|Reviews for Winding Road|
| zagato chapter 1 . 12/6/2020
This is a wonderful story, but I was looking for any abuse, adultery or addiction on the part of the husband that made the wife leave. Maybe it is implied. Thank you.
| Otakuami chapter 1 . 11/24/2020
Damn this made broke my heart into two. Witnessing the disintegration of a good marriage from his perspective slowly and steadily was watching the same knife that cut a cake to celebrate joy to that slow but painfully being pushed in someone's back, with blood trickling down. The way he describes his wife as the best thing happened to him to someone who he sees a stranger with expectations he can't meet is so sad.
The way it all comes crashing down just like that without a happy ending is the part that made me realise how some mistakes can never be undone.
| Deranged Dairy Products chapter 1 . 8/7/2012
Loved the start. Hated the end, but only because of the subject matter. I could relate to the poor guy's thought processes as, after my first break up, I couldn't help but think about how it could have been avoided, but like your portagonist, my stubbornness and lack of communication were a downfall. Your story is very believable in that sense. I really enjoyed your passing mentions of Indian culture,and how the overall topic was still very universal .
I noticed a fair few semi-colons being thrown around, though I think a number of these could be replaced by full stops, just so the reader has greater time to reflect on some of the things being said. While the two sentences may have a lot in common, it's always nice to pause for effect. Also, just the same issue with colons. I think they're an effective form of punctuation when used in smaller doses, simply because they're less commonly seen in writing, so when they're in abundance they can distract the reader a little.
I do think you could afford to spend more time detailing the specifics of their relationship breakdown. While 'but you would be too frantic and I, egotistical' gives us an idea of why conflict was arising,it's such an important aspect of the story that I feel it deserves a greater amount of attention. Maybe throw in some examples of how arguments would turn from being civil to having cutlery flung about the place. It would do wonders in giving the reader a stronger understanding of how such a solid relationship came to tear apart.
Here are a couple of things I noticed:
'cookery shows were replaced by soap operas and daffodils were replaced by unsympathetic, desolate soil' - loved this line.
'about everything and anything, the ease with which we fit' - I would exchange the comma for a full stop.
'being just an unrecognizable shadow in my life' - the previous paragraph contained a metaphor regarding a silhouette, which is pretty close to this shadow one. Perhaps you could change it to something less similar.
Also, just be mindful of your commas, because while it certainly wasn't hard to read, there wasn't a perfect flow due to some missing punctuation. Reading aloud should reveal where they need to go. Cheers for this sad little read.
| Pickingupthepieces chapter 1 . 8/6/2012
| lookingwest chapter 1 . 5/6/2011
I want to apologize to you for taking so long to fulfill this review return through the Roadhouse. I feel terrible because this is also the first exchange we've done together, I believe, and I made myself look like an idiot-I'm usually not this bad at returning them, ever. It just so happened that some really bad personal stuff has occurred within the past two months, and I apologize for all the unexpected-ness of the situation. I really hope I can provide some sound critique to help your short story, and I'm really looking forward to the read. Also, congratulations for it's inclusion on Project Fiction, what an honor!
The opening few paragraphs of this, and of the story, remind me a lot of the movie Arranged. But then it takes more of a realism approach, and for the worst outcome. I like how you settle us in as readers to the whole culture of the arranged marriage and the initial happiness, the little details you include, such as the wife being involved in woman protests during school, were quite nice and I like how you sprinkled them throughout. I like how you settle us into the destruction of the marriage through stages, first it's fights, then physical distance-I think that was my favorite little detail. It really spoke some truth with me to, having lost a love, and I found it relatable.
Liked the placement of the children as a shield and that whole metaphor, as you continued with that I thought you did an excellent job not forgetting about them, and it was a mature move. This whole piece is quite mature, actually, and it has a sense of duty to it too. I like that about it.
It felt like 35 years ago...
-edit: would spell out "thirty-five" but this is very minor
I really liked the second to last line, but I didn't like the last one, if that makes any sense. I thought you really hit it home there, but the last line was too...dramatic, maybe? Not sure. I almost think this could be strengthened without it, but the told of the second to last was extraordinary, I loved it. You really had a way with that description, and it tied everything together quiet nicely, also alluding to marriage and "until death".
