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February 7, 2018
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“In Full Bloom” is a romantic piece by Maria Kaminski about a girl (Evelyn) going on her hanami picnic with her brother (Kasper) and his girlfriend (Hamari). The story follows the time before the picnic, using a clever metaphor about a plant to illustrate Evelyn’s rising nerves, and, eventually, quelled ones. The story takes a surprising twist when Kasper proposes to Hamari, with an ending that brought a smile to my face. The tale ended by circling back to the plant metaphor, but this time taking it outside Evelyn’s body, talking about the sakura tree nearby. While this story was lovely, I feel that a few changes were necessary. For example, while I know that Hamari was going on her hanami picnic, I never learned what that was or the significance of it. This bothered me as I read through the whole story; I could tell that the picnic was a big deal, but Maria spent more time analyzing the food they were eating than the story behind it. This left me with a large gap of understanding that inhibited my understanding of the poem. In addition, I felt that the proposal, which was to be the climax of the piece, was much too short. Maria went into great detail for the whole story, describing each separate event, all the dialogue, even the food and clothes right up to the hanami picnic. But the moment of the proposal itself only took up a brief paragraph. It was a letdown - the entire story had been building up to this one, dramatic event that ended up being disappointingly short and lacking the detail that the rest of this narrative excelled in. While I appreciated this story and enjoyed it, there was certainly room for improvement.

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