sailing.)

 

I thought the way that the two of them were locked in the silo and couldn't really do anything about it helped to continue your strong depiction of the time period, because Hattie (as a servant) has no power in the situation, and Martha is completely at the mercy of her father.  The way that portrays the power dynamics of the time is really effective, and makes me feel even more sorry for them.

 

Yes, I hate Mr O'Malley too.

 

But... I think that he's going to really end up regretting his decision to lock the two of them in the silo for a year.  HA.  SERVES YOU RIGHT, O'MALLEY.

 

The development of the relationship between Martha and Hattie during this chapter was so, so cute and lovely to read.  I know it's a horrible situation for them to be in, but there were so many moments in this chapter when you could see them getting closer, and it was so sweet to read.  Their personalities are quite different, but I think they complement each other so well, and I love their resilience and rebellious natures.

 

Eep, that moment at the end!  I feel like Martha has much more of an idea of how she feels, and Hattie is having feelings but doesn't seem to know exactly what they mean yet, and that it'll take quite a lot for her to believe that Martha could actually care for her.

 

“I could never be a man’s wife,” she agrees.

 

But she could be a woman's wife!  Or even better, Hattie's wife?  Pleaseeee?

 

In case you hadn't guessed, I've really loved reading this story so far - you've made me really care for both Hattie and Martha, and I love the way that you've interpreted the fairy tale.  I'm looking forward to reading the next chapter, and thank you for entering my challenge - I hope you've enjoyed writing this!

 

Sian :)



Name: nott theodore (Signed) · Date: 12 May 2018 02:31 PM · For: Before

Renee!  <3 First off, I'm so, so sorry that it's taken me so long to get around to reading and reviewing this, but I'm finally here to judge my entries for the Fairy Tale challenge, and I'm excited to read this.

 

I'm really thrilled that you're writing original fiction, because everything I've read by you so far has been brilliant, and I feel pretty honoured that you entered your first publicly posted OF to this challenge.

 

So, I should probably say that I'm not super familiar with US history (bar the basics), and it's possible that there are a couple of references that I'll miss in this story just because of that.  Having said that, though, I thought you did a wonderful job of capturing the time period, especially with using Hattie to tell the tale, as she's someone who very much knows her place in the household and is aware that it could be snatched away at any moment, and that gives a real indication of the social order at this point in time.

 

Hattie is such a wonderful narrator!  I love her already.  She's so quiet and observant, but she picks up on so much and you've given her a brilliantly strong voice, regardless of how quiet she is.  You weaved in some of her own backstory really well, as well as how she came to be working at the O'Malleys and her relationship to the others in the household, but in a way that didn't at all feel like an information dump.

 

Martha's character is wonderfully vibrant, and provides a great contrast to Hattie's.  Even in the first section, she sounds like she's going to be trouble - or in trouble - because she's not the sort of young lady one would have been expected to be at this point in time.  She sounds brilliant, though, and definitely the sort of character I love.  

 

Even though we don't get to see much of it in this actual chapter, I'm already rooting for more Martha and Hattie, and I'm looking forward to (hopefully!) seeing more of them together.  Unless Hattie is the one being sent away because Mr O'Malley thinks that'll punish Martha, of course, and he knows something Hattie hasn't yet realised...

 

The descriptions in this chapter were beautiful, as well - I especially loved your description of the sunset <3

 

Maid Maleen was a really fascinating (and more unusual) choice for this challenge but I think you did a wonderful job of adapting it and using it to inspire this story.  I can already see some clear parallels with the marriage offer and Martha not wanting to have anything to do with the man her father's agreed on for her.  I'm really intrigued to see how it plays out in the rest of the story.

 

Mr O'Malley is abhorrent, but I also can't say that I'm really at all surprised that he would do this to his daughter, and tell her that she's marrying someone he's picked for her?  That's just how it happened at this point in time, particularly if you had money (at least, in the UK, and I'm guessing it was mostly similar in the US at this period too).  I actually really enjoyed the way that you wrote the scene when Martha was refusing to marry young Mr. Gibbs - there was something of it that really reminded me of Romeo and Juliet, particularly when her mother didn't have any sympathy for her and just accepted that this was the way it worked.  

