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for The Windy Willows Love Letters

8/30/2015 c12 11rebeccathehistorian
This chapter was lovely. My favorite letter in this chapter was Gil's but I do have to say that I did chuckle when I read that Aunt Kate had extinguished the lamp and took the matchbox. And how the heck have Aunt Kate and Aunt Chatty not run into each other in the butter milking process?

Now Gil, I don't think you should chuck your 600-page bandaging textbook into the river. You might need it for reference in the future. And I sincerely hope you didn't do that to your Gray's Anatomy textbook. … Actually, I sincerely hope you have a Gray's Anatomy textbook; otherwise, I'll be worried.

Your plan for the rest of The Windy Willows Love Letters sounds fine with me. I'm really curious to learn about Anne's past. And about Gil's 60-hour weeks at the hospital.
8/30/2015 c11 rebeccathehistorian
This was a wonderful chapter, katherine-with-a-k.

"I have seen my share of typhoid": Oh god. When I read this, I couldn't help thinking of the fact that Anne and Gil are going to go through this all over again (although we don't see it, but just hear of it) with Walter in 1913.

My favorite line in this chapter is something that Gil said to Anne: "Life will only give you what you fight for." I think this is something I need to remember and remind myself every day because knowing me, I will forget this in due time.

I feel like if ever there was an AU in this universe where Little Elizabeth's father died or for some reason he never found her or something and Elizabeth's grandmother and The Woman were dead or Anne was allowed to take her (or something like that), I think that Anne and Gil would adopt Little Elizabeth and she would become their daughter and eldest child wholeheartedly. I could totally see Gil doting on her like Elizabeth was his own child.
8/30/2015 c12 7DianaStorm09
You've done it again, my dear friend! Congratulations on an awesome story. Before you started writing, I had mentioned I would love to also read letters from other characters, first and foremost since you did such a great job in the RD stories expaning the voice of many of these wonderful characters, and secondly, because I wasn't sure if reading "only" the letters exchanged between Anne and Gilbert would be really as interesting a read. Boy, was I wrong on that account, these letters were a pure joy to read, I should have never even thought that anything coming out of your pen could NOT be interesting. So many things to love in this story, I could write my own story here just enumerating them. One thing that particularly stood out to me was how unexpected Anne's candid response was on when she "knew" - while you did such an awesome job in RD when she visited Gilbert's room, I would have not thought that that passage in RD was the defining moment for Anne. A very beautiful tie-in with your own story, and so plausible too (I was going through all the times in LMM's novels in my head trying to determine when she knew, and I always just settled for the "revelation" when she heard about Gilbert being sick). Before I ramble on, I wanted to thank you for this great read. I'm looking forward to the next installments, with passion, disagreements, and mentions of many beloved characters.
8/30/2015 c10 11rebeccathehistorian
Firstly, I want to let you know that I cracked up laughing when I read the line "You know for someone who supposedly has a heap of brains you can be a real dope."

Secondly, my favorite line in this whole chapter was Anne saying to Fred, "Fred Wright … close your mouth and see to your family while I attend to mine." Anne Shirley, I love you.

Thirdly, I want to let you know that I absolutely love the background we get on Fred and Gil's relationship/friendship. Actually, I love getting anything on Gil's background - especially the whole thing about Marilla, in regards to this chapter - but I will admit that I loved getting the Fred/Gil friendship background more so than the Gil/Marilla part, though the Gil/Marilla was really good too.
8/30/2015 c9 rebeccathehistorian
First off, I laughed like four times while reading this chapter: first, right after Davy's "But whatcha doin' here in your Sunday best on a Friday morning, I want to know?," secondly, when Davy said "Don't cry, Anne. You don't have to marry him if you don't want to, a fellow can't force a girl, you know. Stella Fletcher says so!," thirdly, when John Blythe winked at them and said "I've missed that," and lastly when Anne blurted out "In three years!"

Also, I have to agree with Anne; I like the fact that we are starting to get an idea of his class schedule thanks to your last chapter. And I found it fascinating at how close - even just for a few moments - they were willing to give up on their dreams and just start work and get married *now*.
8/30/2015 c8 rebeccathehistorian
Wow. … Just … wow. Although I can definitely understand why Gilbert is so desperate to see Anne. Considering he missed Christmas (and well, everything else).

I just have to say that the most Gilbert John Blythe line in this whole chapter is "I'll wait, I'm good at it." I laughed when I read that.

Thank you for all this work that you've done! I'm really enjoying it!
8/30/2015 c7 rebeccathehistorian
I really liked this but I am saddened that Anne and Gil don't get to see each other at Christmas.

Now I'm really curious to know why Gil was pulled up to the White Sands Board five or six during his two-year teaching stint.
8/30/2015 c11 PelirrojaBiu
Can't wait to read More Windy Willows where Anne shares more about her past. It's so telling that the only thing she writes is a short fragment about her parents. And Gilbert is so so wise, trying to create Anne's story out of the way she describes little Elisabeth. I have never thought of that this way...
8/30/2015 c10 PelirrojaBiu
Huh. I knew Fred was cross with Anne for refusing his best friend, but I wouldn't guess he was so against their relationship, her being Diana's best friend and all.

I love Gilbert letters so much - they have evolved since chapter one, yet they still have much of his humour and hints of awkwardness and disbelief in being engaged. To think that even in his dreams of Anne he had to be so restrained, never thinking about moving past kisses, asking Marilla for her permission, let alone having babies.
8/30/2015 c9 PelirrojaBiu
The way they announced their engagement to their families was so imperfectly perfect! Davy stole the show. And their mutual dream on the tartan rug broke my heart a little bit.

