Feast Days and High Holidays

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Title: Feast Days and High Holidays
Author(s): fawatson
Date(s): 2 April 2008
Length: 3157 words
Genre: backstory
Fandom: Mary Renault
External Links: archived on MRF

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"Feast Days and High Holidays" is a short story by Florence A. Watson (fawatson) based on Mary Renault's 1953 novel The Charioteer. The story is set a few years after Chapter One, when Laurie is still a little boy at the local school. It features two minor characters from the book: his father Michael (now divorced), and his maiden aunt Olive.


Michael Odell's only source of information about his young son is his ex-wife's cousin. After a family Easter, Olive comes on the train with a picnic basket in order to bring him up to date with news of Laurie.


This was the author's first proper piece of fan fiction. It was written as a response to the In Their Own Words interviews written by members of the maryrenaultfics LiveJournal community in 2008.


The story elicited a number of comments, including:

  • "I like the use of Olive as go-between. It sounds like the sort of role that a collateral relative might take, especially one who knows both sides of the story. " — comment by greerwatson
  • "I like this very much, Flo. Very much. Mostly, I think, because it doesn't demonize Michael or Lucy, for whom I have a very soft spot, in spite of her selective realities. I see I'll need to make some room there for Olive, now." — comment by my_cnnr
  • "I very much like the choices you made to fill in these holes in the story that intrigue us. The characterization of Michael and Olive works for me and their reflections on the other parties to the story. A very satisfying addition. I also agree that these facts could never come out in any answers to an interview; so glad you decide to approach through a story. " — comment by heartofoshun