Just In
for The Last of the Windy Willows Love Letters

7/31/2016 c2 julie3113
This is going to be an interesting summer (and year) for our couple. You could probably fill an entire story with letters from Gilbert describing his time at Sarnia. Like one of your other reviewers, I can't help but recall some similarities of tone and detail with Begin Again, despite the differences of setting and circumstance. Sometimes I imagine what the marriage would have been like if indeed Gilbert and Anne had became a "power couple". And butterflies and moths make another cameo appearance. Anyway, I love how you express Gilbert's scientific mind, attention to detail, and natural curiosity, all of which shine through here. I like how you/he describes the "beauty" (such as it is) of Sarnia, and how it contrasts with Anne's (and Gil's) visions of Avonlea. I like the evocative descriptions of the characters Gilbert meets, and the comparisons with the Avonlea folks. But my favorite line is Gil's wry little comment that the Blakes "do have a door" - how completely in character is that!
7/30/2016 c2 PelirrojaBiu
Ooooo, the plot thickens! I just love how the focus of those first two chapters is on their passions to something else rather than each other :D And I second what Edkchestnut has said below: you stories are just SO interesting and informative. While reading this chapter I even forgot for a moment about their epic love story and started to look up bends on the internet! If it all sounds so fascinating to me then no wonder Gilbert is so elated by his new responsibilities. It all has a bitter-sweet undertone though. Anne is being published again and Gil has such an amazing career opportunity yet we all know he'll end up leading that "small life" (ouch! It hurts, even if we know he was very satisfied with his private practice in the Glen) and she'll be popping out a baby every year. Maybe my head is still on the brilliance that was Begin Again... All in all, it's amazing how you add up to this world and enrich it instead of simply exploring it. I can't wait to see how they work it out between themselves.
7/28/2016 c2 2Kim Blythe
Yeah really, if Gilbert can't see himself living right now or never in Glen St-Mary, what could have possibly made him change his mind ? Is it his uncle Dave that told him that the only person he saw to replace him and take his place at his practice, was his one and only nephew Gilbert Blythe...

I so do like it to get into the minds of these two young in love couple !
7/28/2016 c2 Sorrows Solace
I grinned when I saw Gil was writing from my hometown! Poor fellow, Sarnia definitely isn't as pretty as PEI but there are some bits of lovlieness here. He's also writing on my mother's birthday which made me smile too. It's great to see Gil finding his passion and ambition to solve mysteries. it foreshadows his success with George/Dick Moore and Mrs. Garrow. These letters are amazing to read, so full of life and the characters live in them better than canon in many ways. Can't wait to see more!
7/28/2016 c2 5rebeccathehistorian
Wait, what? Gil changed hotels?

Uncle Dave recovered from what? Typhoid?

"I pity the fellow who takes over his practice.": I BURST OUT LAUGHING! THAT'S YOU, GIL!

Not just the Glen and Upper Glen but Lowbridge as well? I thought Lowbridge would've had their own doctor, but I guess not. (I think I was predicting that since we know Dr. Parker's in Lowbridge by the beginning of Anne of Ingleside (July of 1899)).

Ok … I understand why he's doing what's he's doing, you said so yourself that Gil won the Cooper Prize after all, but at the same time, I was completely expecting him to assist the medics.

"Eventually I had to tell him that I came from the Island so it would take a lot more than a tar colored pond to impress me.": I laughed out loud again.

"A glaring blue hall perhaps?": I laughed for a moment at that comment.

"You floated over the fields like a basking shark because your mouth was always permanently open.": I burst out laughing again.

This was an interesting chapter and I'm curious to see if the doctors have figured out the physiological cause at a cellular level of caisson disease by the end of the summer (though I (highly) doubt it). I also wonder at Anne's reaction to his letter and more so, to his explanation of what he's doing at Sarnia.

On another note, I feel bad for the hotel laundress! The fact that Gil only has four shirts (which makes sense) but goes through three of them in a day … what does she and her assistants do? Pull all-nighters constantly? Because laundry in those days was backbreaking work, I believe. And how do they do all that work (soak it, get any stains out, boil it with soap and agitate it, boil it with blue, put it through the wringer (God! I hope she has a wringer!), and then hang it up to dry on the line) all in one night? I'm thinking to dry it she'd have to have a coal fire burning all night so hopefully they'd be dry by morning.

Anyway, thanks for the explanation/reminder that Gil's cousins live in New Brunswick because I was a little bit confused as to why Aunt Pearl wanted Uncle Dave to move there - besides having him give up his practice and retire. You know, that would be an interesting perspective to discover and write about: How do the inhabitants of Glen St. Mary (and the surrounding areas) reconcile having Gil as their doctor instead of Dr. Dave? I personally think that Gil being his great-nephew helps a bit at least. And also how Gil (and Anne) comes (come) to the decision of living in Glen St. Mary because right now, Gil says that he doesn't want to live there, and I'm wanting to laugh uproariously at that statement because that's where they end up!
7/28/2016 c2 19Alinyaalethia
You are hard on Sarnia -it has it's good points:) Though I can see agil's point of view. I'm reminded of my grandparents holidaying in England and bring dragged out to the Lake District by aunt Hylda. She was that pleased to show it off that they couldn't admit it wasn't more impressive than Lake Huron, Ontario!

Some lovely details here. Gil anticipating Anne's letter heightens our sense of their synchronicity, his intuiting when she is writing solidifies it. His wishing Anne were there to put that family at ease beautifully reinforces that and shows her capability and Gil's value of it -top marks to you both there.

The details about work on the train line make good reading. We can see how much he wants to draw Anne into this life even before he admits it outright, the way he pours all the information out.

