Sunday, May 17, 2009

GuestFicRec: You Always Knew Jandco Was Wild


First, a thank you to WTVOC and Jenndaylight and Sensecoalition for pointing this one out to me when I begged for help.

My pick is Wild Swan by ScarlettLetters. First order of business—it’s rated M, and for good reason. No, not precum and swollen pink buds or gratuitous use of the F word (which I do adore). The concept here is aimed at and would most likely be appreciated by a more mature audience. In other words, we ain’t dealing with the typical teen love break up stuff (which I adore) or the fairy tale stuff (I won’t say it again, but I do).


Or more accurately, divorce.

ScarlettLetters currently has a prologue and four genius chapters posted, in which we have a present day Bella who is married into the prominent Cullen family. And by married into the family, I mean she married Edward who has a very opinionated and close knit family—and who can’t relate to the dreaded in-law situation?

ScarlettLetters infuses glimpses of the past in which we see a young and very much in love college aged couple, how they meet, pieces of courtship and a wedding. And it’s wonderful, as finding true love is. Then there is the present day in which Edward is a busy, stressed surgeon and Bella is his working wife. The genius here, folks, is that the author has somehow managed to beautifully show a slow deterioration in the relationship, through glimpses of the past and the present day. And dammit, it’s realistic.

Edward comes from a wealthy family, Esme and Carlisle being overbearing parents who we find out insisted on him going into the medical field. Emmett is married to Rosalie, Bella’s college roommate and best friend. SL has painted an endearing Emmett, supportive and loyal—and the kicker is with just a few lines between Rosalie and Bella on Bella’s wedding day, we get a clear picture of Emmett and Rosalie—and bam! Just like that, you’re invested in them:

“Look, Bella, you know how Esme is. You know Edward craps sunshine as far as she’s concerned. If we had done this first she would have done something or said something to compare Emmett to Edward, and I’m being selfish, but dammit, I can’t have him hurt. Not when it comes to this.”

Esme, wanting the best but overbearing, Edward, the golden child, Emmett boisterous but vulnerable underneath, and Rosalie, who just loves him.

To me, a sign of great writing is to be able to cover such a large scope so spot on with just a few words, and ScarlettLetters has the knack for it.

This story is filled with simple sentences that offer incredible insight to the characters…

Which is why the venomous and horrendous and awful things Edward says and does in these chapters doesn’t have me running for the comfort of a fluff story.

Ya heard me, he can be nasty in this one—but.

We see a sweet man in love with the glimpses into the past and heck, anyone who is or has been married or in any kind of longish term relationship knows…that shit happens.

You grow up, you can often grow apart, some days you love to love your spouse and some days you look at ‘em and think “Who the hell are you?”

And this, people, is pretty much where Bella is at when she decides to leave Edward.

I know.

Moment of silence.

It seems as though Edward has been caught up in being the perfect son and the perfect doctor and in doing so, he neglected his marriage. He’s not a jerk, he’s not intentionally cruel—it’s written in such a manner that the reader is aware he simply got lost.

What does stand out is that he wants to save his marriage. He manipulates Bella and he resists the divorce, but what had me captivated as I was reading was I got the distinct impression even he wasn’t sure why.

Does he love her?

I think most definitely so.

Does he want to avoid hurting his family?


But what I suspect will be a fascinating aspect to this story is Edward’s own learning and discovering—will he ever just be true to himself? Would that be the path back to Bella and his marriage?

Now Bella has spent her life with Edward plugging along, doing what she can to please his family, to feel like she’s good enough to call herself a Cullen—in the meantime, she’s lost sight of herself. She’s in a physically and emotionally void marriage—though she’s spent years investing herself in it.


ScarlettLetters has painted and weaved a painful, realistic story, but she hints to and I have faith that it will also be a story about growing and choosing and reconnecting—and I’m so in for the painfully bumpy ride she is sure to deliver.

Bravo and thank you ScarlettLetters, for being courageous enough to tackle this one, and thank you for doing it in such a beautiful, prolific manner. Story telling at its finest.
Jandco is fabulous - all the way around. Fabulous hair, fabulous writing, but her personality - well that's just lovely. You could ask her hetero life-mate wtvoc all about her, but if you do, tuck in. You'll be listening to her wax rhapsodic for an extended amount of time.


  1. i will absolutely talk poetically about my lady. ad infinitum. lovely job on the rec, darling.

  2. Is it strange for me to want to review a rec? It is? I though as much. Fuck, look what you've got me doing now, I have to stop 'studying' and read it. Woe is me.

  3. i read it this morning, and i luvvvvered it. in fact, i think i got teary, cuz its wonderfully cathartic and beautifully written.

    And elegantly reviewed, too. :-D

  4. Wonderful fic rec, Jandco, I can't wait to read this one!

    I found it funny how you describe the all-encompassing simplicity of SL's writing because, well, that's what I love so much about YOUR writing.

    It is truly an artform in itself to be able to write in a 'less-is-more' fashion. If SL writes anything like you do, there is no doubt that I am going to LOVE it HARD.


  5. After getting all caught on the story so far, throwing a minor- okay, major- hissy fit when there were no new chapters to click on, and stalking the author on with my reviews, I finally have time to sit down and figure out what the hell kind of gift I can send to Jandco to properly thank her for introducing me to this little work of perfection. I have a feeling that this story will have a permanent place in my top five fave fanfics.

  6. I was so excited when I read this post. I love the typical well-written love stories too but as someone married for 14 years, I'm always looking for the more mature or complicated stories. If I didn't have to leave for tennis (the only thing that would keep me from reading), I'd put Wall-E in the DVD player for my five year old and get to steppin' or readin' in this case. I also think I'm joining the long line of readers with a major jandco girl crush.


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