Reviewed by: Jessie
I like that you're trying to look at the disability from the perspective of the person who has it without making them inspirational. That's a worthwhile exercise for sure. On the other hand...maybe this is my strong collective streak speaking, but it also strikes me that it's important to consider the impact of agoraphobia on other people. I strongly buy into understanding their perspective and, in most cases, avoiding forcing them, because that is likely to fail. On the other hand, if left up to their own devices, people who do not leave their homes do depend on other people, and those people are part of the situation. [ . . . ]
The real trouble is in trying to figure out precisely when forcing could actually be good, and when it's best to just ask the person and listen to them about what they want and need. And if we could solve that, then...the problem would likely go away. So it's obviously not something you can do in a short story. But I just worry that one day Hope's caretakers (because she certainly does have to have caretakers) are going to die off and what's going to happen to her then? What about their needs and the worry they are going through? I care about Hope, but I care about those people too. It's a community. Community is important.
I think that was my main trouble with the story...it ends with patience and tolerance, but I don't buy where that leads. I see this leading to tragedy. But for Hope, maybe it won't, since she is actively trying to address the situation, perhaps. Perhaps. I'd like to see the story go further. This seems like just a start.
Well, you did make me think, and you picked a worthwhile issue to explore.
Reviewed by: R.
Smart story and smart friend that neighbour is. If only all agoraphobics could have a friend like that coming over, most are isolated, the worst i read in a magazine was a woman who was a mother who had kids and she couldn't do anything at all with her kids cause of her agoraphobia and they missed her terribly. And i agree with Hope that 'if you want to' is better than 'you have to' or 'you need to' - so many times with mental illnesses people are just forced to try and 'get over it' and people getting frustrated with them cause they don't understand.
Could relate to the feeling she got of leaving the house, very true description of what it feels like to have a panic attack, used to feel like that too many years ago, it really is like a monster stalking you, like the world is ending. It is good that the neighbour wasn't only doing it cause Hope's mom wanted her to be checked on, too, i think this neighbour is someone special cause i bet lots of neighbours either just wouldn't do it or do it only to check but not to be friends/keep their distance.
Liked the pun.
I hope you write more short stories for this magazine.
Reviewed by: The Author Herself
I kind of like writing indeterminate protagonists, so this was a fun adventure for me making the story about someone who was not the point-of-view character. I also am really proud of how I kept this story so short. Usually I end up going on tangents, especially when the story is dialogue-based, but because the writing prompt I got this from wanted submissions that weren't above 2,000 words, I managed to rein it in. I didn't "fix" the character with a condition, either; I hate when stories do that, and I wanted to make the story about empowering someone with agoraphobia without saying "and then she was cured and the end." I hope the point-of-view character's attempt to support her agency was not too preachy.
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