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for Redmond Diaries -the fourth year

5/27/2015 c11 18Alinyaalethia
I confess, I was wary of this last entry, because part of me didn't think Anne could write about that second proposal. Imagine my gratitude when I discovered you had treated this the way you had. Somehow, impressively so, the chapter is brimful of feeling and shared love and happiness, but it isn't sentimental at all -and Anne is no more coherent than she should be. It's just a joy to read, and the best send-off you could give these characters. You've made me laugh and wring my hands and cross my fingers for and with all of them in places, and this was the grace note, the thing that said 'this is the end -I sow the seeds of my own destruction,' and such a brilliant, hopeful, sparkling ending it was.

I loved all of it, that should go unsaid. The musician in me was pleased to see you had got that line about the unsingable hymn about hills, spices and youthful harts or roes in there. (Why Maud's preoccupation with it, do you think?)

What I loved most was Marilla. When she intuited what had happened, and when she knew Gilbert would be waiting at the gate, all I could think was how far removed she was from the woman who nearly sent Anne back to Hopetown, and how much good those two have done for each other.

I'm glad you ended with Gilbert. It brought home how shared this final dream really is, and it never sat right that there was so little of his voice in the original.

I don't envy you Windy Poplars, as you know it is the one book I have no great love for. But you also know (I hope!) that both An Uninvited Guest and Little Fires are both now firmly lodged in my head as part of the original and massively improve it, so I feel certain that when you do start filling in what Maud left out, I will be utterly converted. Only don't you dare leave the others out -I want to sometimes hear from Dianna and Phil and the good lasses of Patty's place.

For a fantastic companion piece to AotI and a delightful read through all its highs and lows, well done!
5/27/2015 c11 2Enna Energe
A fitting end to a lovely story. I love how they are still so unconsciously intertwined ("at war with clocks").

This has been one of the most enjoyable stories I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Not only is it very well written and true to the time period, but you have a talent for engaging our emotions. Humor, poignancy, heartbreak - they pour from your pen in equal measures. (Apparently, you have just the right sort of pen!) And we are all very grateful for it.

As far as your next story, my vote is to hear from everyone. Of course I'm mostly interested in A&G, but some of your best moments in this series come from supporting characters where there is much more "scope for the imagination."
5/27/2015 c11 Edkchestnut
Well, that was spectacular although I still feel that an epilogue would be great so that we could have a final say from all of the other characters we have so loved in your series. I can practically hear Roy's-he would barely remember who Anne was as he worshiped at the feet of his new angel-whoever she is. Then, Charlie Sloane-after he got done writing down everything he'd eaten-being shocked at Anne's having picked Gilbert over him and the amount that Gilbert had to spend on her ring. Of course, the lovely ladies of Patty's Place would be happy and sweet and you are the only one who knows for sure what Christine would say. But, I digress. I have truly loved these stories and look very much forward to reading the Windy Poplars letters. Personally, I want to see mostly Anne and Gilbert speaking to each other since he was so sadly lacking from that book. I have never really cared for the other characters in that story-it always seemed like something of a throwaway Anne novel that Montgomery had to write because maybe her publishers were pushing for it. More romance is a must. However, I would like to see something about Pris getting married since it is not mentioned, at all, in AoWP but Anne briefly says something about it at the beginning of AHoD. As for this, my favorite part was the very awkward almost first kiss. I have read it twice and love how you got us all right there and then had her wreck it with her impulsiveness. Luckily, Gilbert saved the day and the rest was beautiful. Great job to you, madam, and I hope you will continue on, soon.
5/27/2015 c11 Noirin Rose
And so it ends, as brilliantly as it begun, actually probably better. Thank you for this whole, enormous volume of work. You must be the hardest worker on ! And although I look forward to your next work, I think that you should pat yourself on the back, put your feet (or fingers) up and treat yourself to something nice!
5/27/2015 c11 PelirrojaBiu
[I have just realised (I have been reading ff only on my phone app recently) that the little thumbnail picture you have as a cover for this story actually presents the scene from the previous chapter, when they are laying under the apple tree and "drowning in their love". Well worth waiting for such an explanation for the picture! :)]

Dearest Katherine,

THANK YOU for updating so often, so regularly and consistently throughout the whole RD series and for having such respect towards your readers. It must have meant an enormous work for you prior to writing, having to map and plan the whole story in order to delight us with each new chapter so often.

