Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Dear Estella: an epistolary story

Author: rhyselle
Nominator: rhyselle
2011 Award Category: Post-Ring War and Beyond: General

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: In Celeritas’ fic, “Daughters of Jerusalem”, Estella Bolger finally agrees that Merry could write to her. He took her at her word. Written for the LOTR GFIC Community's Remix Challenge. Sub-Genre: Epistolary.


Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 10

The remix challenge sounds like a lot of fun, and though I don't know the story from which this epistolary fic is remixed, it doesn't matter. Rhyselle draws Merry and Estella with a sure hand, and the sense of two people growing closer with time emerges in a satisfying fashion. The different sign offs at the end of all the letters, the not-so-Freudian slips - very sweet! Rhyselle does a good job making visible the difficulty of having changed so fundamentally: neither Merry nor Estella are children anymore, and as adults, they've become accustomed to taking on more and heavier responsibilities than "ordinary" life allows for. The letters allow them to seek and find in each other someone who understands that there's no going home again, as it were - no going back to old habits. Freddy's presence in the story also is a welcome addition, even if he is talked about, not written to - it expands the gap-filling nature of the story. The epistolary form works very well overall, and fits nicely with the content. It also takes up a writerly device that Celeritas has used more than once to good advantage, and I think Rhyselle did a good job imitating Celeritas's style. So well done on both those fronts! The result is a very readable, enjoyable, and sweet courtship through letters that I think many will enjoy.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 6

This story is delightful! It's a remix of a story by Celeritas, in which Estella agrees to correspond with Merry after they've had an, er, misunderstanding? (Read her story "Daughters of Jerusalem" for the details. It is also delightful.) Rhyselle's remix picks up where Celeritas' story left off, and we get to see both sides of the correspondence. Merry opens up to her about himself and things that happened when he was gone, and Estella answers mostly in commonplaces about everyday happenings. But even though she doesn't say a lot, it's easy to pick up on the increasing warmth in her tone. The small banter that opens some of the letters also show that the two have a compatible sense of humor. Each letter is a little gem, and I love the end of Merry's last letter!