For a short story with no real dialogue, and a literal story with even more of a non-fictional edge, I thought you did a superb job. Normally these sorts of things would bore me, especially if in large paragraphs, but your paragraph spacing and where you chose to continue the pace and plot was excellent, again, I like how you paced the deterioration, it worked well and it lead up to those last lines perfectly. I wouldn't have wanted it any slower or any more rushed. Even the little details like the "Baba" part was great.
If there was going to be a constructive criticism about this as a whole, I suppose it would just be the length and the fact there isn't a lot of action as far as dialogue or anything like that, *but* again, that wasn't a problem for me exactly, since you did such a great job with your characterization. I really got into these two characters, and the way you related their marriage was quit realistic. Thank you for such an excellent read, if you have any specific questions for me about concerns for the story or anything, let me know and I'd be more than willing to ask! Again, I'm so sorry that it took this long to do a return for you, it's normally never, ever like this, and I don't plan on this ever happening again, XD. Thanks so much for being understanding (or maybe you also forgot I owed! in which case, yay, surprise review! XD). Hope to see you around the RH once the forums are back to normal, you're writing has great quality!
| Long Island Iced Tea chapter 1 . 3/22/2011
Truly amazing and gorgeous! Very beautiful!
| lianoid chapter 1 . 3/20/2011
Nice opening! I love how long the second sentence us because you punctuated it perfectly and in a way that the ideas weren't lost in the length. You've also introduced a formal tone here that peeks my interest and want to know who these characters are and the setting in which they live.
I began to forget your face; you were just a silhouette, in my thoughts and in reality.
You began to find yourself, your strengths and began to become a self-sufficient, independent woman, the kind you always admired and wanted to be.
-Personal: I would place a comma after "strengths".
You had asked me before you took off in that train how a person can be completely devoid of emotion even though he may be withdrawn to which I had impassively replied that I gave you what I could.
-Personal: I would place a comma after "withdrawn".
But seeing you from afar covered with a white cloth, without a trace of life I fought back tears and the urge to try and breathe life into you, the way you did to me when I was unfeeling and empty.
-This is so... I can't even find a word to describe it. Beautiful, tragic... it's just a brilliant line. I love how you brought that idea of her breathing life into him back into this later part. It's obvious this piece is well thought out. Everything about it is solid, and this moment, especially, reaffirms that impression.
Wow. What a sad story. This is incredible, though, your writing is amazing! The pace and flow were wonderful, and you were consistent with the tone of the narrator which all made it incredible engaging. I don't know what to say, everything about this is beautiful. This is simply a wonderfully written, beautiful story. I'm so glad I read this, your writing is inspiring. You've incredibly talented, keep writing!
Review on behalf of The Review Game’s Review Marathon. Link’s on my profile for further details.
| xxcjowaf chapter 1 . 3/19/2011
I liked it. I usually find it hard to read stories without dialogue, but this was very well done. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions but you seem to over use certain adverbs.
| Saran-Wrapped Daughter chapter 1 . 3/15/2011
Your use of adjectives is wonderful. It gives a true sense of color and lets readers truly see what you have written.
I like the way this story progresses. The thoughts are very realistic, and you make it sound less sappy and more understanding.
And the last two sentences, perfect. They seem to sum up the whole story's sense of sadness, and are even a bit mysterious. Good work.
| StoryMonster chapter 1 . 3/15/2011
Your description was excellent! It conveyed just the right amount of emotion and Maya was cool too. Your description of here reveals a lot about here, really well without sounding like an info dump.
Great job, overall!
| SolarisOne8 chapter 1 . 3/14/2011
[EASYFIX REVIEW GAME FORMAT - FREELANCE REVIEW]
EDIT: "I was protective of you, instinctively or out of love I wasn't sure just then."
You need a semicolon or an EM dash after 'love'. Otherwise put just put a period and add a space, because "I wasn't sure just then." is an independent clause and has to be set off somehow.