THANK YOU for being so brave and original, for including "periods, masturbation, girl crushes, histerical paroxysm and hangovers" (I'd also add descriptions of excessive body hair) and still staying true to the characters (or giving yet another and another dimention to those that didn't have a chance to bloom with LMM) and the language of that time. I do like some of the AOGG authors out there, but only you have found the way to balance that time period with a coherent, realistic, believable yet modern and funny writing and thus keeping the story fresh.

Now onto the chapter!

The letter to Phil! If that was just a PS, then the whole thing must have taken Phil quite a while to read and laugh over!

"He, We, I" - who would have thought that simple personal pronouns would be so increadibly powerful?

Haha, both of them saying they're always "at war with clocks".

I love how much you have taken from the actual chapter by LMM - her feelings and doubts, the sound of his nervous, eager voice...

When they talked about their dreams... You put it so, so well, she was a quivering mess while calmly saying "It wouldn't do for us to have all our dreams fulfilled. We would be as good as dead if we had nothing left to dream about. What a delicious aroma that low-descending sun is extracting from the asters and ferns. I wish we could see perfumes as well as smell them. I'm sure they would be very beautiful." Oh, Anne Shirley, you're so full of it.

One of my favourite lines: "He understood what I wanted to say. Beacause he knows me. He knows me." This is the essence of your story: Anne wanting to be known and finding the person who does. And, most importantly, getting to know herself.

That kiss, that first kiss, with all the sweetness and awkwardness and that killer line ("I could smell peppermints on his breath and I thought, GB, you knew you were going to do this all along") and her shaking and laughing and his "Don't move" (shivers!)

The scene with Marilla was full of so much maternal happiness for Anne!

I love that Gil's entry is the last one. He calls it "the birthday of our happiness", just like Anne in Maud's story. And the last line is pure perfection.

All the hashtags by the end of your Author's Note were golden, and once again showed that, as much as it was a love story between A&G, you created a fantastic ensemble piece.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving us this wonderful reading experience.

As for "Windy Willows Love Letters": had I not read the RD series I would have said "only Anne and Gil all the way!". But knowing now what a masterpiece you can build with other characters, I do think I shall miss them a lot.

Can't wait to read it and all your future works! Now I'm off to re-read the whole series to combat my katherine-with-a-k withdrawal.
5/27/2015 c11 7Formerly known as J
K, I'm crying right now. I'm actually weeping. Crying because it's over, crying with joy because I love this so much. Crying because this chapter is so perfect. Crying because I love Anne and Gilbert so much more thanks to your beautiful story.

I received the notice that the last chapter was posted earlier today and because I couldn't wait to read it, I foolishly started reading it at my desk at work. I started tearing up, so I had to run to the bathroom with my phone to finish it. And I had a good weep over it in there first.

Then I read it again in my lunch break. I was getting teary again. Then I kept sneaking looks at it all afternoon. More tears. Now, I'm home again and I should deffo be doing so many other things, but I can't stop reading this chapter over and over again. And each time it's making me cry all over again because I love it so much. I think this might be the occasion you have finally rendered me speechless, K.

But please don't think my lack of words is because I'm not sending you the avalanche of love I promised you. It's because I forgot to get out of the way of the avalanche and I'm so in love with this I got overwhelmed, knocked flat on my back by my own ecstatic adoration of you, your genius and this story.

Maybe I'll have more to say later. But I can't promise anything else right now except I love it, I love her, I love him, I love them. Thank you doesn't even begin to cover it.

P. S. So *that's* what Gilbert had to do. Perfect.
5/27/2015 c11 5rebeccathehistorian

I'm sorry, katherine-with-a-k, but I think the only way I can do this chapter justice is if I go through each entry.

Anne's first entry: Oh gosh, I felt so bad for her and I just wanted to shake her and yell, "Just wait, Anne! Just wait! It's going to happen! I know it!" And that line about the over-particular ones that get left behind seemed very Rachel Lynde-ish so I'm glad that you included it. (And I'm not surprised at all that people have said that to Anne by this point.)