 

I really enjoyed reading this chapter and I'm glad the next is already up!

 

Sian :)



Name: victoria_anne (Signed) · Date: 16 Apr 2018 06:10 AM · For: Summer

Oh my goodness, poor Martha! Her punishment is awful! The way women were punished for speaking out of turn and not doing as they're told is just disgusting. I love Hattie's resilience though, and how she manages to keep a clear head.

 

Their situation is horrible, but I love that they're in it together. They're so close and I can't wait to watch their relationship blossoming into something even deeper. I hope you update soon! :)



Author's Response:

<33 Thanks for reviewing! 



Name: victoria_anne (Signed) · Date: 16 Apr 2018 05:49 AM · For: Before

Congratulations on winning Story of the Month! I'm here to celebrate! I actually thought I'd already reviewed this chapter, but I must have been thinking about when I read it before you posted it.

 

I absolutely love this, and I'm once again impressed by your writing. I love the voice and style you used, it instantly placed me in Hattie's mind and world. I'm so invested in these characters already. I admire Martha's strength so much, and it's so satisfying to see her refuse to do as she's told and conform.



Author's Response:

Thank you for the review, B! <3



Name: Felpata_Lupin (Signed) · Date: 15 Apr 2018 03:53 PM · For: Summer

Hey, Renee!

I thought I should have stopped by to read the second chapter, too. Congratulations again on winning Hufflepuff SotM! :)

He actually locked the both of them into a silo? Just like that? I can't believe it, it's crazy.

Once again, your descriptions are stunning. I can just picture everything so perfectly and it just feels so perfect for the time you are setting the story in. Or at least how I imagine it, I don't really know much about American history, but this fits so well with any mental image I might have.

I feel so bad for the two girls, but at the same time I love how they've found a sort of routine that works for them, and how they have each other's company and that's helping them to stay sane. I love how they spend their time reading for each other and how they built their own cards to play and all the other little things they do just to have something to do. I loved the scene where Hattie braids Martha's hair.

It's so weird to think that only a month has passed in this chapter, because it felt like such a long time just reading it. Did I already say that what Mr O'Malley did is horrible?

I really loved the closing, too, and that moment of sweetness between them. I really wonder how things will evolve from there. This story is truly fascinating.

Lots of love and snowball hug, my dear!

Chiara



Name: dreamgazer220 (Signed) · Date: 15 Apr 2018 12:29 PM · For: Before

Hello lovely, congratulations on winning Story of the Month! ♥

I can definitely see why this story was nominated and won. Your writing in this is just so beautiful, and it paints such a picture in my head. I can easily see the scene you laid out, Hattie in the kitchen, and then in the dining room at dinner. I actually held my breath when Mr. O'Malley went to face off with Martha; that was such a tense moment and you wrote it so well.

I think this was just the right length for an opening chapter; you were able to give us some good background and estbalish the important relationships, but you left it open-ended enough where I want to know what's going to happen next. Where is Mr. O'Malley sending Hattie? Where did Martha run off too? Will they ever meet again? Also, I love that Martha's a teacher and that she spent time teaching Hattie how to read, that's so sweet and adorable. 

And UGH, so cruel that Mr. O'Malley is punishing Martha by punishing Hattie. It makes so much twisted, sick sense, but I can only imagine Martha's reaction if she ever found out.  

I'm also having a hard time believing that it's your first time publishing original fiction; everything flows so well and I love that you include the dialect as well. It's not awkward - it feels like it just fits right in, along with everything else. 

An excellent start to what I'm sure is going to be a great story! Thanks for sharing with us, and congrats again!! ♥ ♥ ♥



Name: Renacera (Signed) · Date: 05 Apr 2018 10:47 PM · For: Summer

I DIDN'T WANT TO GET MY HOPES UP THAT THEY WOULD FALL IN LOVE (because apparently I didn't read the summary or story shell close enough), BUT NOW I HAVE MY HOPES UP.

