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for Through the Dark Clouds shining (English version)

9/1/2018 c78 18Alinyaalethia
Right, well, now you've gone and given me an ear worm:) Just as well I like this one, I suppose. It and all eight verses or whatever. There’s a lot to like here, too. From Ken buying the book because he *can* to his playing up Rilla’s knowledge, and his continued lack thereof about all things pregnancy-related, you give the opening a warmth and intimacy that offers valuable insight as to how Ken and Rilla are together. We haven’t seen a lot of that this story (still more than RoI gives us though) and it’s useful knowledge to have moving forward.

Elsewhere,I share Rilla’s shock at the revelation we haven’t had the Fords together before. I could have sworn Persis was at the eweddinh, but that was Collette playing Theological Technicalities with Walter. Something about the way you write brother and sister captures that feeling of stick-together-or-kill-each-other though. We’ve had thatbsense from individual parties, but it’s differenr here, probably because Ken so deftly parries Persis’ ineffable zeal for the universe. In a nice uptick from -it feels dons ago -that petition that Rilla fo a light touch of letter writing and dissuading, Ken here manages to be supportive while also expressing concern about Persis’ taste for adventure. I can’t help but contrast her to my Persis, who makes a career of writing indexes on the research on the very places you send Persis, and Tim. I’m glad Tim is in this. I’ve missed him, and I like to think he and Persis will egg each other on to greatness and mischief.

I also like that you’ve given Persis Owen’s writing. That more usually falls to Ken on here, and this is a refreshing interpretation of that dynamic. Persis’s articles on thevworld yomfollow as a series of one-shots, please.

Though Rilla at the end -it’s all well and good for Persis to be giddily excited. She’s got the easy part of this job. There’s 10001 reasons for Rilla to still be feeling apprehensive, and I’ll be glad the minute one of her contemporaries (Polly? She’s nearby, yeah?) gets hold of her and says so. Not feeling alone in her emotions is going to make the world of difference. I dare say more even than the clever books :)
9/1/2018 c78 5fanofNC
"I am the nurse and you are clueless, remember?" That line had me cracking up over and over again. Ken is being so sweet and innocent in this one!

And him trying to stop Rilla just proves how good of a father and husband he is and will become;)

Mr and Mrs Ford have amazing telepathy skills, by the way. To be able to understand what your other half means just through a glance is amazing.

Oh, Rilla, can't you see you'll make a great mother? Like Ken said, you're protecting it already. Perhaps thinking like this will help: that in a few years, you might have a miniature Kenneth Ford running around your house. (Though admittedly, it would be tiring to chase after him XD)
9/1/2018 c78 AnneShirley
Thy absconding reader apologizeth for having missed God only knows how many chapters (and for her terrible Archaic English). I'm up to date now, but honestly don't have the time to review all the past chapters, so I'll just review this little gem.

I like the way Rilla exerts her authority as a nurse over the baby, over her pregnancy, and over her changing body - a pretty modern attitude. I find it sweet that, though Ken is protective of her, he knows when to lay off and leave things to Rilla's instincts. I also like the joke about Ken teaching the baby soldiers' songs. That poor child.

Any appearances by Persis are welcome in this story, partly because of the contrast she makes to Rilla. While Rilla is as stubborn as Persis, and even more when given half a chance, she isn't as headstrong or idealistic as the other girl, and it's fascinating to watch that fact being spelled out in this chapter.

Also, the contrast between the two women's fates is quite interesting, as well as their attitudes to life. Rilla is well on her way to becoming a traditional wife and mother, and although she's bound to find some way out, at the end of the day, the times will make sure that her escape is brief. Persis on the other hand is bound for an adventurous and unconventional life, with a man to whom she is bound by no widely recognized ties - the epitome of the lost generation.

And yeah, Baby Ford has me more excited than I should be. I hope it's a girl ;).
8/31/2018 c78 14elizasky
I'm very sorry, but you must postpone all future plans for whatever modern AUs or whatever in order to bring us the World Travels of Persis and Tim. Persis and Tim in the Mediterranean! Persis and Tim on a yacht! Persis and Tim doing whatever it is young, white, artist-y people do in the 1920s! Just don't let them meet up with Harry and Caresse Crosby and the rest of the absinthe-addled Black Sun Press crowd.

Rilla's fears are not going anywhere. Her worry that she will not be able to feel the "proper" emotions for her child are very deep. After all, she's spent so long managing her emotions — arranging the letters in order to be happy at the end, bottling up tears that only Walter could unlock, compartmentalizing her experience as much as Carl tried to — she's afraid that they may have shriveled up along the way. I expect they're still in there somewhere, but they might be a bit chaotic. New baby hormones new husband new city loss of professional identity is a quintuple-whammy and I hope that Rilla can be kind and seek support navigating that whole constellation of transitions at once.

It was sweet that Ken went and got the book. Reminded me of Rilla and her Morgan in canon. And there was a nice little moment when Rilla did think of herself as an expert - telling Ken what not to read and realizing that she did have some relevant professional expertise. Perhaps she will follow the same path she did with Jims, relying on the Proper Care and Feeding of Infants and letting the emotional attachment develop later.

