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for Through the Dark Clouds shining (English version)

8/5/2018 c68 AnneNGil
I like how you use the thermometer for comic relief.

This is a sweet chapter. I like how you find a way to bring in all the battles and lots of little pieces of World War 1 the most of us do not know of. Especially, the events that happened after the armistice. It was interesting to note Rilla's hesitation in talking about goatee to mustache.- it would be hard not to know how to keep conversations friendly and happy without talking about unwanted memories. I am sure that is not unique to this conversation.

I love the turtle with the poems and I love the tin of cookies. Both gifts were extremely thoughtful and exactly what Rilla needed. This was heartfelt.
8/5/2018 c67 AnneNGil
Such a beautiful chapter.
8/5/2018 c70 jJustadreamer
This was a great chapter with great depth.
That dance with Matt in the beginning was fun. Kudos to your skill that you're able to incorporate a really profound conversation and dance movements together. It's interesting to see the parts of Ken that we wouldn't get to know from him through the eyes of his juniors. It must have been so heartbreaking for him to deal with the war and Rilla's sickness especially after losing so many that he cared about already. I'm glad that Matt was there to offer some comfort and hopefully the drinking thing won't get out of hand now that Rilla's back. Even though Ken can be quite distant, his compassion for others really shines through in this conversation.
And Lucy and Radley, eh? I'm interested to see where you take these two.
The second half of the chapter discussing Toronto and the Glen was especially needed as they decide their upcoming future together. I think Toronto's a great place to settle down because the Glen might just be too confining with too many memories of the past. Especially after what they've experienced, city life may suit them better with all its worldliness and the faster pace. I certainly like the city;). It's sweet of Ken to allow Di to take over his flat, and I'm sure his parents are thrilled to call the Blythes family now. Funny how both families reacted the same way, but I'm sure that they want Rilla and Ken's happiness after all they've been through in these perilous years. And that line was funny, about them "doing everything in the wrong order." Somehow it reminds of the quote, "all is fair in love and war." But really, they've had so much to deal with and I'm glad things are finally settling down and that they get a happy future together.
8/4/2018 c70 5fanofNC
Okay, so I haven't been here for a while, so I'll be talking about different chapters.

Rilla did an operation! That was amazing! And good thing Ken came back in time to be there for her when she's recovering.

Then the dance! Matt is very brave ;) When he talked about how Ken had been while Rilla was sick, I think I was shuddering along with Rilla. And Toronto! Bright future awaits! When will they see their parents again? (And will Rilla get to meet Selina?)

Finally, a couple chapters back when Ken showed Rilla his black notebook... is that where their first child comes from? ;)
8/4/2018 c69 18Alinyaalethia
You know I love this Tilla. She’s a triumph, calloused hands and all. I love the way these people rally together, Lucy bossing the life out of those men, Rilla taking charge, Matt and Ken happy to be on the receiving end of orders. Bryony”s enthusiasm translating at the operating table to commitment to her work. It’s Tilla that leads them, but there’s a real ensemble feel to this that I appreciate.

Ken’s handling of Rilla afterwards is equally lovely. He’s obviously had his share of treating people in shock, but this is plainly more than that. It solidifies our understanding of Rilla and Ken as a couple, giving us a further glimpse at their emotional language.

