Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Bitter May

Author: Cuthalion
Nominator: SurgicalSteel
2008 Award Category: Genres: Alternate Universe: Angst/Tragedy

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: Mature -- Reason for Rating: Mentioning of abuse, plus some frightening, medical details
Summary: This was written as a "What if"-story. In the epic AU-saga "Before I go to sleep", OFC Lily Proudfoot has a very unpleasant encounter with Lotho Sackville-Baggins. In the original story, no physical consequences are mentioned (aside from the traumatic aftermath), but what if there were?


Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel -- Score: 10

This is another wonderfully awful tale of what if? set in Cuthalion's 'Before I Go To Sleep' universe. Cuthalion's heroine Lily Proudfoot, the Hobbiton midwife, was kidnapped during the Troubles and taken to Bag End for the pleasure of Lotho Sackville-Baggins, who's lusted after her for some time. In the original tale, there are no sequelae to the assault other than the usual and obvious psychological ones and a few bruises and scratches. This tale explores what might have happened if she had become pregnant as a result of that rape. The author pulls no punches in describing Lily's humiliation, fear, nightmares, and feelings of shame and desperation. The choices Lily makes will be controversial and disturbing for some readers - but they're handled in a way that felt emotionally honest and real for me. I was priviledged to read this while Cuthalion was still polishing it up, and I wept when I first read it, and wept again when she posted it on her LiveJournal. It's extremely dark and angsty and contains material that will be trigger issues for some people and controversial decisions. All of that being said, it's wonderfully written and gut-wrenchingly emotionally honest, and a good and thought-provoking read.

Reviewed by: NeumeIndil -- Score: 4

As always your Lily/Frodo stories tug at the heart, but never moreso for me than this one at this time. The poor girl, and yet I find myself glad that she knew what to do and how, and who to call that would not betray her for her choice when the one who should have been at her side was gone. It is such a hard thing, this choice Lily never had to make, and handled with gentleness and grace, but also honesty. You have a knack for that in your tales. Thank you for sharing them, and in this, at least, in giving me a moment to reflect.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

Cuthalion's Lily Proudfoot is one of the original characters I've come to love--one who was created specifically to love and comfort Frodo Baggins. Yet she is at the same time a full character in her own right, determined, compassionate, and worthy of the love she shares with Frodo. This is a tragic tale, and one that leaves one wondering just how much Frodo was aware in May of what Lily was experiencing within the Shire. Details are deftly woven, and the pathos is well written. Definitely a wonderful read.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 4

A darkly fascinating look at an OFC's life in the Shire during the TIme of Troubles, and after, as she deals with the terrible consequences of rape. Lily's state of mind, her struggle to cope with Lotho's brutality, and her fears of being forever bound to him as a reluctant bride, are sadly convincing; and the reader definitely can feel her loneliness and misery.