Peer Review by Shanti (New Zealand)

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Maggie Magnolia

By: casual.ties


Magnolia trees bloom in autumn,
and die the very next day. First they flower, but in a moment, all that's left are white petals on the ground. It's sinister Maggie thought. Living, dying. That's supposed to take a lifetime.
Magnolia trees live and die forever. 
Maggie was named after that tree, but she couldn't remember ever been called Magnolia. Maggie Magnolia. Living and dying forever. 
Magnolia's are difficult trees to climb. 
The first time Maggie climbed the tree to the top, she was 12 years old. (It was also the last).
Magnolia branches are strong.
But not strong enough. 


Peer Review

The bold format for each Magnolia related statement really drew my attention. I liked how each statement corresponded with the part below.


The last two sections, where you suggest that Maggie fell from the magnolia, is especially interesting.


I don't think that the 'living and dying forever' part quite makes sense. Yes, the flowers live briefly, then die, but the tree stays alive. How can you differentiate the flower and the tree and their metaphorical role in the story? How can you better track Maggie's response to it?


This is exquisitely evocative! I love your idea and how you've structured it.


Reviewer Comments

I genuinely enjoyed reading this. One thing you may like to consider for the sake of consistency is that the first bolded statement ends in a comma whereas the rest end in full stops. 'die the very next day' could be part of the bold. In the second section the part where it goes "magnolia. Maggie Magnolia" is a little hard to read because of the repetition. This may be intentional, but I found the names and contrast lost their power somewhat because of this. Otherwise, good work!