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... and hear the song of salt and sea  by Cuthalion 4 Review(s)
Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/16/2006
Incredibly lovely and sad. I saw too much of myself in this. Not bad. Not suicidal. But the relationship. And then when she took her own life... I think it definitely could have happened this way.

But does not your heart break for the boys? What whispered words did they hear? Might you write a sequel?

Author Reply: Thank you very much! And yes, my heart breaks for the boys, for both of them. Children tend to seek for their own responsibility within the scheme of things if a personal disaster like this happens. But I probably won't write a sequel... though I'm very happy about your review, for this is one of my pieces that hardly gets any recognition, though I love it dearly. Thank you again!


rabidsamfanReviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/26/2005
Beautiful and haunting. I think you've done an excellent job of showing the process by which Finduilas finds herself separated from the people she loves most. The way her thoughts become ingrown, and despairing. I like the way that you used breastfeeding as both metaphor and reason for her diminishing connection to the "grown up" world of Minas Tirith as she begins to long more and more for the simplicity of the "child world" she knew in Dol Amroth.

Thank you!

Author Reply: Thank you, dear. I have a rather close friend who fought severe depressions for years, and she spoke to me once of her experiences. A lot of that came out with that tale (which suddenly appeared without me waiting or even searching for it), and the breastfeeding was one of the details that make you sit there afterwards (as the author), staring at the screen and murmuring: "Well, that... hm. Not bad. But why..."

Sometimes storytelling is a weird process. *grins*

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/24/2005
I really enjoyed this story. I loved how, in the space of such a short story, you really drew a finely detailed picture of a marriage freezing and crumbling. You could pin down the approximate moment that things went irretrievably wrong, but how and why exactly it happened are still something of a mystery, which is probably what it felt like to Finduilas. I also liked the sense of her fragility and her tendency to wilt in the face of difficulty, which makes the ending logical and believable.

The idea that she was able to breastfeed Faramir and not Boromir is intriguing, and it does help to explain both her special closeness to Faramir and Denethor's later resentment of the kid who claimed even that little bit of Finduilas's attention.

I am kind of curious to know where you got Boromir's date of birth. In my copy of ROTK, the timeline says that Finduilas and Denethor were married in TA 2976, and that Boromir was born in 2978. Faramir would then arrive in 2983. Those dates would be in the 1300s in the Shire reckoning -- wedding in 1376, Boromir in 1378, and Faramir in 1383. Perhaps your copy is of a different edition?

Author Reply: Oooops - you are completely right with the dates; I checked them twice and came to the same result you do. It is not a problem of different edition but of my "cloudy" brain - I have no idea why I could mess them up twice! *blushes fiercely*.

And the rest of your review - thank you very much. I have three children, and, to be honest, none of them was breastfeed. But I thought it might be a clear symptom to show the differences in her relationship to Boromir and Faramir... and I also think - and have always thought - that Finduilas' early passing must have been something else than a physical illness. Tolkien's description made me at once think of a severe depression - and I fear Denethor - though I have no doubt that he loved her - was not the man to help her out of this.

ponypetterReviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/24/2005
What a beautiful story. I don't know what else to say.

It's really sad how easily people can grow apart. Denethor and Finduilas have different reactions to the pressures of life. Faramir becomes her reason to live, which I can't see could ever be a good thing. When Denethor feels pressured to remove much of Finduilas' influence over him, she has nothing left that can make her happy.

Author Reply: You are right; I always had the strong impression that Tolkien described a difficult, a very difficult relationship between them. He says that Denethor loved her very much "in his fashion" - but how much did she notice, given that he was a hard man, times were difficult, and that she was suffering from depressions? Many authors write Denethor as an abusive husband and father (and there are some excellent tales I've seen!), but I think her suffering and early death might also be explained that way (though her suicide is, of course, only my interpretation of her ending).

Thank you!

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