Renee, you are cruel! Where are more chapters of this? This can't be all there is! I need to read on!

Again, your writing here is so fabulous. The voice is stunning and perfect for the story, and I'm really impressed with its consistency. I don't have a clear picture of the characters necessarily, but I can see the silo and their surroundings, so great job with the setting! I know it can be unnatural or odd to write in character descriptions, especially in a first-person narrative.

Now that we're getting into plot, I can't decide if I want to go read "Maid Maleen" or not. I don't want accidental spoilers, but I've actually never heard of that particular fairy tale, so maybe I should expand my horizons? I'll probably wait though, tbh. This story has me hooked as is.

The only constructive criticism I have to voice is concerning the continuity of the passage of time in this chapter. It may be that you want readers to be unsure of how long they've been imprisoned (or, perhaps, Hattie isn't so sure), but the time here was a little off. First, you mention that it takes five days for them to count their supplies. Then it's been a week (so, theoretically, it's been two days since they finished counting), but Martha's hair has already darkened? In a week? Then there are lines that say, "a month passes, then another" but in the final scene, Martha says, "Tomorrow will be a month." I'm not sure if this jumping around is intentional, so I thought I'd point it out! Either way, the chapter is wonderful!

Great job again. I can't wait to read more.

Best,
Emily



Name: Renacera (Signed) · Date: 05 Apr 2018 10:10 PM · For: Before

Hi Renee!

I am so excited to finally be reviewing this! From when I saw the description of it weeks ago, I've wanted to give it a read, and I finally have a moment to do so! And now, after only reading this first chapter, I can't tell you how excited I am to read on and see what happens!

I have to first compliment the voice you're using in this story. It is so crisp and vivid. It shapes the story so well for readers and shows clearly the time period, setting, and characters without forcing any of that information upon readers. Honestly, it's so well done. Phenomenal job!

The voice would be enough for me to give this ten stars, but then there's also the matter of the characterization of this wonderful cast of characters you've created. They are so real! Already I want Martha to leave her parents and go to wrestle alligators. (Though I expect it will be quite a while before anything like that will be possible...) And I want Hattie to just be free from servitude and happy. Their friendship is really lovely, and I see so much potential for their future together. I can't imagine the strife they'll experience in this story—if the summary is any indication!—but I'm definitely here for them!

For now, those are all the comments that I have! But I promise to be back in the next chapter to review again.

Again, amazing job!

Best,
Emily



Author's Response:

Thank you so much for this review, Emily! <33 Love you!



Name: Felpata_Lupin (Signed) · Date: 18 Mar 2018 02:42 PM · For: Before

Hey, Renee, my love! :)

I'm here for Hufflepuff March review swap (and because I've been curious about this story for so long... I really should have come here sooner, but RL...)!

I so loved this! Your narrative and descriptive skills never stop to impress me, I could picture everything so well and also I could totally imagine the situation you presented us happening. (If you only made limited attempts at historical accuracy, I'm seriously worried about what I'm doing with my OF... erm, sorry, that's irrelevant...)

Hattie's voice was so great! I love her quiet and observant character and I love the contrast with Martha's fierceness. Your characterization of everyone was so great, I loved seeing the O'Malleys through Hattie's eyes.

Poor Hattie, sent away for something that has nothing to do with her... also, poor Martha for being forced into an engagement she doesn't want (but I suppose at that time it wasn't so uncommon). I really dislike Martha's father, anyway.

I feel like I should say much more, because I really, really loved every bit of this first chapter... just know that this was so good and that I really want to know what happens next to Martha and to Hattie, so I'll try to come back soon!

Congratulations on posting your first OF, I'm so proud of you for it! You are such a wonderful writer and I love you so much!

