Summary: ‘These are the moments she will always remember. Her childhood. Her friends. Memories strife with mischief and foolery, even amidst the werewolf crisis; carefree times.’ Caroline forms a tight-knit bond with a family that will one day become the Original vampires, none the wiser to the centuries of sorrow that lay ahead for them..
I started reading So Long, Lonesome when it was first published, and quickly fell in love with it. Sadly it hasn’t been updated since March 2013, though I still a mention of it pop up on my dash. Because of that, I thought it was one of ‘those’ Klaroline stories, you know the ones that pretty much everyone in the fandom had read or at least heard about, but I was surprised when I had two friends tell me that they didn’t know what it was. So now this review took on a new mission for me, to get more people to go and read it if they haven’t. This new mission will also help my old mission, which is to get Anna to continue it. I figure if if new fans (Or old ones reread) and leave reviews, it might get her muse going so we’ll get more. Can’t hurt to try right?
So Long, Lonesome follows the scenario of Caroline knowing the Original family when they were humans and being turned as well, a trope that is one of my favorites. How would things have been different if our favorite couple knew each other from the start? After a millennia of being a vampire, would Caroline still cling to her humanity or give into the darkness? Would Klaus still be the paranoid, blood-thirsty hybrid who feels forever alone or would he be different with Caroline by forever his side? Anna weaves small hints of the answers to those questions throughout her story, making you eager to find out.
The story opens with glimpses of Caroline’s childhood and her relationships with the Mikaelson siblings, as well as how life for her is in the village. There is no mention of her father or what happened to him, so Caroline lives with her her mother who is their village’s healer. Her mother is very apprehensive of her daughter’s relationship with Niklaus from the beginning, warning her away from him, but Caroline of course ignores her. She refuses to give up the boy who is her best friend who becomes the young man she finds herself in love with. Her feelings appear to be returned, but before they can admit it to each other, Mikael’s anger interferes. The outcome is Niklaus pushing Caroline away, first with words and then by taking up with another woman, the newly arrived Tatia.
Caroline hates the Petrova woman, not only because she seems to be the object of Niklaus’ affection but because of what Tatia’s inability or unwillingness to chose a brother does to Elijah, who is her close friend. She sees it hurting not only him but also the relationship with Niklaus and it adds to her own pain. All of the jealousy, hurt feelings and anger simmer for only so long before the brothers come to to blows, Rebekah being the one to break them up and try to talk some sense into them. She sends Niklaus off with Caroline to calm him down and as the two talk, Caroline discovers that the reason Niklaus has been so cold and distant is because he feels, thanks to Mikael, that he does not deserve to be with a woman like her. So to keep himself from giving into the temptation of being with her, he said hurtful things to her and used Tatia as a distraction.
However finding out his reasons does not instantly fix the damage he has done and after breaking down into tears, Caroline flees from him. Seeing the pain he has caused her gives Niklaus an epiphany and he realizes that she is more than worth his father’s wrath and starts to pursue her. It is a struggle, after all this is Caroline and she wouldn’t make anything easy for him but eventually she does forgive, not forget, him, allowing for them to become more than they were before. They enjoy some blissful time together, even becoming lovers, until it comes time for Niklaus to leave on a voyage with his older brothers. And that is where the last part left us.
So Long Lonesome has a unique writing style and structure, at least I have not read one like it before. Most of it is told from Caroline’s point of view, with inserts from Klaus, and even Tatia at one point, but what I like is that how she combines her writing to include their inner thoughts, dialogue, what is going on around them as well the little hints I mentioned earlier about what the two will become, yet never feels like it is dragging. There is also a few times where as you are reading the characters thoughts, you also read what would be them talking to themselves and I found that refreshing. Something else that is somewhat unique to this story is the portrayal of the smut. It is written very realistic, showing what many women experience their first time. It’s not the perfect thing we see in other stories, movies, or shows yet still filled with emotion.
Now after reading Anna’s author’s notes, I know that she was getting some flack from people saying that her version of Caroline was written as weak or stupid but what those people seemed to not take into account is that this version of Caroline is a much more innocent version of the sixteen year old we all first met on the show. This is due to the time period and the difference in the way she would have been raised back then, something that I love that Anna took into consideration when writing her. Caroline is still feisty, opinionated, loyal to those she cares about as ever, but also wears her heart on her sleeve. As you read through the rough times between her and Niklaus, where you read her hurt and jealousy, it is gut wrenching (even after reading it a couple of times it gets to me, one scene in particular) so you can understand her hesitance later when she is trying to decide whether she can forgive him. I think Anna did an excellent job with writing her and I hope to read more of Caroline’s character growth if the story is continued.
Anna also did a wonderful job at showing us a human Klaus. He cares about his siblings and Caroline, wanting to protect them, but also feels extremely self-loathing. On the show, we were only given glimpses of the man who would become the evil hybrid and in this story, you get to see that not all of that viciousness and rage came from living over a thousand years covered in blood. It was always there inside him, along with his notorious temper but in the background to the tender side of him. While I was sad to read Caroline’s pain, I was also sad to think about how much the centuries were going to change Niklaus as well, no matter how much I love the monster he is, as well as his siblings. The other Original siblings are well written, giving us glimpses as well of the humans they once were while still showing elements of who they become.
I truly hope that Anna becomes inspired to pick this story up again because though so much happened in the six parts that we have, I know that there is so much more to tell. However, I hope that after reading this review and hopefully checking it out, you’ll enjoy the story that we’ve been given so far.
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