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for Not As We Were

11/20/2021 c17 Parnokianlipstic
I have been re-reading this and "O silvery Moon" for the past fortnight, when time permits me, and you have it as you said to me that this was more a golden a little more Hardyan effort.
This verse(Greenage Close and others) are gloden shimmering starlight in a August darkness and doom are there, but in surface, or in the minds of survivalist of the whole generation... The theme of this verse is memory and surviving and learning to live despite the odds and despite it.
As for Persis and Nina well you know my feelings of it. :) But the whole reason for this unplanned rambling of a rewiew is of course Nina and Stuart. They and the music are just divine, in her and him you have created one of the best examples of classical musicalism and pure artistry and the growth.
And the Lehar, Strauss and La Rondine of Puccini - just so... Utter perfection.
Thank you for countless hours of pure bliss and enjoyment!
Best Wishes! :)
7/26/2016 c27 7Formerly known as J
I was a little sad when I realised this was already the final chapter. However, you have completed everything so nicely that I really can't be too upset. I loved how happy Fr Cameron was to preside over Mia and Victor's ceremony. As much as I love the Royal Albert, I did enjoy Mia's college tea china chattering and, like Persis, I do hope those two cups will be included.

Do you know, all this time with the talk of Carl's retired messenger dog coming, I've been thinking to myself 'I wish he could find out what happened to Lucy. I wonder why he couldn't have done this with her?' and never once did I think that was exactly where you were leading us. So, I thank you for that lovely surprise.
7/25/2016 c27 22katherine-with-a-k
I really wasn't expecting this to end so soon. I felt sure there were still a few chapters to go and I'm not ready to let them go yet.
This chapter was beautiful. The smallness of the ceremony, being sprinkled with iridescent dust motes, (in a nod to confetti?) the happiness on Mia's face, really I don't know how Fr Cam got through the service without crying. It was all so uttery Victor and Mia. As was the wedding breakfast, set with Mia's own tea things at last! There was no other way this way could be, and Fr Cam's face when he saw her service made me think I might cry next.
It makes me glad to think Mia may revisit her ambitions. As I read I thought of the couple that Flora meets in A Pure Clear Light, where it turns out the vicar's wife is a don of theology!
But what came after. The idea of the Merediths taking another dog always satisfied me, both because it felt like a proper karmic outcome and because it said so much about Carl's character. But I thought the likelihood of Carl ever seeing Lucy again as likely as Carl did. It was a truly joyful surprise, especially Lucy herself, running to her old master so trustingly.
A delicate, thoughtful, memorable, loving ending that I will never forget. I will miss them all so much.
7/24/2016 c27 2Kim Blythe
This was such a perfect ending…

With Victor and Mia's wedding … But this I was expecting for it to happen ! Just the way you described it, with simply Carl, Persis, baby Sylvia, Nina and Father Cameron presiding the ceremony…

But, with this final scene that I was not expecting but in the back of my mind really hoping for it to come true, to have Lucy, THE LUCY of Carl during the war to actually come back to him as the messenger dog that they were waiting for…. This scene was simply amazing !
7/20/2016 c26 7Formerly known as J
Although I'm not familiar with this piece of music or the story behind this opera, I was glad that Stuart had a chance to sing with Nina and hold his own, even though others before him have failed to match her. I was also glad that Nina tells him how well he did, and him reverting to childish habits at her compliment. I'm intrigued by Stuart's concern for the little Fords and that he feels he must go back to help them make the rough places plain. I loved that he wanted to do that for them. I still love them together and hope we'll get a chance to find out more about Stuart in Toronto.
7/19/2016 c26 22katherine-with-a-k
No surprizes here, Alinya, you have form.

I will say though, that I surprised myself, because his saying goodbye to Nina gave me a glimpse into the man he was becoming, and for the first time I thought perhaps he is right for her after all. There was a maturity there that I warmed to, this selflessness not seen before; to think on his childhood, to know what he was given and to want it for other children too. I found myself in this quandry where I wanted him to stay and yet if he did I wouldn't respect him the way I do now. And I expect you intended this.

The duet was beautiful, but as ever I feel as though I am reading poetry in translation, watching a dubbed film, because I lack the language and the knowledge to really know what this moment means. I am sure this opera wasn't chosen merely because you liked it, and like to imagine that if I had a grounding in singing like you that I could spend hours picking over every word you chose as you described their singing, the way you structured your sentences, what you didn't say.

Don't think for a moment that this means I wasn't in that song with them, because I was, not as the audience, nor on the stage, but in the wings, watching and listening and wondering if I shouldn't turn away and being unable to.

