Reviews from

I Love You, But

A father's final gift

40 total reviews 
Comment from John Ciarmello
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Electrifying perfection! My dear Rachelle, I have never read a piece as endearing and wonderfully constructed as this. It pulled at my every emotion, and I've found new inspiration in reading it. I'm in awe! Best, JohnC

 Comment Written 01-Dec-2022


reply by the author on 01-Dec-2022
    Wowie Zowie! What a wonderful review to read! Thank you very, very much!xo
Comment from Michele Harber
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

Interesting story, Rachelle, somewhat reminiscent in theme of Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue":
So I give you that name and I said goodbye.
I knew you had to get tough or die,
and it's that name that helped to make you strong.

Perhaps some of those parents who use tough love as the first option might want to see the benefits of kind words and encouragement.

Your story is (not surprisingly) well written, and I like the back-and-forth between the note and Tessa's reaction. Her reactions and emotions are believable for the situation, and help the reader to get inside her mind and to experience these feelings with her.

Good use of character-related detail, such as the successful father choosing nothing less than the Moleskin journal to encourage Tessa's writing.

 Comment Written 28-Nov-2022


reply by the author on 28-Nov-2022
    Thanks, Michele; I always appreciate your feedback.

    Congrats on your most recent win!!
reply by Michele Harber on 28-Nov-2022
    I'm always happy to help.

    Thanks for the congrats. I was really excited about that win!
reply by the author on 28-Nov-2022
    I bet!!
Comment from Annmuma
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

This is beautifully written. The characters are so well-defined that the car see and hear them feel and speak the words you have written. Excellent story and a 10 star effort --- but I have only 6. lol. ann

 Comment Written 28-Nov-2022


reply by the author on 28-Nov-2022
    You have started off my week on the highest plane imaginable. Thank you very much for this wonderful review.
Comment from Thomas Blanks
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

Rachelle,
I did not review the actual story you wrote because I was confused. It kept me from enjoying the story. The problem is one of timing and setting. Did your father die eight days ago? If not, when did this happen?
This is the line that makes it all unclear... "I force myself back to the moment."
What is the book that went unpublished? Will it be published? Was it already published? I am lost.

 Comment Written 27-Nov-2022


reply by the author on 27-Nov-2022
    This is fiction. Yes, Tessa's father died eight days earlier. Anything in italics is her father's letter to her.
reply by Thomas Blanks on 27-Nov-2022
    Ah! Okay.
Comment from GWHARGIS
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

OMG!! I had to grab a dish towel to wipe my eyes while reading. This was incredible. A woman, polished and professional, reduced to her father's little girl all by a letter. Wonderfully descriptive lines that I could see. The skid marks of mascara. The perfectly wrapped package. This was magic. I was so happy when at the end she finally understood why he had rejected her manuscript. Her father was larger than life in her eyes and apparently in his as well. He would not accept his own mortality. Her writing about something that mirrored what was happening, too much to take. But illness has a way of humbling you. It makes you appreciate life. Both big things and small things. This was incredible. Please, please,please don't leave Fanstory. Screw the contests. Your work is so good. I look forward to every post. Please think about it. Gretchen

 Comment Written 27-Nov-2022


reply by the author on 27-Nov-2022
    Well, you're writing War and Peace, so how can I?!!

    Thanks for this wonderful review. You totally get every single part of what I intended to convey. That is so satisfying!! xo
Comment from Wendy G
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

What an amazing story, very moving. The reader could identify with Tessa in her distress, and then at each step as the reality was revealed. Some fathers don'tknow how to express love, for sure, but it was wonderful that he had the grace to explain and confess his self-preoccupation, and to try to make amends, and to show in a practical way that he believed in her. Very well written.
Wendy

 Comment Written 27-Nov-2022


reply by the author on 27-Nov-2022
    Thank you very much, Wendy, for this warm and "you get it completely" review. Thanks, too, for the additional star. Totally appreciated. Xo
Comment from Jay Squires
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

Rachelle, this is a marvelous post, one of the best things I've read on FanStory. You have a distinct voice, and it echoes even after I've finished reading. Your characters rise above the narrative and achieve their own rarified level of autonomy. It was amazing to me how one character, Tessa, carried the reader over the full dramatic arc with enough tension that the reader was thoroughly invested in her struggles through the loss of her father along with the diminution of her self-assurance as a writer.

A marvelous job that is worthy of a six but can only receive a five this late in the week.

Your star is rising!

Jay

 Comment Written 26-Nov-2022


reply by the author on 27-Nov-2022
    Wow. Because of you, I'll now have to live outside for the crest of my life because my head will no longer fit through any doors. Oh well, trade-offs, don'tcha know...

    Thank you for this beautiful, encouraging review. They really impacted my heart. Thank you. Xo
Comment from nor84
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

beautifully written! This is the first six star review I've given in years, because most of the writing on fanstory doesn't deserve six stars or even three stars. This one does deserve six. Best of luck with it.

 Comment Written 26-Nov-2022


reply by the author on 27-Nov-2022
    I'm crying. This is such an incredibly bolstering review. I could not appreciate it more. Thank you very, very much. Xo
Comment from WalkerMan
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Many parents, especially perfectionist fathers, express their love for a son or daughter through excessive strictness of their own principles, and their offspring either do their best in hope of approval or rebel even to the point of utter failure. This story presents a lifetime of the former by a daughter who greatly admires her father's success but is never satisfactorily praised for her efforts until his last message to her after he realizes he had been harder on her than necessary or appropriate. What a blessing it is to her to know he finally admitted the truth, acknowledged his overly strict attitude, and rewarded her accomplishment by publishing her book he had formerly criticized so excessively. This eye-mister conveys an important lesson to parents who criticize rather than praise and encourage.

Superb, and aptly illustrated.

 Comment Written 26-Nov-2022


reply by the author on 27-Nov-2022
    Salesman, you know how important your reviews are to me, and I know you are very selective with six stars. So these words and the extra star mean the world. Thank you SO very much. Xo
reply by WalkerMan on 27-Nov-2022
    "Salesman"? Anyway, you are most welcome, Rachelle. Your post is likely the most thorough account of a perfectionist parent versus an offspring trying desperately to meet just-out-of-reach standards that keep rising as prior requirements are met.

    From your long experience dealing with creative children and their often over-aspiring parents, you are well qualified to write such a story. :)) -- Mike
reply by the author on 27-Nov-2022
    Oh, geez! That was Autocorrect @ work, and I didn't proofread my work! Lol. Sorry, WALKERMAN!
reply by WalkerMan on 27-Nov-2022
    Ha! No harm done. I never use Autocorrect because of such errors programmed into it. If this amusement saves you from such when it really matters, it has been worth my moment of confusion. :))
reply by the author on 27-Nov-2022
reply by the author on 27-Nov-2022
    Thanks! Once, because of Autocorrect, a piano mom texted me that she needed to cancel her daughter's "herpes." I wrote back, "Oh wow! I didn't even know that was an option!" She was initially horrified, but then it gave us a really good laugh.
reply by WalkerMan on 27-Nov-2022
    Hmm. You never know what is hidden in apps these days. :))
Comment from Carol Hillebrenner
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

This is a wonderful, achingly emotional story that is as good as anything I've ever read in a magazine. I think Harper's Magazine (if it survived the pandemic) has a contest once a year that you could win with this.

 Comment Written 26-Nov-2022


reply by the author on 27-Nov-2022
    Holy Moley. I love you for this review. Thank you for being so extremely supportive and encouraging. I will check it out for sure. Thank you, Carol. Xo