Snowball hug,

Chiara



Author's Response:

Thank you so much for the lovely review <3



Name: justawillowtree (Signed) · Date: 08 Mar 2018 05:49 PM · For: Summer

RENEE! <3

 

This is my 300th review, and I was like, what better way to spend it than on one of my favorite stories on this site, and honestly this review is long overdue anyway, I can't believe I hadn't come here sooner. SO HERE I AM.

 

I loved the opening paragraph to this chapter, because you expanded their world so beautifully, describing what the path to the silo looks like. It's really amazing, how you're just able to write environments without being verbose, which results in this beautiful simplicity, and ugh I'm just in awe of you and your writing. I aspire to be like you.

 

This chapter was amazing because we got to know both Hattie and Martha a lot better! And we witnessed adorable interactions between the two, too! So really, this chapter's just got everything covered. I think that Hattie is amazing and brave and resilient, and I honestly wish we were able to meet her mother at this point because her mother's survival spirit sounds amazing. I love that Hattie's immediate reaction to being closed up by Martha's father is cynicism with a significant dash of practicality, as well, and she goes to take inventory of what they have.

 

It was at this point that I began to seriously question Mr. O'Malley's ability to logic his way through situations, because what he wants is for his daughter to marry this guy, right? So I don't know what he's thinking by giving them only eight months' worth of food that should last them twelve months, because a dead daughter does not a good wife make. The very least he could do is make sure that his daughter survives this whole imprisonment thing so that there is a daughter to marry off by the end of it. I mean, seriously. Mr. O'Malley fails at being a misogynistic pig. (I'm also just really worried about the girls, because they're going to be hungry the whole time if they want to ration their food out properly, and it's just, being hungry constantly is a horrible way to live.)

 

With that bleak thought in mind, I was just so thankful for all the sweet and adorable moments between Hattie and Martha. (Speaking of Martha, I admire her optimism and hope and stubbornness, and I hope that she'll be able to find a way out of here. I'm super curious to see how you'll take this fairytale!) When Hattie first sat down to brush Martha's hair, and they were playfully mocking each other, and then Hattie just got distracted listening to Martha read her fairytale... Oh, my heart. It was just too sweet.

 

Every little scene that you put in here, I couldn't get enough of. I loved seeing the innovative ways they entertained each other (creating their own cards to play formerly forbidden card games was the best thing ever), and I loved hearing Hattie's thoughts on how much she loved spending time with Martha, even if it was during their imprisonment. I'm relieved that they at least have solace in each other, because seeing how miserable Hattie was while being unable to see the outside world made me sad as well.

 

My favorite scene had to be that borderline naughty one where Hattie takes off her clothes because she's so hot (which I'm sure Martha thinks she is, one hundred percent), and MARTHA CAN'T TAKE HER EYES OFF HER. I am so ready for this romance to happen, you have no idea.

 

And I'm gonna have to say, my favorite line is when Martha says, "I could never be a man's wife," because Hattie thinks that Martha's just agreeing with her that she never wants to get married, but we all know that Martha just wants to marry Hattie and then live happily forever and ever. But I have a feeling it's going to take a little while before we get there, sadly.

 

I loved this so much Renee, and I can't wait for the next chapter. I love your writing so, so much. <3

 

~Eva



Author's Response:

Thank you so mcuch for this review IT MADE MY DAY! xoxo Renee



Name: Levana (Signed) · Date: 03 Mar 2018 09:53 PM · For: Summer

 

Renee! *hugs* (sorry if you saw this the first time, I deleted it and I'm reposting it because I fogot to put spaces in and it looked horrible.)

 

So, initial thoughts. I absolutely love this fic – which you already know from the previous chapter, but I can never say it enough. I mean, there’s just so many things to love about it: the ~femslash~, the fairytale aspect, the setting. F/F fairytales give me life.

 

Anyway, so I hate Mr. O’Malley. Like, I’m not even sure I can articulate how much I hate him. So, I mean, that’s a kudos to you. You do a wonderful job making him such a horrible person. The only thing that I’m confused about in the beginning is why he’s locking them both in the silo? Seems to me that they’re gonna fall in love while in the silo together.