Gil's letter to Professor Keaton: I'm pretty sure my eyes started growing bigger and bigger until they were as wide as saucers as soon as I read "I must decline" until the end of the next sentence. I know I silently screamed with glee (it's late here) and was an absolute puddle of happiness when I got to the end of "but cannot with a good heart devote my life to medicine in Nova Scotia knowing I could better serve those on the Island." By the way, is Professor Keaton going to make an appearance in the Windy Poplar letters? I'm just wondering.

Anne's second diary entry put me in a bit of agony and all the thoughts I had while reading Anne's first diary entry came back to me in the reading of this one.

Gil's first diary entry: My thoughts: "He's going to do it! He's going to do it!"

Anne's third diary entry:
- The first part: I silently screamed with glee and the mantra in my mind was "He did it! He did it! Aaahhh!"
- The second part: "What? Anne, it's 10 o'clock at night?!"
- The third part: "*What?!* *It's one o'clock in the *morning*?!*" I love the fact that you have Gil mention clocks and then a bit later Anne does too. I love the fact that Anne has finally found someone who knows her. And that she knows Gil too. And that you included all those things they did together and the history that they've shared, and especially, bringing this event full circle completely around by mentioning how the two of them met that first time. You know, my favorite sentence of this whole chapter was "'If you don't let me kiss you, Anne Shirley,' he said, 'I'll break something over your head in a minute.'" I was just so happy reading this.

Gil's second diary entry: When I read that Anne was scaling the gate, I was thinking that she reminded me of Jo March from a very beginning scene of Little Women. Also, I have to say that I was surprised that Anne kissed him with an open mouth. I wasn't surprised that she did so at all, but more so because she did it so early into their engagement; I just wasn't expecting it. Also, I love the fact that you had Gil say that this is "the birthday of our happiness" because that is perfectly Gil. And I know where you got it from too! Lastly, I just want to let you know that while I loved that last line, I read it with the expectation that there were going to be more diary entries in this chapter after that.

As for the Windy Willows Letters, I'm voting for hearing from the others as well too. Not only the Avonlea folk, but also Phil, and perhaps occasionally letters to Gil (or maybe Anne?) from John and Sarah Blythe and Dr. Dave and Pearl Blythe too. You know, I've always wondered if Gil traveled straight to Glen St. Mary after he completed medical school before he returned to Avonlea. And if it felt strange for him to hear people in the Glen to call him Dr. Blythe during that initial visit after he graduated from medical school or even more so in Avonlea! Or what were his experiences on the railroad like and if the others called him Gil or Doc and if he gave them free medical care if someone ended up being hurt or injured … and a couple of other things I've wondered about too.

Katherine-with-a-K, thank you immensely for writing these stories. I've loved every chapter over the course of this series and it's been wonderful and an absolute joy to read all of the diaries and letters and to get to know each character individually. I've enjoyed and loved seeing the characters grow and become their own people and taking a life of their own. And seeing the rise, fall, and then the rise again of Anne and Gil's relationship (and consequently, the rise and fall of Anne and Roy's relationship and how they were definitely not suited to each other and Christine's personality). Thank you once again, from the bottom of my heart of giving us the chance to delve behind the scenes and read what these characters are really thinking throughout the book. Thank you for giving us this chance to delve into this world in a vastly new and exciting way. I've been recommending this series to people like crazy.

You're awesome and a great writer.
5/26/2015 c11 EllaOfDale
You know NONE of us will ever be able to read (and re-read, and rerererereread) Anne of the Island ever again without your multi-character director's commentary buzzing around the edges of every scene. Essential! Unforgettable! New-Canonical! The whole four-volume set should be required reading for all Anne-Girls. (AND Anne-Boys!)

Gilbert Blythe is my favorite character in all of fiction. Anne of the Island is my favorite book of all time. The number of times I’ve reread qualify me for some kind of basic cable hoarders strange addiction guest episode. I am more grateful to you than I could ever convey in a litany of thank yous for letting me live in their world anew.

But I’ll try.

