I received my critique back from Sue Moorcroft yesterday and this is what she thought. True to my word I will be sharing it all with you - he good and the bad.
Presentation: nice clear font, indented paragraphs and double line-spacing. Good grammar, punctuation and spelling.
Wordcount: Just right.
Dialogue: good. Advances the story and adds to the characterisation.
Characterisation; good. Christine is somebody I feel I could meet any day. Because you remain firmly in her viewpoint we are party to her thoughts and emotions, which is always engaging.
Overall: you have a flowing style with a good command of language. But i don't feel that this is the right story for Woman's Weekly. The plot is slight and sort of upside-down - instead of there being a problem that is solved, there's a good situation that gradually deteriorates into a disappointment. Instaed of ending the story with a glow, i feel fed up.
For this market, you generally need the central character to be instrumental in the resolution that, by reaching a turning point or epiphany, gives rise to a satisfying ending.
I like your writing style and characterisation and with the right story you might well be a future Woman's Weekly writer. Good luck!
So there it is. I'm pleased that she liked the way that I write but a bit disaapointed that she thought it was an unhappy ending. I thought it was ironic. I have to say though that I think it was £3 well spent.