When The Days Are Warm

Author: Branwyn

Nominator: Raksha the Demon

2006 Award Category: Genres: Drama: The Steward's Family - Second Place

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Young Faramir brings his mother a bouquet of crocuses, flowers yanked up by the roots from her garden. Boromir feels strangely upset by this destruction.

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Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 9

A vignette of Finduilas and her two children that is sweet, cute, and very sad. It's sad because the reader and, it seems to me, Finduilas, know what the children do not; that she does not have longer than a year or two to live. Boromir suspects that something is terribly wrong, and the writer deftly captures his angry determination to make his mother fight, to relish life, if only through leaving the stale-smelling room and coming out into the garden. Faramir is too young to understand; a happy little boy equally determined to share simple pleasures with the mother he doesn't realize is ill. The dialogue flows very naturally. Though it's hard to write children realistically, the writer pulls it off nicely. Little Faramir's joyful, chirping delivery of the flowers he pulled from the garden is particularly affecting; and Boromir's mental commentary about his brother's penchant for "great truths" is particularly funny in a wry and understated way. Good use of descriptive details, such as Faramir's holding [a muddy fistful of] flowers, and the specific lavender scent of the room, help create a very real sense of place and time.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 4

This was just heartrending,the vision of the two young boys and the mother who will never again see warm days. I just love young Faramir's thoughtfulness in bringing the crocuses. His poor mother is unlike the sturdy bulbs that can take root elsewhere and doomed to wither and die so far from the sea she loves. The writer captures the characters of young Boromir and Faramir perfectly.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 4

In this little vignette, the author manages to invest one of those simple incidents that often happen between mothers and their children, with a sense of deep foreboding. The incident itself could be just fluff, yet somehow it is not. Nothing is exactly *said*--yet it is clear that Finduilas' decline has begun, and perhaps she will not be there to keep her promise when spring comes. Very skillful writing.

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 4

My little sister brought crocuses to my grandfather as he was dying - in a very similar way. I expect Finduilas appreciated the sunshine yellow and the rich eggy colour - and the reminder of life beyond her room. Although Boromir is, I think, too aware of how easily life can be uprooted to be reassured by the promise of replanting the flowers. Poor kids. Those are warm days I don't think will come again.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 4

A very sweet vignette of Finduilas and her sons in her last days, as she holds them close and refuses to be angry with Faramir for pulling up crocuses by their roots. She promises to go out with them when the weather is warmer, and I found myself wondering if she was able to do so. Lovely moment between mother and sons, and a wonderful image to contemplate, Finduilas drawing both of her children inside her cloak with her.

Reviewed by: Súlriel  ✧  Score: 3

I don't often read young Boromir and Faramir, but I found this engaging. Your young men were well drawn, I think, but I also enjoyed the layers, the irony and the depths of foreshadowing that was woven in.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 3

Very good characterisations and emotions. Excellent use of perspective and introspection. The subtly interwoven foreshadowing lends the story additional poignancy and depth.

Reviewed by: Marigold  ✧  Score: 3

What should be a lovely moment from childhood is dark with foreshadowing, and Boromir senses it. His mother will never again come to the garden with them. The aura of sadness is sharpened by Faramir's observation: [“They are yellow,” Faramir said, wisely nodding his head. His younger brother often spoke these great truths, and Boromir always struggled not to laugh. ] A very touching scene.

Reviewed by: Llinos  ✧  Score: 3

The author does a very good job of taking this simple and beautiful moment from childhood and layering it with a deep sense of foreboding. I liked Faramir's dialogue and Boromir's thoughts very much, particularly his wry thought about Faramir's ["...great truths."]

Reviewed by: Anoriath  ✧  Score: 3

Oh my. Such heartbreak beneath this small moment. Faramir trying his best, as a young child will, to cheer his mother, but with just too high of a pitch to his effort. And the Boromir, afraid of something he cannot clearly name and masking it with irritation. Nicely captured.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 2

Finduilas' promise sounds made to be broken, though in this instance, the noble lie seems legitimate enough.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 2

This was a hauntingly sad little piece that really captured Finduiilas' melancholy well.

Reviewed by: Jenn_Calaelen  ✧  Score: 2

An nice scene. Your characterisations are interestingly done. It is nice to see a story showing a different side of Boromir.