 

I (correct me if I’m wrong) got the impression that he figured out that the reason Martha didn’t want to marry that boy was because she’s in love with Hattie (or at least he knows she feels something for Hattie)? I just don’t get why he’s locking Hattie in the tower with Martha. Then again, he looked crazed at the end of the previous chapter, so I mean *shrugs* who knows what he’s thinking. (Also, this isn’t critique and is more me just writing my thoughts as I read.)

 

Again, I HATE Mr. O’Malley. He only left them eight months of supplies for twelve months?!

 

“I hate Mr. O’Malley.” Same, Hattie, same.

 

This whole chapter with them locked in the silo makes me so sad. I’m already so attached to Hattie and Martha! I love them (and I can’t wait until they get together… wish it was under better circumstances... but I meant, it is a fairytale – they tend to be dark). Also, I hope neither Hattie or Martha dies at the end.  ._.

 

I found the scene where Hattie braids Martha’s hair to be bittersweet. Mostly because I thought it was really cute and then I was like “oh yeah, they’re locked in a silo for a year…” But they are so cute! And they managed to have a little bit of fun despite the circumstances.

 

                “A sudden rush of affection rushes through me, and I hug her around the shoulders. She giggles.”

                “I have an inexplicable urge to kiss the top of her head when she finally concludes with a “happily ever after.”

 

They’re just so cute. And in love. I’m calling their ship name Mattie. Mattie for the win! I have so many feelings over these two. I just want them to be happy! Make them happy, Renee!!!

 

Alright, so about two months have passed at this point? Honestly, wow, Hattie and Martha have so much strength because I honestly would have been pounding on the wall of the silo constantly in the hopes that someone would help. I mean, Martha complains (which is completely understandable) but she’s still managing to get through this whole ordeal.

  “Hattie?” Martha’s amused voice pulls me instantly out of my headand I scramble to a less absurd position. She’s just woken up, and I can’t think. I can’t think, because she’s looking at me in a way that makes my heart jump in my chest. I leave the bucket where it stands, unemptied, and turn to put on clean clothes. I can feel Martha’s eyes on me the whole time.

 

Honestly??? That whole like paragraph just caused me to ascend to a higher plane of existence. 10/10. Fantastic. Beautiful. Love. WHEN ARE THEY GETTING TOGETHER??

 

Martha hums, and I think she’s agreeing, but when she speaksagain I realize her insomnia is due to more than the weather. “Tomorrow will be a month.”

“It feels like three times that,” I answer.

 

Oh! I really like this. It looks really simple on the surface, but this conversation really shows how slow time feels to Hattie. Earlier in the narration she says that One month passes, then another – but now we find out it’s only been a month which really shows how awful this is. Like it’s so boring and redundant that it feels like it’s been ages.

 

“What? No! I could never…” My voice fades out. I should hate her. It’s because of her stubbornness that I’m here. The truth is, it never occurred to me to blame her for this. I blame her father, her mother, the suitor, society - but Martha? Of course not.

 

Hattie is such a Hufflepuff and I love her so much. IT NEVER OCCURRED TO HER TO BLAME MARTHA!

 

And finally, we get to the best line ever: “I could never be a man’s wife,” she agrees.” I could never be a man’s wife, she says. Man’s wife. But she COULD be a woman’s wife. Or a Hattie’s wife. *eyes emoji*

 

Character development: I think your character development is good so far. It’s only the second chapter so it’s a bit hard to say? But so far, it’s good!

 

Dialogue: Also, very good! Your dialogue flows naturally which I am low-key (read: high-key) jealous of because I always feel like my dialogue sounds really forced. Dialogue is super hard to write, give me your skills please. :p

 

Consistency with Ch 1: I didn’t notice anything inconsistence with chapter one (I went back and reread it. :p )

 

Scene/summary balance: Your scene balance is good too! The very last part is heavier on the dialogue, but I think it’s perfectly fine like that since it’s too dark in the silo anyway; it still paints a picture for me. I think for future chapters you could definitely work in some more stronger descriptions of Hattie’s other senses during the night – especially her hearing and touch maybe? (I’m just envisioning Hattie’s thoughts about Martha now...)