Mostly though, I’m still caught up in the medical rescue. There was such energy to it, and such capability. After all the grief and illness, it was oddly refreshing to read, and I very much enjoyed it.
8/4/2018 c68 Alinyaalethia
I hadn’t realised we’d be short Walter for Christmas, somehow. What’s lovely here is the way you bring him back to Rilla, and Susan too. The gift of the poems was lovely, and you just know there’s a story in Di and Connie attempting those monkey faces. It was good to see Moustache again ; he’s been our bit of innocence and heart all through the war. How he grew into a corporal I don’t know, but I’m glad he’s alive to be awkward and cheeky and generally himself. (His not knowing his own nickname did make me smile; I’d forgotten it was a joke between Rilla and Ken.)And while not everything is bs k to the way it was (the young man hiding from General Currie, for instance), this leaves me feeling there’s still hope for a better world hereafter. It might take them a while, and a few more thermometers might be doomed before we get there, but the point is, getting there is possible. If nothing else, at least there were no Eels this Christmas!
8/4/2018 c70 39oz diva
This is a nice happy interlude for them both. I love how aware they are of each other's whereabouts even if they are not looking at each other. I like Matt. He's a nice foil to Ken, seems like they make a good team. Interesting what he has to say about Ken who can come across as rather stern. The point he makes about the men rescuing him from No Man's Land was poignant. That would have been a risky gesture, which they all knew, but they went out for him anyway. Matt is important in that he is giving Rilla a better understanding of Ken, how he worried when Rilla was ill. That was a beautiful reaction to the news that she had recovered. He had been keeping it together, sort of (apart from the whiskey) until he heard the news and then he wept.

Interesting that the women are all wearing liberated (ie stolen) dresses. Matt assures them they will go back to their rightful owners, but I doubt that will happen. Not much fun being the vanquished.

I also liked the conversation about how Ken's folks took the news that he had married Rilla instead of Selina. I'm sure they're delighted that there's another tie to the Blythe family. Their conversation about living in Toronto was telling. I doubt Rilla could ever live in the constrained society of The Glen anymore, but it was kinda sad to hear that the magic of Rainbow Valley had worn off. I mean of course it has, she's not a little girl anymore. I guess to a passerby it's just a little grassy slope with a tree or two, but it's a spot that has resonance for those kids. It was also interesting that Ken owned a flat in Toronto, that he had left home. How much older than Rilla is he? I suppose its different for men, women in this world seem to go from their parents home straight to the home of their husband, even if they live in a house while they're at university, home is still where their parents are.

Good wish there at the end from Rilla, to times that are coming.
8/3/2018 c70 14elizasky
This was a very nice chapter! I smiled through most of it! I am making a note of that because it does not happen very often in this story! Maybe only when Rilla wears green.

We are keeping Matt, yes? I am glad that Rilla agrees with me on this. I choose to read his musings about finding "a pretty nurse" of his own as foreshadowing for his inevitable marriage/non-marriage-relationship with Persis so that we can keep him in the family and they can have a very good time together. Someone needs to take over the crown of "exhausting high-energy couple" now that Jem and Faith are a bit more settled.

I'm glad you let Rilla and Matt have a full conversation even though they were dancing. There are things Rilla learned about Ken that she never really would have learned from him directly. It seems that he can be pretty intimidating, both because of his position and his demeanor, and it makes me like Matt even more that he is able to respect Ken but also stand his ground with him.

Matron Burke really is a peach. An overnight stay for New Year's? She must really like Rilla. Or maybe she has a large gift basket of delicacies on her desk care of Colonel Ford.

Rilla's reflections on Ingleside went straight to the heart of things. It was a good way to show the divide between the old world and the new, as well as nodding to canon without repeating it. Glen-as-Eden was such a powerful theme in RoI, but the ending sort of left it possible that the characters might be able to create a new Eden. This Rilla isn't that sanguine — she sees the inevitable decay and knows that whatever new world they build, it will not be the same as the old.

This whole chapter was quite hopeful, even with some of the revelations about past pain and the darkest times in Ken's life. Everything is looking up! Bring on the future! Knowing you, that is a feeling that heralds the eruption of a volcano or the arrival of a plague or at the very least some unexploded munitions becoming slightly less unexploded.