STYLE: Adverb usage is a little on the high side for my taste, but this may just be my own preferences speaking here.
EDIT/STYLE: "doubting if they would fall and hurt themselves" - 'Wondering' would be a much better word here. 'Doubting' just sounds awkward and doesn't quite convey the implied meaning the way you want it to.
EDIT: "It would be easier to live" - You need to use 'was' instead of 'would be' in order to keep the narrative tense consistent.
Okay! I just finished reading this piece, and might I say that I found it very thought-provoking. In more than one way...
I have to ask: is this based on real life in any way? Hopefully I'm not prying too much, but this seemed too believable to be completely fictional. For one thing, the man's emotional distance from his wife reminds me way too much of the emotional distance I keep from other people. (I'm sincerely hoping I don't end up like him!) I just can't quite believe that someone who doesn't at least *know* someone who has been through something like this could write about it so damn convincingly. Just doesn't seem logical to me.
I was also pleasantly surprised by your writing style - it shows a level of literary maturity (without the high handedness I find in others' work) I can only envy at this point. There were only a few technical hiccups that I could find, and I noted those above.
Overall, I thought the piece was visceral and quite to the point. I enjoyed it immensely.
John M. Carr (SolarisOne)
| YasuRan chapter 1 . 3/14/2011
Your knack for description is a huge asset in writing; it conveys the right amount of emotion without sounding too garish. I particularly like the imagery of Maya descending to little more than a shadow in the protagonist's life and the small details like the wedding-day shawl she was wearing as she left him. They reveal a lot about their relationship and add that extra touch of poignancy.
A minor critique I have is that Maya's character development didn't feel as complete as the narrator's. There is still the question of what brought her to making that drastic decision of leaving him, especially when her feelings seemed so strong. However, since this story is purely from the perspective of the husband, I'm assuming that the enigma is intentional, to keep him and the audience wondering?
Overall, a very good read. Keep it up.
| thewhimsicalbard chapter 1 . 3/14/2011
[RG - Stories - Easy Fix]
Wow. That was thoroughly depressing. I think I need a happy pill.
As a whole, this story was excellent. Your descriptions, imagery, and characterizations all felt real and natural. The best example of this is probably the funeral. You can think on the surface, looking only at the man's point of view, or you can look deeper, as an outsider. An outsider might look down on this man, but you wrote this piece with incredible empathy for his situation.
My one complaint comes at the end, specifically with the phrase "ashes to ashes, dust to dust". That's a very religiously heavy phrase right there, and I'm not sure how much it belongs in a piece that doesn't hang on much religious metaphor, if any at all. Challenge yourself: can you find a better way to convey that image?
Great job, overall. I really felt like there was a lot to get out of this piece. Keep it up!
| HoodedStellaish chapter 1 . 3/13/2011
Woah. That's all I can really say to this. I was stunned, taken-aback by this. I saw the length of it and cringed. I honestly planned on skimming through it and picking things I found odd or whatnot, but no! I had to read every single word. It drew me in when Maya sang. At that point, I was hooked.
No problems that I saw.
Bravo! I enjoyed it!
| Whirlymerle chapter 1 . 3/12/2011
This is absolutely lovely. Throughout the piece, the narrator’s telling of the story has an almost lyrical quality to it. I enjoyed the way you changed the mood of the piece, by showing changes in the soil, the breaking of the cutlery. I think you take a realistic approach to a couple falling out of love.
I could feel the narrator’s pain when he drove his wife to the railway station when they were about to be separated. He doesn’t want to do this, yet, he is also driving the wedge even deeper between them.
It’s also interesting that while Maya seemed to grow outwardly stronger with her separation, the narrator became weaker. Internally, I’m not sure if Maya did feel all right.
I did think that if you were to give the wife name, you should have introduced her as Maya in the beginning or the end. Putting it in the middle was a little awkward to read.
I think you have masterfully captured the narrator’s thoughtfulness in reflecting the path he and his wife have taken. That winding road metaphor in the end is breathtaking. I think you ended on a strong, if heartbreaking note.