I did love the scene of the bathtub and reading. It was the first scene where things felt sort of normal and domestic between Rilla and Ken. And the Persis-Ken relationship was nice as well. They are both of them very quick on the uptake if Ken understood about Tim and Persis understood about the pregnancy just from those little hints. As Alinyaalethia points out in some of her stories, the two of them did spend a bit of time traveling as children and may have gotten very close then. It was a nice character evolution to have Ken go from wanting to protect Persis from herself to understanding that loving people means helping them be out in the world thriving in their own way.

A toast to Persis and Tim. I am imagining them in various scenarios involving sham marriages, hasty disguises, and some sort of heist involving a peacock, a rowboat, and an ill-advised choice of hat.
8/31/2018 c78 10Excel Aunt
Persis has the advantage of knowing her brother and Rilla so well that of course, it doesn't take much for her to put two and two together. So-Tim makes a good traveling companion. You know, I have to agree with Ken's reaction that other people are going to judge them is they travel together. A 'cousin' might work in some places in the world but during this time and age it won't be a sufficient smoke screen. Of course, Persis is too headstrong to care about it. I bet that girl can write a fabulous book though, like her father Owen. All that magic had to go somewhere and Ken is more of a reader these days. Ha! That reminds me it was funny how he stopped making the moves on his wife to study up on the *should* of the sitution. I'm very inclined to believe in most cases, a healthy sex life while pregnant is way more beneficial than harmful.
8/31/2018 c78 38oz diva
For someone who has never experienced this herself, you write of Rilla’s misgivings very well. We all feel it, it’s a huge responsibility, they are utterly dependent upon you at least at first. And after what she has seen, she knows it’s not always easy or possible to protect them.

It’s easy for Persis. She can love the baby but it’s not her responsibility. I’m sorry for Rilla that Persis’ reaction is such a blow. Maybe she’ll realise that their situations are quite different.

I’m so pleased Ken is trying to set her mind at rest. He’s being really cute here. I loved the scene where they’re just about to have some fun and he stops. That’s very true too. Don’t worry Ken, if you knew even a little bit about anatomy, you’d know there’s nothing you can do to hurt it that way. Still we have established that he’s clueless.

He’s also supportive of Persis’ post war plans. I think her travel writing idea especially to parts unknown is a great one. It will be dangerous, but if anyone call put it off, it’s Persis.
8/29/2018 c77 oz diva
Rilla concerns at motherhood are valid. Over arching them all is the very real concern that what they have just been through might happen again. I felt something like that when 9/11 happened and I was pregnant at the time. What sort of world was I bringing this kid into?

And then there are just the mundane normal fears such as whether you will be a good enough mother for your baby, because you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing. Luckily at that stage, the baby is unaware that their parents are flying blind.

I’m pleased Ken is able to console her, he even sounds like he’s going to be a wonderful daddy, as he talks to the little bug. That’s such a Dad thing to do.
8/29/2018 c77 18Alinyaalethia
I’m so glad you let Rilla take her time in reacting to this hand she’s been dealt. When we met her she didn’t want marriage, much less children. The leap to jocound acceptance was never going to happen on a dime. And the war might be over, but she’s still abroad, in many ways still recovering, and with no plan for the future. Of course her first port of emotional call is to be scared. (Though do we want someone to hand this Rilla the Bible of Morgan? Really? Clever is not my word for him, but then, Susan is dead.)

And Ken, Ken pins quite a lot of happiness on this new life, which must exacerbate her anxiety s little. On the other hand, I love that he can bring out some playfulness and even levity in what is generally an overwhelming scenario. Part of me wants these two to have more time as a couple before negotiating the complication of a baby, to go back to their scenic Brittany and the family they have there. Equally I want to see how they step up and navigate this new challenge, because they will. And maybe it’s the thing they need to unite them after years of separate wars and demons.
8/28/2018 c77 5fanofNC
I read the first line and cheered XD.

And, ha! I was right! Will we meet Baby Ford in this story?

This is such a tragically adorable chapter. I suppose that not meeting Jims affected how she thinks of children. But I know they'll pull through alright. Like Ken said, they have plenty of people they can ask, starting with Mrs. Dr. dear.

Loved it!
8/28/2018 c77 AnneNGil
If she is big enough to have a baby bump and for the baby to be 2 fists big, she's got to be at least 4 months along, maybe 3. How is it that she has only known for one week?

That aside... I think this chapter was true to character for Rilla and Ken. The conversation between Rilla and Polly comes to mind. Rilla isn't a "kid" person. I can imagine how scary it would be and especially coming on the heels of the war. Ken is a bit scared too. It is too bad that Rilla and Ken won't have more time just being them. It's valuable time and once you have a baby you don't get that time back.
8/28/2018 c77 14elizasky
I suspected something along these lines when you had Rilla’s fatigue increase these past few weeks (“Made in Germany” indeed). Now, you have accomplished a rare feat and actually made me feel a bit of sympathy for Ken in the middle section there with Rilla’s inarticulate ramblings about “too fast” – there was a while there where I wasn’t sure what she was on about either and I almost (almost) felt sorry for Ken waking out of that nice, intimate moment of breathing and pulses and having to try to follow Rilla as she gropes around for words before being able to name her problem and her fears.