Some other enjoyable things:
Rilla not having imagined Ken's apartment (they know one another's personalities, but not really one another's complete histories, don't they?)
Lucy's beau (question: does Lucy know about this?)
Matt's exuberant dancing
"I'm glad you were with him"/"I'm glad you're not dead"
all the parents giving the same response to the wedding news
"seals the decision with a kiss"
8/3/2018 c70 10Excel Aunt
I'm laughing at myself and my ponderings about these dresses being dirndls. I had forgotten about the party! But of course, in my world, I have yet to experience a fancy party like that where I thought it necessary to get so decked out. A good party for me is one where there are both Nacho Cheese Doritos and Cool Ranch. What you've done is so much better though, it's really Rilla's first time she's been presented to society as a Mrs. Ford and I'm really glad she had such a lovely frock to compliment her. And I am also glad Lucy is keeping Matt on his toes for their return.

I'm afraid to say that Ken's association and use of alcohol is problematic, perhaps it is early alcoholism? Not that I have a lot of experiences with it, but, either Ken has a problem with drink or he needs some good therapist, or, perhaps both. His behavior is tied too closely to Rilla. She's not immortal after all or perfect. His coping mechanism is hurting him, not helping, and there will be other issues over time.

The very good thing is that if his company risked their lives to save him from a certain death, and stretcher him out to CCS, then, he has people all around him that care about him and his well being. His family, Rilla, friends. Matt is a very good friend and I hope one that we see more of.

I rolled my eyes when Ken suggested the Glen for their next home. I don't see how either of them could be satisfied living their vital years in the hokey-pokey Glen. The Glen is just too myopic of a place for Rilla and probably never was a great interest for Ken, although, he had made great friends there.

Did Radley get his kiss?
8/1/2018 c69 jJustadreamer
This might be one of my favorite chapters in the entire story so far.

The operation was very well done- it’s description, the atmosphere, and Rilla’s inner monologue are all very true to life and I could clearly see her actions in my mind’s eye. Beautiful description of the anatomy and the small but precise moves she made to ensure the man’s survival- if even one thing was off the entire thing would have been botched. It’s funny how the human body works sometimes isn’t it- you’d think removing the foreign object that caused the injury out of the body would would help but it just makes it worse by letting the blood out. I think that was one of the first things my professor mentioned to us in biology class and it’s stayed with me ever since.

I especially like how you’ve involved the entire group in the process of the surgery instead of letting the nurses take over and leaving the men in the background. It takes skill to weave everyone in a scene together in a particular instance that involves the expertise of a singular character or small group of characters.

That scene with Ken after the incident was so sweet. I love how he thought Rilla’s work hardened hands were beautiful even though she hated them. Now I want a man like him! Their relationship is beautiful in the way they truly support each other’s ambitions and never undermine each other. But it was also sad seeing how weak Rilla still is- it really takes a while to recover from an illness in the war. Sometimes you forget how good our medical care is now and how fast we can recover thanks to modern technology and medication.

Rilla keeping the truth from Ken in the end is also very poignant- she’s protecting him from further pain at knowing how ill she was and still is. She’s quite strong to do so, I don’t think I could have kept it to myself. But the chapter ends on a positive note with the start of 1919 with everything neatly tied up. Beautiful chapter!
8/1/2018 c69 AnneShirley
This chapter reminded me of the reasons why I began to follow this fanfic obsessively in the first place. It shows Rilla, Anne's 'unambitious' daughter, actually take charge of a situation and use all the knowledge she's gathered through these five years of carbolic acid and war. I wonder what her mother would say right now.

The operation was disturbing in its detail and the amount of blood, for sure, but I also liked seeing Rilla save a life, knowing that this man wouldn't have lived if it hadn't been for her. That's a watershed moment in anyone's life, and this chapter portrays it beautifully. The chemistry between Rilla, Bryony and Lucy is also sketched in a few words that mean so much.

The scene between Ken and Rilla was also very poignant. This particular time in their lives, with Ken's battalion stationed so near where Rilla is, has been their only time as a couple since their marriage, and Ken is as yet learning about the woman he's married, while Rilla is still trying to deal with the changes in her body brought about by war, illness and nursing. This for the girl who, in Rilla of Ingleside, was declared by Susan to be the prettiest girl in Glen St. Mary.