 

 Development of the romance: PERFECTION. They’re so cute. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or not… but I really love them. I think the development of the romance is really good. It’s clear that Martha likes Hattie, but Hattie is completely oblivious and just sees Martha as a friend (poor Martha).

 

Side notes: You have some typos. I can point them out in a PM if you want?

 

Summary of my thoughts:

 

                I HATE MR. O’MALLEY

                Mattie for life, I love them <3

                Your writing is wonderful and beautiful, and I love it

                I LOVE THIS FIC

                I really hate Mr. O’Malley

                I’m so ready for Mattie to become a power couple

 

Anyway, I love this fic so much. This chapter was so good, and I can’t wait for the next one. <33

 

~Maggie

 

 



Author's Response:

eeeee Maggie! This review is everything! THANK YOU SO MUCH!! <3333 xoxo Renee



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 02 Mar 2018 05:36 PM · For: Summer

HI RENEE I'M SO EXCITED TO READ MORE OF THIS

 

Mr O'Malley really is the absolute worst! Who locks their daughter in a silo for a year? I really hope he didn't mean it, but... how can he do that? What does Mrs O'Malley think - does she know? But anyway, that first section of the chapter where Hattie is being taken somewhere and doesn't know where, and then the utter dread as she approaches the silo and has to carry things inside - this is so well written and you can really feel the confusion and terror. And your descriptions of the setting are so wonderful once again. I feel so badly for both of them, and I'm so glad they at least have each other.

 

Thoughts: How tall is the silo? Can they stack up all the supplies and climb out the "window"? (though I guess even if they could, they'd have no way to get down the other side...) Omg, or they can tunnel through the ground, Shawshank Redemption style and get out from underneath. Or, how many rocks does it take to smash apart a really heavy wooden door? I know these are all a stretch, but I want these girls to be safe and far away from Mr O'Malley when he comes back looking for them later.

 

even though her face is to shadowed to make out. -- They can still make out in the dark :P Bahaha, okay, okay, I know that's not what's meant here, but I will take any opportunity to fly my ship's sails! XD So therefore, I adored that last scene when Martha kisses Hattie's hand. aslhjflsdjfa they both have feelings for each other and it's so adorable and Hattie's not entirely figured it out yet, but I think Martha has. And all these little interactions between them are so perfect, like when Hattie is brushing Martha's hair and Martha reads to her <3

 

I wrote a to-do list for Martha and Hattie for the remainder of the story. Here it is:

1. Make out

2. Flee the silo via one of the possibly unrealistic methods mentioned above

3. Celebrate their successful escape and live happily ever after

 

 

(Questions/cc? Halfway through the chapter it says one month passed and then another - but towards the end it's only been one month. Maybe I misread, but that's something you could possibly clear up.)

 

Anyway, I loved this chapter and this story is amazing and you are so talented <3 <3



Author's Response:

Omg Kristin, your to do list madem elaugh out loud! I totally agree, great list! And great review, thank you! (That CC is now fixed ;)) xoxo Renee



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 07 Feb 2018 04:59 PM · For: Before

Omg Renee you wrote original fiction! Congratulations and I'm so excited and glad that you decided to share it with all of us! ♥ And in no surprise to anyone anywhere, it's amazing.

