Sunday, April 5, 2009

GuestFicRec: A Rose is a Rose by Any Other Name


A period story? One that takes place back during World War I? Would I really like that? I asked myself these question when I read the summary for this story but any doubts I had quickly left when I started reading.

Though it’s a period piece and something not widely popular in the Twilight fan fic genre this story has the same elements often found in the modern stories that I love. It takes the readers out of the busy high school hallways and bustling city streets that we’re often used to and transports you back to a time when girls spent their days darning socks and learning to run a household and boys fantasized about joining the war. At the start of the story Bella and Edward’s relationship is clearly one of friendship it has an underlying hint of love. It’s innocent and refreshing and as the characters grow so does their love for one other.

Both characters are equally strong and interesting but Edward is my personal favorite. (Surprise, surprise.) When he’s first introduced he’s young and excited to join the army and fight for his country. He dreams of holding the glamorous title of soldier and making his family and friends, especially Bella, proud. What he isn’t prepared for is the harsh realities of war life. Being stationed at the front lines and dealing with death on a daily basis transforms him. Much like Edward in Twilight, this Edward struggles with feeling like a monster. He doesn’t want to taint Bella’s innocence and wants nothing more but to protect her from the world he now lives in.

With the attention to detail that Rosie Wilde gives you can’t help but feel the pain that he endures both physically as well as emotionally.

“…The silence of the morning was unbroken and for the first time I realized that I was really listening to it. It rested heavy all around us and seemed to seep right into me, filling me with an empty feeling that seemed to be coming from outside instead of within. I realized, for the first time, why this was so unnatural, why the trenches seemed so wholly terrifying. It was a dead sound, a hollowness that rang with the absence of life, even lacking birds circling in the sky above.”

Bella’s character appears to fit the typical role of a young girl of 1918 but you can sense her strength and desire to be more then what’s expected of her. She isn’t naïve and although she doesn’t know all of Edwards struggles she is desperate for him to share those burdens with her. While reading it’s easy to put yourself in Bella’s shoes and imagine what it would be like to read the growing list of casualties and fear seeing the name of the man you love. Eventually it’s her strength and love for Edward that drives her to make a decision that will hopefully bring her closer to him.

The other familiar characters play an important role in the story, and there are even a few original characters that help build the plot. But the biggest draw for me was the descriptive writing. Whether writing about the beauty of Forks,

“…The stem of feathery grass tickled my cheek as I lay, staring up at the cornflower blue sky, watching the pillowing fluffy mounds of clouds scud across above my head. I closed my eyes and let the sun warm my face, basking in the orange glow that surrounded me from behind my eyelids.”

or the death filled battle fields,

“…Together we crouched in the middle of no-man’s land, shells screeching all around us and lethal pieces of shrapnel falling like shooting stars from the explosions.”

You can’t help but get lost in the vivid picture of the world Rosie Wilde has created. She even adds historical facts like the passing of the Anthony Amendment which allowed for women to vote. Any story that can tie in the factual information like that and make me not feel like I’m reading a history text book is win.

So even if you are like me and question a period story give it a shot and let the writing prove your doubts wrong. Plus, you get to picture Edward in a uniform while in the trenches and riding a bike in France. That’s just hot.

Bittenev is the author of the produce foreplay filled “Stitches and Scars” and “When Fiction Becomes Reality” a story with plenty of UST. She is also part of the “Saturday School” collaboration in which she writes the pot dealing, stock broker Emmett. When she isn’t trying to write she’s reading, chatting or running after kids.

1 comment:

  1. Rosie's work was one of the first ones I read when I came into the fandom last winter. As a die hard historiaphile, her setting of the characters against the back drop of the Great War was an instant draw for me. She doesn't candy coat the struggles or issues that people of the times had to deal with. Also, she researches EXTENSIVELY. Really, Cambridge should give her an honorary degree at this point. If you visit her profile on FF, you'll see a link to a library of historical war propaganda posters. This just made me love her to pieces. Also, when I first started reading, Rosie was so responsive and information with questions I would present that there would be days we were PMing across the Atlantic all day long it seemed. If you're going to write an AH fic, you should pay special heed the the "human" part is well observed. And that's what "Guns and Roses" is: a study in our own humanity in times of gray.


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