Thank you for giving your fans FORTY-ONE Christmas mornings when each new update floated to the top of our inboxes. (#refresh #refresh #refresh)
Thank you for imagining whole lives beyond the page for the Kingsport crew.
Thank you for building us a gateway into that boundless imagination.
Thank you for making us laugh, when you once doubted making it past RD2 would yield anything other than emo gloomy despair!
...and, even then:
Thank you for plunging us into the depths of despair, even when we knew it was all going to turn out right. Sarah Blythe, bereft of energy to rage against the storm!
Thank you for letting us see Anne love herself, stripped of everything but Gilbert’s heart.
Thank you for making Anne Shirley's first kiss the most romantic skull-jarring teeth smash of all time.
Thank you for making Anne agonize unrequited for just a little while. LMM swings us neatly from the Book of Revelation to the Glass of Time, but we know our girl’s head was full of spinster schoolmarm but-but-buts.
And speaking of Revelations, thank you for showing all the moments Anne knew her heart but turned away. Hardly Miss Lavendar’s wedding to Hester Gray’s garden in 0 to 60. Lucy Maud, you can’t fool me. She chose those Lilies. She fastened that candy heart around her throat with a dreamy smile. My girl was ready to say yes before Christine rumors marred the way. Obviously.
Thank you for giving Gilbert the last word with pre-kiss slate callbacks!
Thank you for giving Gilbert the confidence of peppermints, whether Lawsons or Blairs.
I am still, still, STILL wrecked by the image of Gilbert carving lone heavenly iris in microletters into the patch of wood under his desk lamp, Oh, my poor, long-suffering, oft-doubting boy!

Believe by right toll.

I never thought I had room to love Anne and Gilbert any more, but, in your hands, they’re so flawed and foolish and perfect and lovely. I think 2015 gives you the freedom to speak more powerfully to all the characters’ hearts and minds than Lucy Maud ever could. I mean, OBVIOUSLY those bluenoses pay someone to brush their teeth. (Srsly good attention to historical hysterical detail, girl. Mad period accurate) Anne can be careless and cruel, Gilbert can be single-minded and neglectful, but they are so, SO made and meant for each other.

I am SO excited for Windy Willows. (Windy Poplars ‘round these parts.) I will always vote for more Anne and Gilbert. I’ve resented scratchy pens since I was eleven. I can’t wait to see what LMM omitted. But we wholeheartedly trust your ear for voices. If you hear a whole choir in WW, then it’s off to Jen Pringle and Aunt Chatty and Katherine with a gypsyish K!

Of course of course of COURSE I'm still around. I think I may have to respond in kind and post your Chapter XLI shoutout on MY fridge! What an honor! I feel quite famous, really.

There have been times when I refreshed my Fanfiction Reader while stopped at a red light, and one of your stories popped to the top. I had to immediately pull over and read the latest installment on the side of the road, because I hated the thought of your story being out there in the world while I remained behind the times for an extra 20 minutes on the drive home. Full disclosure - there were also some misguided episodes of reading while driving. Terribly unsafe. Do not recommend.

I am here, and we are all here, and we will always be, and OH, what pressure that must be.

Thank you for being reliable, consistent, brilliant, and worth every brief wait. I can only imagine the work it takes to keep your legions of voracious Anne-Girls-and-Boys satisfied!

Encore, k-w-a-k. We’ll be waiting.
5/26/2015 c11 Guest
This story is beautiful. Thank you so much for writing it perfectly!
5/26/2015 c11 7DianaStorm09
Wow, Katherine, this was perfection, I read this and had the same goosebumps I felt for the very first time when LMM's account on the proposal in Hester Gray's garden. Thank you so much for this awesome piece of art, you should be very proud of what you have achieved here, and I'm very honored about your kind shout-out. I cannot wait to read the Windy Willow letters, and while I do hope for a lot of letters between Anne and Gilbert, your talents call for letters by the many other characters whom you have given a voice in the the Redmond Diaries, and the new characters introduced in Windy Willows. Thank you, as always, I bow in front of your talent, my dear friend!
5/26/2015 c11 4Bertha Willis
It's all over and it's all I could have hoped for. You wove so many beautiful parts of their personalities and their relationship and their histories throughout these four years, and this last entry was the perfect ending. I read it over and over, and yes, I was reading the words, but you showed it all so well that I felt I was seeing it rather than read.

I'm not kidding when I say I couldn't stop smiling all the way through, even through Anne's pitiful post script to Phil and her discomfort after the wedding, feeling she should be happy Gilbert was alive and let go of other hopes. If I didn't know how it ended, I would have been very sad for her.

Giilbert's letter to Professor Keaton was so simple yet so perfect. It showed how confident he was that Anne loved him, and even if not, he knew himself well enough to know he needed to be on the Island. "I also know what I one day hope to gain." Lovely.

