A Mother's Work
2007 Award Category: Races: Hobbits: Vignette - Second Place
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: In a series of ficlets written for Mother's Day, Primula Baggins, Bell Gamgee, Esmeralda Brandybuck and Eglantine Took all experience rather hectic days.
Reviewed by: Bodkin ✧ Score: 10
Primula didn't get all that long to enjoy her husband and son - but she made the most of the time she had! Men never really buy toys for kids - the number of Christmases that go by with children watching television while their dads assemble the gifts and try to ward off their sons. I love the conclusion here - of course they can't play properly without their lisping burglar! Bell can hardly get too disapproving of Frodo's efforts in childcare, while Marigold is busily spreading soot throughout her whole smial! She's a good mother - it's not surprising her kids turned out pretty well balanced. Then Esmeralda - and Dahlia ... that's the trouble with child-care! A kid gets to love someone to whom he is, however much he is loved, a job. And jobs end. It's not surprising he wants to keep an eye on his mother for a while. But Frodo is very good and understanding with him. While Eglantine ... I'm glad Paladin recognised the danger - and knew this was a good moment to submit to the alpha parent. The last thing you need when you have squabbling daughters and domestic accidents and a birthday to deal with is an infant son with fruit-related digestive problems. But it was a sweet day in the end. One to treasure. A delightful series.
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 6
That was a sweet collection! Wonderful dialogues and excellent character interaction. I like the depth of detail in each of the chapters; it really makes the scenes and the characters come to life. I also thought it a good touch to not focus exclusively on the mother-child connection, but to embed this in a wider context of family relations and other happenings in the Shire. Nice little references to some of your others stories - they were a lovely little reminder for those who knew them, but didn't puzzle those readers unfamiliar with them. The mothers are really "motherly" (*g*), and you can feel the love they have for their children and other people in their life. They have exactly the right balance between showing their tenderness, being encouraging and being firm. My favourite was definitely the first one - and I can completely understand the men wanting to play with this fabulous toy!
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 5
To see the mothers of each of the four Travelers facing the day to day challenges of raising children and dealing with husbands is always fascinating. Dreamflower has managed to bring each alive, and their children alive as well--the adults who sought to take over Frodo's new gift; the frustrations of facing how quickly small children can get into mischief and danger; the grief of losing a beloved nanny; dealing with infants who will eat all the plums they can get hold of and cram pretty ribbons into their mouths while daughters gather wool and grab one another's toys. And we see the joys and frustrations and triumphs of being wives and mothers. Lovely moments shared.
Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke ✧ Score: 3
I do love the genre of "Everday life in the Shire," as it were, and these stories are terrific additions to that. Each mother's seperate trials ring true and sweetly, without ever being overly sentimetalized. Would that I could be so even tempered as these mothers!
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 3
A lively quartet of vignettes about the childhood of the 'Fab Four' of the Shire, from the viewpoint of their mothers. Dreamflower is an outstanding writer of hobbits; I love the rich details about the halflings' home life. All of these are wonderfully written; but my favorite is the chapter about the overworked but sensible and good-humored Bell Gamgee.
Reviewed by: Cathleen ✧ Score: 2
A very heartwarming tale of the parts mothers play in the lives of their families. Each is captured doing everday things but with their own special touches.
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 2
Cute! I could see these scenes very well, and they did a good job of portraying life in the Shire. I particularly liked how you developed the various familial relations. Nice job.
Reviewed by: Marigold ✧ Score: 2
These were sweet vignettes. I particularly liked the scene where the grown-up hobbits took over Frodo's wonderful gift.