September Days Across the Brandywine
2010 Award Category: Races: Hobbits: Family - Second Place
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: On a visit to Buckland, Bilbo tries to make a decision.
Reviewed by: pandemonium_213 ✧ Score: 10
These days, whenever I wish to visit the Shire, I hone in on one of Dreamflower's stories, and upon reading [September Days Across the Brandywine], I found myself thoroughly immersed in her sub-creation of Tolkien's sub-creation with wonderfully fleshed out characters, from major to minor, and a rich and satisfying glimpse of hobbit-culture. I have always favored the Brandybuck clan for whatever reason (may be the [messing about in boats] aspect) so this was sheer delight to read. I love Dreamflower's crafting of Bilbo in all her fics, and she once again gives him a strong and thoroughly in-character voice here when he, one of my very favorite hobbits (Meriadoc Brandybuck and Dreamflower's Hildefons a.k.a. "Trotter" being the other two), visits Brandy Hall and speaks to his kin and other residents as he contemplates whether he should remove Frodo from Brandy Hall to Bag End. Dreamflower lets us in on Bilbo's decision-making process through his conversations and observations, all brought forth with wonderful details that allowed this reader to become part of the story. The kind of immersion that Dreamflower can effect with her writings of the Shire, of which this story is an outstanding example, represents "elvish drama" (as Wilfrid Jeremy of [The Notion Club Papers] might call it) at its finest.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 5
As Frodo approaches his eighteenth birthday Bilbo considers taking his young cousin home to Hobbiton with him. Rory isn't certain it's the right time for it, and as he watches Frodo over the next several days Bilbo comes to agree. Lovely to see how deeply so many love young Frodo Baggins, and the specific reasons on which Bilbo bases his final decision. Wonderful characterizations as well as glimpses of life in Buckland and Brandy Hall, as well as the relationship between the two Bagginses. For those who love life in the Shire this is a true delight.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 5
A charming look at Frodo's youth, as well as his relationship with his Brandybuck kin and Bilbo. Dreamflower sketches word-pictures as vivid as Frodo's art in the story, showing us a young hobbit who playing ball with his peers as well as being a kindly older brother to little Merry. I love the ambiance of Brandy Hall, and the web of familial concern for the orphaned Frodo. Frodo's own intelligence, curiosity and grit come through well here. And Bilbo's characterization is excellent; Dreamflower has intelligently written this story; and the explanation of why he waited to adopt Frodo flows naturally out of the action. Very nicely done!
Reviewed by: Virtuella ✧ Score: 4
In this charming story, Dreamflower captures beautifully whatever her hand touches: the atmosphere of the countryside in the late-summer Shire, the personalities of the hobbits, an exuberant Frodo, a hearty and determined Bilbo. I liked all the details of domestic life in Brandy Hall, the lessons and the art work and the ball games. Bilbo putting the Ring to such innocent use was an impressive touch. And his decision in the end is wise.
Reviewed by: obsidianj ✧ Score: 4
This is such a Hobbity tale. I can see the Shire with my mind when reading this story. It firmly exudes warmth, friendship and a mostly carefree time and living. Bilbo and Frodo are very well drawn and the warmth and love between them is palpable. I like it that Bilbo steps back for the sake of Frodo and waits a little longer before he will uproot him and move Frodo to Bag End.
Reviewed by: Antane ✧ Score: 4
I love Frodo's happy babbling in the beginning and if he's not a hobbit after my own heart in not liking math but preferring reading and writing instead! Love to see him so happy. [A lot to give the world] indeed. In the end he will give everything and we are all the richer because of it. Love also the love between him and wee Merry. A Took, Brandybuck and Baggins all rolled into one hobbit! He was meant to be in both Brandy Hall and Bag End - and also far beyond.
Reviewed by: Cathleen ✧ Score: 3
This is a warm and touching story of family relationships as Bilbo struggles with the decision to take Frodo home with him to Bag End or to wait. It seems the time is not quite right yet, and he is content to listen to others and await just the right time to make Frodo his heir.
Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel ✧ Score: 2
A lovely gentle look inside Bilbo's thoughts as he decides to bring the young orphaned Frodo back to Hobbiton with him. Nicely done!