 

Seriously, I was sucked in from the very first paragraph - the tone and the setting are so perfectly illustrated right from the beginning, the way the narrator speaks, the way of life. I've never been to 1879, but this is just what I'd expect when thinking of the Midwest during that time period. It's just so strong in its sense of place and time, and to me that's one of the most important things to establish in writing. I can visualize all of this so perfectly. It kind of reminds me of Willa Cather's writing. (Which, I hope you know, is a massive compliment)

 

Hattie's friendship ("friendship") with Martha is so adorable and I know it's not anything more yet, but I saw lesbians in the story summary and I am here to let you know that this Ship has set sail. (Can I do that despite the fact that Iowa is landlocked?). Anyway, I love the way you show how much Hattie admires and cares about Martha, just in how she describes her. And Martha sounds so cool, too. And such a rebel for that time period. I can see why Hattie likes her ;D

 

I feel so bad for Martha (you will be amused to know that I misspelled that at first, as I still haven't got out of the habit of typing 'Marta', oops) being essentially treated as property  when her father makes a deal with hte other man so that Martha will marry the guy's son, without giving her a chance to voice her opinion first, and then totally disregarding her opinion. And her mother isn't any help either - she really doesn't seem to understand her daugter or try to sympathize with her at all - she's kind of wrapped up in what she herself wants for her daughter. I hate that Martha has no say in it, and given what we know about her so far in the story, it makes a lot of sense that she runs away when no one listens to her.

 

I'm worried about where they're taking Hattie, mainly because the title makes me think they're going to lock up Hattie in a tower until Martha comes back and that would be horrible. The worst part though is the fact that Mr O'Malley thinks (knows?) that the best way to get to Martha is through Hattie, the way he tells her he's punishing Martha and not her (but he is punishing her). He doesn't really see her as a person, just a tool.

 

The way you describe HAttie's confusion and worry as she watches the farm disappear out of sight is so perfect (sad, but perfect), and I love the last few lines and how they hint at what is to come. Your description throughout are honestly what makes this shine so much. There's so much detail and your descriptions are amazing and you've already created such strong characters right from the beginning! I am so excited to read more of this and can't wait to see what you've got up your sleeve. Wonderful work on this. You are so talented. ♥



Author's Response:

Kristin 

 

Thank you! I was super nervous to post this because somehow it feels like posting OF reveals my writing ability/lack thereof in a more permanent way than fic does. Or, to put that another way, I feel like I'm opening myself up to a different, more intense level of judgement, and that's terrifying. But also exciting. And of course you and everyone are being totally sweet about it. 

 

I was a BIG fan of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as a kid, so I definitely channeled those here and did a shamefully small amount of actual research. I'm glad it's believable, regardless of actual historical accuracy =P 
I actually haven't read anything by Willa Cather, but I'm familiar with My Antonia because I saw a play of it, and I definitely take that as a compliment. Thank you SO much!

 

Martha is a total rebel girl feminist in the making, and I love her. I think Hattie is too caught up in survival to really think about that up until this point, but she admires it in Martha. 

 

(Yay, Marta! Also, on a related notes, never abandon the ship puns.) 

 

Mr. O'Malley is awful and you're absolutely right - he is punishing Hattie but he doesn't see her as a person at all. As for what will happen next... you'll have to wait and see ;)

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you! And also nooooooo I'm not *MANY COUCHES*

 

xoxo Renee



Name: justawillowtree (Signed) · Date: 07 Feb 2018 04:23 PM · For: Before

Renee omg <3

 

First of all, I'm so happy for you that you posted your first OF to the archives! It's such a huge accomplishment, and for a story that's shaping up to be a marvelously grand adventure to walk through, as well. This first chapter alone left me absolutely thrilled with the way the story was going, and so congratulations, not only for reaching such an important milestone but also creating a really unique and interesting story to read. (Also, I love fairytale adaptations, so I know that this story is going to land itself into my list of favorites, I just know it.)

 

I've never actually heard of Maid Maleen, which I think might actually work for the better while reading this. I love it whenever I pick up a book and read it without realizing that it's an adaptation of a fairytale, because then the story won't be spoiled for me, and also because I can read the fairytale afterwards and feel excited about the adaptation all over again. So I'm going to read Maid Maleen after you're finished with this, and so I'll be experiencing all the different events for the first time, without knowing which events of the fairytale is corresponds to.

