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by Emily Short profile

Slice of life

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Number of Reviews: 5
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Melancholy and wistful, February 13, 2021
by Fie
The word I'd use is "versimilitude". The Varytale version that is available is sadly hobbled, with the endings unreachable. I highly recommend checking them out through the source code after a few playthroughs. The ones I could find are epilogue.scene.dry and running-away.scene.dry.

Key moments that characterize the scenes are:
(Spoiler - click to show)
Your father speaking of the pecking order of the husband, then the wife, then the children below.
The choicelessness of all the children.
A competition that for winning is as much a literal unattainability as a wished-for reverie of things just out of reach.
The family living in poverty, and also donating away any money or help other people offer.
The futility of running away where neither societal safety nets nor individuals can help you.
"It gets better," Sara says, and her expression is wry. "It gets much, much better. You just have to stick it out until you're older, and then you can choose for yourself what you want to do. Go to college, travel the world, change religions, shave your head if you want."

"It's going to be years before I'm that old!"

"I know," Sara says. "I really, really know."

That it seems like the only thing that can be done is wait.

It is a familiar misery like dust on unopened living room cabinets. I've had neither spelling bees nor Christian homeschooling nor poverty but the melancholy is the same, and the desire. The paint strokes are very fine. The image is suffocating, a blanket so soothingly familiar that you won't realize you haven't breathed until you're gone.