A bittersweet moment, long waited for and so worth it.
7/19/2016 c26 2Kim Blythe
Well, I have to admit that the singing of both Nina and Stuart in that opera was very beautiful and very well done, but, but, this was not exactly the end I was expecting for them, the romantic one... Seeing as Stuart will go back to Toronto to look and watch out to the three little Ford children, just like Persis and Nina did for him when he was little and Nina will stay here in London and watch over little Sylvia... All I have to hope now, is for both Stuart and Nina to one day be singing together again in another opera !
7/17/2016 c25 7Formerly known as J
I loved that little scene of Mia gazing out the window across the back of the lounge, contemplating the garden next door turning to wilderness, and Carl determining that it was still garden yet. I could understand Mia feeling too overwhelmed to sort out the house, so I loved that Carl and Persis insisted on helping her with it.
But then, the ghosts of the Royal Albert tea set being buried (I hope Mia is planning on keeping those two cups as mementos?) was just gorgeous. I was so happy that she and Victor could finally work themselves out. I especially liked that little interaction between Carl and Persis by the yew hedge and the lovely 'I lost my line of symmetry somewhere in France' - Carl always has my favourite lines.
7/16/2016 c25 2Kim Blythe
Now we have it, Victor and Mia engaged !

This was just lovely and beautiful !
7/16/2016 c25 22katherine-with-a-k
At first I felt cheated that I hadn't been there when Victor 'popped the question' (I know how much you'll just love that phrase ;oP ) but after sitting on this for a bit I feel like it really wasn't necessary. It was their time together in the witching hour that mattered, that was when they fell in love, though perhaps they never knew it until they were away from each other.
I understand Mia's feelings about the house, but I am happy you have given her and this place at least one happy memory. I wonder was Victor waiting until she could steel herself to go back there, because he knew then her grief had moved and that love might live there instead.
Favourite line: I lost my symmetry in France
-oof, the lines you leave hanging around the place, like they ain't no thing. It kills me.
Thank you for Crampton Hodnet, and I don't know of you meant it, the ring being a ruby, but I thought of St John here, and felt well satisfied!
7/14/2016 c24 7Formerly known as J
Scilla's first Christmas already! I loved the mug (no match for my favourite the Royal Albert) being offered left handed to Mia because Fr Cameron's in the habit of giving it to Victor that way. But then Victor receives his right handed. :) I enjoyed that it seems Fr Cameron is doing his best to sort things out for Mia and Victor. He really does remind me of Captain Jim, even more so at this New Years so reminiscent of the new year Anne and Gilbert spent at the lighthouse. As usual, it's Carl's candour that I enjoy best when he tells Victor that they won't forgive him if he breaks her heart. This is such a truly lovely chapter, Alinya. Well done.
7/10/2016 c24 22katherine-with-a-k
So much happened here and yet all I want to do is sing the praises of your little para about midnight mass -or rather the last line,

'the Gospel is sung and for novelty the sermon neither strives for relevance nor analogy and they come away acutely aware of the world coming into hushed wakefulness'

That's obviously paraphrased, but that's how easily I could pull it from the top of my head. In that line was everything I adore about your writing and your way of seeing the world. And the only thing to top it was Scilla looking at the stars and 'their attention is all for her'. Oh, what that sentence did to me.

I think I've told you before how much I enjoy it when you bring the gang together. It was good to peek inside Fr Cam's home, and it was just as I imagined it. I adored the way Victor gave up the low sofa to lean against Mia's chair (all the better not to have to look at her, or have everyone looking at him looking at her -well played, Rev) and the conversation between him and Carl, well they never disappoint, those two. I see a way forward for Victor and Mia now, and I like that Fr Cam will have his part to play.

So satisfying, thank you.
7/6/2016 c23 katherine-with-a-k
I read Kim's review and I thought, she's right, this relationship does read like an opera, which gives this a nice symmetry to OSM because Carl and Persis had that feel too. I don't think I would have come to that conclusion before, I would have felt instinctively that opera is too elevated a thing to be compared to a real life love story, but you have made the humour, cheekiness, strangeness and everydayness of opera shine in this story -accessible is a horrid word, but that's sort of what I mean- that I cannot help but see these two stories in this light. But particularly NAWW, it has the feel of a true ensemble, and I still hold out hope that Victor and Mia will admit their love for each other at the end.
7/5/2016 c23 2Kim Blythe
I really do think that you should really make Nina and Stuart sing opposite each other in a Opera as a grand finale in this story of yours...
6/26/2016 c21 7Formerly known as J
Sorry I've been out of action for a bit, and so slow to review. But, rest assured, I'm no less shocked and amazed by this bombshell of a chapter, Alinya, even with a few days to think about things since you posted.

So now, after Victor's curlique confessions last chapter, I'm wondering if Mia is perhaps having some kind of Leslie Moore moment of being in denial that she's free now? I understand that she's in shock at her mother's death (it must be a shock after so many false alarms) so maybe she's not thinking straight. Surely Mia's wrong that the window of opportunity has passed? I find myself desperately hoping that Persis and Carl (or Fr Cameron?) can pull her through the haze, or convince Victor to take some action.

Please update again soon, so we can find out what is going on!
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