The only place I stumble is the three weeds, because I know it's the hotel name, but Gil hasnt dated the letter from there. Have I inferred correctly it's the colloquial name and he was trying for formality, inspired perhaps by Aunt Chatty's book of etiquette?

I can't not mention the gossip, its going to play into Gil's bend in the road, won't it? I'm going to be intrigued to see at what point the Glen ceases to be small to him. You've layer the groundwork marvelously, and I can't wait for more.
7/28/2016 c2 Chinook-girl
7/28/2016 c2 Edkchestnut
One thing I love about your stories is how I always learn something new and relevant to the time period. Because of this I have just looked up the bends and see how truly serious it is. Of course, being Gilbert, treatment is just around the corner because he will surely be helpful in discovering the uses of the hyperbaric therapy. Funny, too, how the Glen is starting to be mentioned and yet he has no idea of working there. Please show us his change of heart in future writing. I would love to know what causes it and the thought process. Good job and I am still loving this story.
7/28/2016 c1 Edkchestnut
So glad to see you back with these stories, I have been looking forward to them. As always, you have done an outstanding job and I love the way you always incorporate things from your past stories into your new ones. This ties everything together in such a nice way. Great job and keep 'em comin'!
7/28/2016 c2 7Formerly known as J
This was simply gorgeous, kwak. I loved him seeing her in the graveyard and reflecting that he'll need more than one lifetime to discover all the Annes in her. Not to mention not breaking the promise he made to her when he gave her the ring. Only one pearl to go. Isn't he dreamy? Sigh.

At last, we hear about Doctor Dave, and I loved that Gilbert is pitying the poor fellow who takes over his practice. And the once that didn't have Anne in do know you're a genius, don't you?

But I was most interested in his job and scoring the free digs to boot! Even though I'm no fan of humidity myself, I did enjoy thinking of him in his damp shirts. Rrrrrrrrr!
7/28/2016 c2 8Catiegirl
I loved this! That first line, his greeting to her is gorgous here. I love what you are doing here, about wanting to see who the two of them are when they choose to live in the moment rather than pining- it's lovely to remember what wonderful characters Anne and Gilbert are. I love that Gil is doing something so unique, and so different from the 'small life' he once thought of in the Glen... Hmmm, I'm wondering if his bend in the road is career related- after all, this is the smartest man ever- he could go anywhere!( I still love knowing what they will eventually choose!) these letters in the last story are so sweet, so them, but somehow there is a peace to them too- you really felt the enormous build up of tension in the last letters, I love the way you have ebbed and flowed their growth through the three series, it's so true to life. After all, no one can live on a precipice indefinitely! And I couldn't stop laughing at the basking shark comment, that was genius- followed up by near tears at Miss Lavender describing Anne's eyes as having seen too much. I love how you can cover so many emotions here, and the love you show between the two of them. Yay! So rejoicing in these letters, Kwak!
7/24/2016 c1 julie3113
Just gorgeous, K, an auspicious start to this last set of letters. First, I love how this letter begins where the last letters left off with an acknowledgement of the misunderstanding and disappointment resulting from the weekend they spent together. I love how Anne recognizes her passion, and how she comes to understand - and ultimately appreciate - Gilbert's restraint. She becomes more self aware, both in the present and also in the past, as she describes the glimpses of her younger self she sees in little Elizabeth. My favorite detail is Marilla's kneeling down to discuss Elizabeth's conversation with the rose - although I imagine her then standing up, wiping her hands on her apron, and excusing herself with a gruff little remark to mask such a display of sentimentality. Looking forward to the bends (and obstacles) you place in the respective roads of our couple as these letters continue.
7/24/2016 c1 7wishwars
"These are not small things, but entire worlds." Once again, you amaze me with your ability to capture Anne's voice so fully. I can't wait to see what is coming as they prepare for their marriage! I love Little Elizabeth - Anne's soul materialized as a young girl :) And I love your mention of Marilla! I'm sure this is what she'd be like with Anne's children. I love how much she's grown because of Anne :)
7/23/2016 c1 5rebeccathehistorian
Huh. Regarding Iona: So in some ways, Anne is writing about herself.

"I can and do take care of myself, and I want so much to take care of you. Instead I feel I am adding to your troubles.": Hm.

"Yesterday Marilla said that Elizabeth is the only other child she has known who can peer at a flower for more than ten minutes together.": I laughed out loud. That sounds like Anne from the very early Anne of Green Gables days.

"'This rose and I are conversing.": More evidence that she's Anne Shirley in disguise.

Wait, WHAT?! I *never* would've imagined Marilla doing something like that! I guess it shows how much she's changed over the years with raising three kids - and probably most of it could be attributed to raising Anne.

The Pines? Do you mean Lone Willow Pine?

Oh. So the Penhallow place is later going to be known as Lone Willow Farm.

This was awesome! I can't *wait* for the next chapter! I'm curious to hear how Gilbert responds and what his experiences are like. Is he the only medical professional around or are there other doctors? Does he have a good camaraderie with the other railroad workers or do they see him as someone who is above them because he's a medical student? What are his working conditions like? I'd love to find out your answers.

(P.S. - I'm going to PM you my other questions because I don't want to invade my review with them.)
7/23/2016 c1 19Alinyaalethia
It's good to be back among these people, in this world again. You know it, and we do, and there's a sense of reunion with old friends as I go through it. I'm pleased to have an update on Anne's writing, and love the sound of it. But it was the details about Miss Elizabeth that charmed me. She's always been my favourite of the Windy Poplars lot, sweet, good and so achingly unhappy when we first meet her. Seeing her hear as a veritable fairy in her elf-land feels good, right and wholesome. Just the thing after a day out in a bustling Edinburgh. Thank you.
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