Of course, they can’t keep their child safe and won’t keep it safe and it will be a very hard time for all of them in 20 years. I liked that you left the chapter on that note, rather than on Ken’s reassurances that they would love their child even if Rilla wasn’t overly fond of children (whatever did happen to poor little Jims in this universe?). LMM gave us the hopeful, domestic, Madonna version in which Rilla-who-doesn’t-like-children grows to love Jims and the book ends with Jem giving a longer version of that speech about the New World. You could have left it there, but you don’t. In looking ahead, sowing fears about the future and making Rilla apprehensive about motherhood, you warn everyone that none of this is going to be quite as easy as LMM made it out to be.

Anyway, Ken was at his most appealing in this chapter, with his little joke about taking his pulse and his joy over the baby and his gentleness with hearing Rilla’s fears and his unsteady pulse at the end. Rilla was true to form, ignoring things for as loooooong as possible and not wanting to say uncomfortable things aloud (if she only admitted to herself she was pregnant last week and the baby is already at “two fists” size, that’s pretty darn far along . . . I guess she could chalk a lot up to illness but still . . .). That made me a little nervous, actually, because it seems to argue that Rilla’s methods of coping with difficult things are perhaps not all that changed, which makes me apprehensive about how this whole “not liking children” thing will go. It’s perfectly fine to not like children! And it’s a good thing to know about oneself . . . preferably so that you don’t have children. Here’s hoping that the people in her life will be supportive enough to help her do a good job making a really difficult transition. But Ken of the usually very steady heartbeat will be by her side, so that is a reason to hope.

You conveyed their intimacy nicely in this scene, keeping it all in this small moment between them. The subtle physical bits (like all the pulse talk) helped establish both a quiet tone for the chapter and the sense that the characters were actually touching and interacting physically. And it is a good sign that Rilla can confess her fears honestly to Ken, even if it takes a roundabout path to get there.
8/28/2018 c77 8Catiegirl
You had me on tenterhooks here, I was as up and down as Ken must have been. It was so raw and real, and I could just see the pain in Rilla here- and you reminded me that she is still Rilla, who never liked children. Nevertheless, you painted the situation beautifully- and call me crazy, but affectionately calling your child Stomach Bug is just the most adorable thing ever- and you made me cry with the last paragraphs, that is the crux of the matter right there. Well done.
8/28/2018 c77 10Excel Aunt
Oh wow! I knew this was coming or, at least hoping very hard. Rilla is going to be a Mommy! I think my favorite part about scenes like this is the father's reaction, and Ken did not disappoint. He's happy and hedging his happiness a bit rather than make Rilla feel more nervous about the situation. I guess I'm not as surprised she's as far along as she is. I am however sad that it seems that Rilla will be going home without Ken at first. I think Ken very much would take on the active father role. Not just because he's responsible and answers to duty, but, because he genuinely loves his offspring.

As far as Rilla's inner thoughts on moving fast, I really don't agree with her there. Ken and Rilla found each other and fell in love during the war. And, they had a long time friendship/acquaintance before that even. There are many, many other couples that started out with much less. I'm chalking up Rilla to being nervous, and that is understandable. She's the youngest of her siblings and didn't experience Jims as canon Rilla had. She has no experiences with little babies or if she does, it was only very peripherally. So, I don't blame her...and then...she knows what awaits her to deliver the little stomach bug.

This is very good news. I just wish Rilla could be a bit happier. And, I'm glad to see her strength is getting better too.
8/27/2018 c76 jJustadreamer
Everyone's recovering from the war in their own way. Poor Polly, she'll probably miss her best friend forever. How sweet that she named her daughter after Betty. I'm not sure i agree with Rilla not telling her the whole story, but then again we'll never know what truly happened, so maybe it's for the best. I thought it was good that they were able to mourn again together over the loss of a dear friend.

That little story of Aunt Pomeline's name is well done, and something one could actually see fitting in canon. LMM always did a great job at backstories and such.

Polly seems unfazed by the new move and the new baby and the new-ish marriage. Personally, I wouldn't want to stay in London after the war; I'd much rather go home. But these were different times, and I suppose Canadians still considered Britain the motherland and Canada as part of the larger commonwealth. I'm glad Rilla's going back to Toronto, however, and I'm anxiously awaiting the upcoming chapters as they get to Canada and begin their new life.
8/26/2018 c43 2Kim Blythe
Even though Rilla is surrounded by dying patients all around her, I am still scared, and I worry about them all, and even, I do worry and I am scared about all of those others, outside receiving and getting the enemies bombs and gun fires...
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