Completed Fic of the Week: 1/24-1/30

January 25, 2011

MockingBird by BlueKing141
Review by AquariumJenn

Rating: M
Genre: Angst/Drama
Characters: Edward/Bella

Summary: Edward and Bella are soul mates and have known each other their whole lives. Bella begins to develop some serious problems, and Edward will try everything in his power to help her. But how will it effect their children and their marriage?

Several evenings ago, I sat down to read this and was quickly drawn in by a dramatic prologue. Edward is running to a nearby hospital, desperate to get to his wife, Bella. Once there, he has trouble entering the building and the reader discovers his past experiences with hospitals have rendered him phobic of such places. Despite his worst fears, he forces himself inside and seeks out his wife. Before he can see her, however, he must offer comfort to his frightened children. He is also confronted by his brother, Emmett, who is furious to be dealing with a situation that the entire family has seen coming. He blames Edward and Edward blames himself. He is clearly willing to accept the punishment Emmett is now determined to give him.

It is obvious from the beginning that Mockingbird will not be a light-hearted story, although the underlying reasons are not given away in the summary:

“Edward and Bella are soul mates and have known each other their whole lives. Bella begins to develop some serious problems and Edward will try everything in his power to help her. But how will it affect their children and their marriage?”

The strength in this fiction lies in the character development and the lifelong relationship between Edward and Bella. The story is told mostly from an Edward point of view but also treats the reader to an occasional Bella perspective as well as a third person narrative utilized for flashback scenes of their shared childhood. As I read, I found myself drawn into the emotional aspects of Edward and Bella’s complicated experiences. Both are traumatized children who find one another at the tender age of five. They are each other’s support system from that early age onward. There is no questioning the intensity of their love for one another, first as best friends then later as lovers and, ultimately, as husband and wife.

Of the two, it is Edward who appears to have sustained the least damage into adulthood, no doubt due to the love and support he receives from his family. He is a confident student who develops into a successful businessman and his devotion to his wife is unconditional. Bella, on the other hand, has grown up in an atmosphere that offered little encouragement. She was often forced into a survivor mode, doing what she could to get through one horrific day at a time. While she could seek refuge from Edward and his family, the respites were sadly temporary. As a result, Bella enters adulthood with minimal confidence and virtually no coping skills. When she cannot seek comfort from Edward, she looks for it elsewhere.

Over the course of time, Bella’s unresolved problems not only consume her but also her family. In a story full of drama, I found comfort from the scenes involving Edward and Bella’s two children. Both characters were created with obvious affection by the author. There are loving, innocent and humorous non-canon creations. Their inclusion in the story provides a perfect reminder why it is worth fighting for your family, even when it seems as though the obstacles are impossible to overcome. More than once scene involving Edward and Bella’s children had me tearing up and hoping these lovely characters could be spared any further pain.

The first words in the prologue are song lyrics and hint to the final outcome of the story. Keeping these lyrics in mind during the most difficult moments allows the reader to believe that a happy ending is possible for Edward and Bella:

Now hush little baby, don’t you cry
Everything’s gonna be alright
Stiffen that upper lip up little lady, I told ya
Daddy’s here to hold ya through the night
I know Mommy’s not here right now and we don’t know why
We feel how we feel inside
It may seem a little crazy, pretty baby
But I promise momma’s goin’ be alright

Mockingbird is a story full of one heartbreaking moment after another, dealing with difficult subject matter. However, it also contains lighter scenes that demonstrate the immeasurable value of love and devotion. With well-developed characters and numerous moving moments, it is a story worthy of your attention.


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