I forgot to write it for the chapter 7, but a part of me is sorry they didn't make it to Christine's engagement party (OF COURSE there was a chamber quartet). It would be awkward as hell, but I do miss (in a weird way) Christine and we might get a chance to meet Phoebe! How cool would that be?! But wasn't Phoebe supposed to be pregnant again? Or she could have a little baby by this time... And wasn't she based in England, I want to know? :)

Christine and Phoebe conquer the Old Continent - an idea for a pre-RD one-shot, perhaps? ;) :D
8/30/2015 c6 rebeccathehistorian
I really enjoyed Anne's letter to Gil.

The biggest thing I noticed is that Anne isn't thinking of stories that have to do with knights in shining armor and damsels in distress; no, she's thinking of stories that have themes of loss, hope, love, and homesickness. She's grown up.

Also, I had to fan myself for a moment when Anne wrote "What the sea brings the wind takes away." She's quoting Gilbert. I love it.
8/29/2015 c5 rebeccathehistorian
Oh my god. Gilbert Blythe, I love you.

I absolutely loved Gil's letters to Anne in this chapter so thank you for that!

I like the little insights we get into events that have already occurred but that aren't mentioned in the books - for example, the blackberry glut of 1876. (I'll get to the major one later; it's Gil's genealogy.)

When I read about the argument between Ada and Mrs. Blythe, my first thought was "What? Really?! Why are you fighting against each other about this?" But then I realized that the reason Mrs. Blythe for once *didn't* want to throw away all those birds' eggs and things is because those things reminded her of Gil and son was dying.

Gilbert John Blythe! You should know better than to be writing to Anne during Chem class! Stop being an idiot and take notes! (It also took me three times to read that surreptitious chemistry sentence to finally start to understand it. Go figure.)

Ed, stop teasing him! He needs to concentrate on his work! (Now that I think about it, is The Fox going to meet Anne when she and Gilbert meet up that May weekend during his second year? And are they even going to meet up in Kingsport or is Gil finally going to venture to Summerside/Windy Poplars?)

By the way, I have to say he sounds like such a doctor when he says "The body is a curious thing" and later when he writes to Anne about what he would do as a doctor.

As a genealogist, can I tell you that I LOVED the fact that you delved into Gil's family history? I enjoyed reading it very much. I find it interesting that Gil's great-grandfather was Scottish; I've thought for a while now that Gil's family was originally English because Blythe is a English surname. Also, thanks for slightly breaking my heart during the description about John Blythe and his consumption/TB.

I find it interesting (and very noble of him) that Gil says when he's a doctor that "When a fellow faces grim news I shall tell him so, not paint false futures or expect his family to deceive him." This is because I remember at one point in Anne of Ingleside, Anne mentions to herself that Gil will tell a patient nothing is wrong with them over and over again until it becomes true and the patient is well again. So I'm just confused about the dichotomy between the two.

"Pup's consumption, it can't be that the only cure is to take yourself to arid lands and simply wait for the air to work upon you.": So what would you do, Gil? Take him to a manufacturing plant to inhale the fumes? (According to the 1900 House website, that's what they did in those days as a cure for whooping cough - and one-third of children died from whooping cough because of that cure.) Pump a ton of now-scarcely used drugs (like morphine and others) into him so he doesn't feel any pain and let John rest while the disease takes its course and hopefully not destroy him? … Now you're making me want to research when did there become a cure for consumption? 'Cause I don't know and I'm curious to find out. Also, what's so great about this is that Gil is in a perfect position regarding this issue - it's 1887, and the Western world is starting to accept the ideas of sanitation, germ theory, and anesthesia (- well, they did so in the late 1880s). You want progress, Gil? Guess what: the X-ray is going to come out in 1895 and aspirin will come out in 1899 - it's not quite that far off now. However, you won't see penicillin (the first antibiotic) until you're about 75; sorry, Gil.

OH MY GOD. YOU RECOMMENDED ONE OF MY ESSAYS. I am sitting here silently screaming in joy over that fact. That someone whose stories I love and whose writing I admire is actually referencing me. Unbelievable. Thank you so much, katherine-with-a-k, that means a ton to me; you don't know how much.

(P.S. - Starting to read all these chapters that you posted makes me want to write and post more of my fanfic.)
8/29/2015 c12 2BrightRiver
It was like christmas day receiving notifications for all the new chapters.

- She's an Anne-girl. I adored how your birthed Anne-girl into the story. It was a wonderful steady build up from Chinook-girl to Mr. Fox asking over and over what type of girl she is... then it appears, Anne-girl, that lovely term of endearment.
- Gilbert opening up, talking about his past. And poor Anne keeping it all in. My heart ached when he made the reference to Little Elizabeth.
- Gilbert's softening and maturing.
- Saturday Clubbed (I laughed out loud).
- Anne asking about swimming... hello Untie the Knot Chapter 11!

I feel like I really got to know Gilbert – you have done so well with fleshing out his character while keeping him close to Maud's own.

Another thank you for taking the time to research into the time period. It makes the experience so much richer.
8/29/2015 c12 PelirrojaBiu
1:26 am where I live and I'm finished with this little beast. Gorgeous writing. And so true, just like Anne herself.
When I saw you were planning to continue I just about screamed.
Good night!
8/29/2015 c8 PelirrojaBiu
Changed my mind, this is my new favourite chapter of this story. Poor boy is loosing his mind with longing. Is there an end to your brilliancy? Amazing, absolutely amazing.
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