Are you looking for a really good fic that is rarely done, that explains the life of a vampire while they were human? Well, look no further!
Triumph of Love by Elivra26 is about Esme's life - how she met and then left her abusive husband, met Carlisle and later becomes the loving mother of the Cullens.
Elivra26 grasped the life of a woman in 1911, who goes against the grain of that society's ideals by leaving her abusive husband, so perfectly, I swear that I was Esme myself.
Excerpt from Chapter 15:
"Do you realize," I breathed, tears streaming down my cheeks, "that he might kill me?"
"Nonsense!" my father snapped angrily. "Stop saying such far-fetched things, Esme."
"He could. He is mad, Father, he is mad because I loved Edward and not him…"
Mother dropped her needle again, and Father grimaced momentarily. We hadn't taken his name at all since after the funeral.
With an effort, Father seemed to pull himself together, and said, "Well, then, it's up to you, isn't it? How should a man feel when his wife never shows him any love? It is expected of her."
How could he not understand? How could he think that I could easily love a man who had tortured me and ripped away my innocence? How? How?
My breathing hitched, my heart seemed to stutter for a moment, and the tears increased two-fold.
"You will not leave him, Esme," my father said, sealing my fate. I choked and sobbed even more, but made not a sound. It is horrible when you want cry, long and hard, but you must pretend not to. Life was throwing too many painful things at me one after the other. I didn't know how I could take it.
Meanwhile, Father, his gaze fixed on the mantelpiece and oblivious to my pain, said, "After, a man is known to use his hand once in a while… that is, when his wife can listen to no other way."
Sadly, during that time, wives - women - were treated differently. Believe it or not, the term "rule of thumb" was actually a rule, maybe even a law, back in the day stating that a husband could beat his wife with anything that was no wider than his thumb. No joke!
Elivra26 did a superb job catching the setting of Esme's life and the emotions of woman who is limited by her time.
Now, most think of Esme as a delicate and perfect mother, yet this Esme is also fierce, not only with her love, but with her opinion and will. It's so rare to find a fic a that features Esme, period, but this... oh, this has a different side to Esme.
Excerpt from Chapter Two:
My mood, however, is far from perfect. I trudge along the tree-lined street, sulking moodily at the ground, swishing my parasol about dejectedly. Being adult isn't half as fun as being a girl.
Several loose strands of hair are unraveling from the bun at the nape of my neck, but I don't bother tucking them back in. There is still some time before my family will see me again, and by then I will once again be the image of propriety.
Even as I pull back some of the strands off my face, I am reminded of Elizabeth, and my mouth twists into a scowl. Though it is technically wrong for me to hate my sister, I just cannot bring myself to like her. If anyone knew, if anyone guessed, they'd be mortified. Not to mention overwhelmed by laughter.
Oh, and Esme even called her sister "a miniature snob". *laughs* Esme is actually 16 years old in the beginning chapters. She's not quite a woman, she still has a slightly adolescent mind, dramatic and judgmental thoughts along with a mischievous personality. I've never imagined Esme as a grump and pessimist, but having read Triumph of Love, I remember what's it like being a teen, that wisdom and patience come with age, but so does responsibility. This makes Esme feel more... real to me.
Esme and Carlisle meeting is exciting, of course, here's an excerpt from Chapter Three:
Immediately he eases me onto the ground again. "Your leg. It must be broken." He says smoothly, completely sure of himself. I stare at him. Who is he?
As though he has read my mind, he smiles - oh, what a smile! - and says, "My name is Dr. Carlisle Cullen. I have only recently joined Dr. Humphrey as his assistant. So you really need not worry, Miss. I can heal you."
A doctor - Dr. Humphrey's new assistant. I'd heard Amelia saying the new doctor was quite a 'good-looker', but heavens! What an understatement!
"I am Esme Platt."
"Pleasure meeting you, Miss Platt. As unusual as the circumstances are." Another smile.
I blush deeply, mortified. To fall out of a tree in such a vulgar, undignified way, in front of such a gentleman, why, the shame will be the death of me!
He laughs at my expression, and I feel myself catch my breath as he does so. This strange, deep, musical laugh does strange things to me. It makes my heart thud faster, my stomach squirm, and pleasurable shivers run down the back of my spine. This feeling is new, and strangely exciting. I find myself liking it a lot.
"Oh, don't worry, Miss Platt, I won't think any more worse of you, just because you were climbing a tree. Why, I think a woman should have enough of the child in her to indulge in these mundane, yet fun, heart-warming activities. It is not enough to be proper and decorous all the time."
Doesn't she remind you a little of Bella here? I think Bella's actually in this fic, too, because the first chapter is a prologue, and takes place in Breaking Dawn when the Volturi go to Forks. I could go on and on about Triumph of Love, but I won't, just check it out. NOW. And make sure you leave Elivra26 some love in the form of a review!
Summary: Esme's life story, beginning with when she met Carlisle. A much-used theme, but I have tried to take extra attention in keeping the location and background accurate.