 

OKAY, I'VE RAMBLED ON FAR TOO LONG, SO ALLOW ME TO FULLY EXPRESS MY EXCITEMENT ABOUT THIS PIECE. From the very first word, I could practically hear Hattie speaking to me. (By the way, I'm in love with the name "Hattie." It's one of my favorites, especially when reading stories located primarily in the West.) Her voice was distinct and clear, and her speech patterns and mannerisms came through. The way you fit in the colloquial slang for certain words felt so natural, and I really enjoyed seeing the effort you put to make her words sound accurate to the place she lives!

 

Also, I adore the idea of Martha and Hattie. (What's the ship name? Mattie? Hatha? I'm gonna go with Mattie.) Already we can see the sort of admiration and adoration Hattie has for her friend/crush, and you showed us the nature of their interactions through the depiction of their adorable little spy game. Martha sounds awesome, by the way. I would definitely want to date her, so I see where Hattie's coming from, haha. I hope we can see more interactions in the future! I'm fully prepared to ship these two with everything I've got, so I'd love to see them around each other more!

 

And I'm so glad that you launched directly into the heart of things. You left off the chapter with Martha running away and Hattie being forced to leave (I mean, what is Mr. O'Malley's plan here? Like, my man, what are you even trying to do?) in order to punish Martha. I already feel really worried, and since it seems that Mr. O'Malley's packed for a very long trip, what with all the food and blankets and candles and stuff. What's he planning on doing to Hattie?

 

Really, though, Martha's parents can go rot, her father especially for being an absolute jerk (there's a better word for him, but I can't use it lmao). I'm not terribly fond of Martha's mother right now either, but I'm more willing to forgive her considering the social circumstances of the time.

 

(ALSO I LOVED YOUR DESCRIPTIONS SO KEEP WRITING THEM, THEY GIVE ME LIFE.)

 

In summary, THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS, and also THANK YOU FOR WRITING SO WELL AND JUST MAKING ME HAPPY WITH YOUR STORIES ALL THE TIME. I really loved this, and I can't wait to see what you do with the story! <3

 

~Eva



Author's Response:

GAH

 

EVA!

 

You are seriously so nice and I love you so much for being excited about this story <333 

 

Posting OF to the archives is not something I thought I would ever be brave enough to do, so it's kind of freaking me out, but I'm very happy about it. Thank you for saying Hattie's voice came through. I worried the sort of 'historical' language would sound forced or awkward. 

 

Martha and Hattie are going to be adorable, I can't wait to get more into the romance part :) And for ship names, maybe Martie? But I like Mattie, too. 

 

yeahhhhhh Mr. and Mrs. O'Malley are basically the worst,

 

(THANK YOU SO MUCH HUG)

 

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS REVIEW, YOU ABSOLUTE SWEETHEART!

xoxo Renee 



Name: Levana (Signed) · Date: 07 Feb 2018 01:12 PM · For: Before

First. Lesbian + Fairytale. I am HERE for this!

Wow, just, wow. I really love this so far, it's amazing. Your writing and description is so beautiful.

I already feel so bad for Martha and Hattie already. The dynamic between the is already so good. Like the fact that their best friends and that Martha taught Hattie how to read. 

Also I'm really hating Mr. O'Malley already for trying to force Martha into marrying a man she clearly doesn't want to marry and then hitting her. And for making Hattie leave (because Martha is in love with Hattie????? I hope)!!!

Anyway, I really love this so far and I can't wait to read more!! (Sorry I don't have better feedback... I 100% did not read this on my laptop during my lecture [that's what I did...])



Author's Response:

Hello, Levana! Thank you SO much for this review! Since we haven't talked before, I was very surprised and excited to see it. I really appreciate your support and positive feedback. <3 

I love the girls and hate Mr. O'Malley, too. Definitely. You will have to wait until the next chapter to find out what will happen to Hattie, though. *evil laugh*

No need to apologize! This review is wonderful - and I have definitely been there during boring lectures ;)

Thanks again! xoxo Renee



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