Completed Fic of the Week: 11/7/11

November 08, 2011

In the Shallows by Porcia
Review by IcarusToSun

Rating: M
Genre: Angst/Hurt/Comfort
Characters: Edward & Bella

Summary: Everywhere I look, something reminds me of him. Smells, words, colours, songs. For two years I've cried over him. The best thing that's ever happened to me. The love of my life. He left because we were hurting. Because I was in the shallows. 

In the Shallows by Porcia fell into my lap soon after it was posted on FF. The mysteriously poetic title called to me while fic diving one day and even though I wasn’t familiar with the author, I began reading. The summary hinted at angst, and it delivered just that in oodles. But what In the Shallows offers its readers is so much more. It’s a relatively short story, completed in 12 tiny chapters. Barely an eye full. But what it lacks in length it more than makes up in depth.

With poignant and skilfully chosen words, Porcia tells us the story of the joy of love, the sorrow of love lost, and the serenity of forgiveness. Mostly told through Bella’s point of view, the story opens on a sad note where we meet a 27 year old Bella still reeling from the sudden abandonment of Edward two years prior. The heartbreaking narrative makes it clear that she is far from over him:

The man beside me is wearing his cologne. Suddenly, I am seventeen years old again, my heart beats a bit quicker. After ten years, you'd think I would be used to it. After two years, you'd think I would have reversed the Pavlovian response I have to the smell. To the smell of him. (ch 1) 

The chapters leap back and forth in time as it is revealed how the two met and fell in love as teens. Seeing the encounter through Bella’s eyes, the intense draw she felt for Edward is clear to the reader:

Green eyes. Green, green, green, green, green. He's tall, awkwardly so. His hair is brownish red. Freckles. His freckles match mine. 

I'm convinced this is love at first sight. Green, green, green, green, green. (ch 4) 

As the chapters unfold, we find out a thing or two about the blissfully happy life they once had as well as the gut wrenching tragedy that led to Edward’s departure from Bella’s life. We learn that it was a decision made unilaterally by Edward, and that at the time Bella did not understand it and was more or less an unwilling participant in the dissolution of their marriage:

If I sign these papers... I will have no family. No husband. No sister. No mother. No father. I will lose everything. He knows this. He knows how important they all are to me. But he still wants this. Up to now I haven't fought. I keep the apartment. That's it. There's nothing of his I want. I just want him. But that's apparently not something I can get in a divorce settlement. (ch 5) 

Porcia does a magnificent job in depicting the journey that brings them back to one another again. Given its length, it’s a challenge reviewing the story that will do it justice without giving out too many spoilers. That being said, I wouldn’t be exaggerating one bit if I claimed that it’s one of the best love stories I have ever read. Some say that every story harbors a little part of its author in its folds. That statement is perhaps truer for In the Shallows than most. The concluding lines of the story, and the short AN that follows, touched me deeply and brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t urge you strongly enough to read this special tale. It definitely deserves more attention.

Banner by JaimeArkin


  1. TanjaB. said...:

    Thank you so much for reccing this story, it was a great pleasure to read.
    The author did such a wonderful job of saying so much in so few words. The happiness, the heartbreak, the strength it takes to really forgive.
    Thank you again.


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