And all those wonderful details of their sojourn in Hester Gray's garden - sweet and awkward and joyful. (The slightly awkward first kisses were so much more real than any "perfect" moment could have been, and all the more perfect for it.) It really doesn't matter whether either of them would have recorded the memories like that; the memories themselves felt very true to the story. Anne's "dreams" that she didn't share - imagine his reaction if she had - and no rug to be had! Oh, the peppermints giving away that Gilbert knew what he intended to do. And her nearly laughing. And him ordering her to hold still so he could finally kiss her. And Marilla's reaction - you showed her happiness at the news so clearly, without either her or Anne really saying it.

I'm glad Gilbert got the last entry and that he finally got to hear Anne say that she loves him. No matter how she already had showed it to that point, that was special.

Thank you for these lovely stories! I am looking forward to whatever you do with the letters. Of course, I mostly want Anne/Gilbert, but I know if you weave the other characters we've all come to know and love, it will be wonderful and add to the story.
5/26/2015 c11 2KatherineBrooke
Perfection! Is there anything else to say? I could just feel the emotions of those two as I read and it made my heart beat faster with the joy of it all. Wonderful ending to a fabulous story! And the kissing! Oh, I loved that! Really looking forward to Windy Willows Letters. My vote? Hmmm… that's really a toss up. I really love to hear from Anne and Gilbert, and that is the part that is missing most from the book, so I suppose that's it for me. Anne and Gilbert, unless one of the other characters has something to say that sheds more light on their relationship.
5/26/2015 c11 7wishwars
Wonderful, beautiful story from start to finish. Thank you, THANK YOU for giving me something to look forward to during the long weeks. I can't wait to see what you do next!
5/26/2015 c11 5JennWithAPenn
I'm pretty sure I read every line three times before I went on to the next. I wouldn't even scroll down more than a line at a time, because I wanted to savor each one before moving onwards. This was everything I had hoped for. No, it was more. It was so perfect! Not over sentimental, not Hollywood, not too much, not too little. It was just perfect. I don't even know what to say for being so utterly moved, and for this stupid grin plastered across my face.
Agh, the culmination of eleven years of angst, angst, angst! I was so happy when you included that line... "Gil of the broken slate, of the blue house, chummy silences, etc etc etc" because it put me in mind of everything they've been over the past: rivals, chums, best friends, estranged, heartbroken, hopeful, desperate, the list goes on. And that makes what they have finally gained so much more potent. I am convinced there does not exist a more powerful love story than the one between these two. Thank you for realizing it so skillfully.
Okay, now am I supposed to point out specifics? My mind is such mush I don't know if I can but I will try.
-The fact that what was most important was that Gilbert is alive.
-Anne scoring her palms over the line from Rachel that the overparticular ones get left behind... (surely the fact that he *already asked her* two years ago evokes a whole world of emotion).
-The way you touched so wonderfully on canon, incorporating it so perfectly. Her thinking he was so nonchalant on the day of Alice's wedding. The two of them anxiously awaiting 5:00...
-"The life I fought for would be half lived if I never dared to do what I am about to do right now"
-I'm so burstingly full of love for him there's no room for anything else.
-Her various dreams
-He took my hand and never let it go.
-The way they *know* each other.
-The spark in Gilbert's eye after Anne's botched kiss attempt.
-"Don't move." (I got shivers then and I'm getting them again now).
-The moment with Marilla.
-That she ran to him... that he was there, his thoughts as she approached.
-The way she brought his hand to her beating heart.
-The ending... OH THE ENDING!
Now I'm just babbling like an idiot because I can't move my fingers fast enough to tell you all the ways this entry was perfect, perfect, PERFECT!
Oh and your AN had be in stitches!
Gah, more to come later, perhaps. For now I shall say well done! And go immerse myself in it again. As to the letters... for me personally, I'm mainly interested in Anne and Gil. But you do tell a story so powerfully through others, so I guess what I really must say is I trust you with whatever you decide! I guess I'm not so interested in Rebecca Dew & co as I am in Anne/Gil. But once again, I know whatever you've got cooking is going to rock.
5/26/2015 c11 Bright Promise 2
Thank you! Perfect conclusion! Can't wait for your nnext story:)
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