Still, one of the best things about your story is the fact that there's always hope and always humor, as evident even from the title. The last line, expressing hope about a year that we know, from hindsight, wasn't exactly the best year for the world but was definitely better than the five that had preceded it, is so perfect for Rilla and Ken and their situation - together at last, with the war at an end, and a new world to be built up, one shattered thermometer at a time.
8/1/2018 c69 4OriginalMcFishie
This was wonderful. Rills really comes into her own. If she wasn't married I'd suggest medical school after the war. The courage to take the knowledge you have and save someone's life, the courage of Byrony and Lucy to trust and support her without question, the trust of Matt and then Ken to let her do this not only without question but to take orders from her. Our little Rilla has grown up. I like how you walk us through her emotion and how you show how she shakes afterwards. Her comment about her hands are from a different time. Does she not see how amazing she is? Good thing she has Ken for that!
7/31/2018 c69 8Catiegirl
I really love this section, where Ken is getting to see who his wife really is- she is fragile and strong, and I love that she could admit to herself that she isn’t as strong as she would like. I never considered what it would be like to have to stick around after the armistice, thank you for letting us see this! History comes alive.
7/31/2018 c69 14elizasky
Well there's a good scare for you. I was very glad to see that Rilla was able to trust herself in doing something that is actually far beyond her experience. Not that she didn't have doubts, but she assessed the situation and did what needed to be done, going into "crisis mode." Even the thought of Not Dead didn't stop her. She projected confidence even if she didn't feel it, so that everyone in the room obeyed her. You did a good job of contrasting her internal doubts with her external actions.

To the beginning:

I doubt that's the last we've heard of those POWs. You do love to teach us things about this time period and we didn't get nearly enough information about what was going on there, so I expect it will come around again.

Rilla is good in a crisis, but Lucy is no slouch either, with her yelling and her strong tourniquet game. I wonder how this episode will play out in Rilla's relationship with Lucy and Bryony. She is clearly in charge. They've looked up to her in the past, but this is a different level, seeing her experience and command. I wonder if they will regard her as a friend after this or if they will be too much in awe.

I like Matt. Have I mentioned that? Matt can stay. We would expect Ken to have Rilla's back here, but Matt does, too. He trusts her and obeys her in her area of expertise, even though he's really sticking his neck out there as a second-in-command. If things had gone wrong, he could be in as much trouble as Rilla.

The bit about knowing Ken's tread was good. It also underscored that Rilla is in a state of hyper-alertness if she can pick out things like footsteps in the hall in that moment. He recognizes her expertise immediately and defers to her, showing respect for her knowledge and trusting her with the life of one of his men. You extend that respect for her work in Ken's lovely lingering over Rilla's hands, objecting to her calling them ugly. That was a nice little scene and made me stop and think about this universe vs. canon and how these characters have evolved in this telling. In canon, Rilla grew and changed and worked during the war, but Ken seemed pretty invested in her not changing, and existing for him as an ideal outside of his wartime experiences (don't kiss anybody, carrying the mental image of Madonna Rilla with him, writing his very short letters, using the pre-war nickname at the end to check that she hadn't really changed, etc.). This Ken is older, wiser, and more egalitarian, respecting Rilla for her work and being ok with the ways it has changed her. Though I did like that little touch of vanity from Rilla about her hands — she always did like to look her best. Her worrying about her hands was a nice call back to the earlier line about finding comfort in the routine of washing hands, which is one of the things that has made them rough, and having Ken love that about her shows that in this universe, he doesn't want an unblemished teenager. So good work making that whole relationship a lot more palatable.

The surgery was a big risk, though. I find myself wondering what might have happened if Rilla had attempted the surgery and failed. Since it is pretty far outside of her skillset and it's not a combat situation, I could see her superior officers taking a dim view of Rilla's surgery if the soldier had died (the argument being that she should have tried the tourniquet and had Lucy sit with him to make sure it didn't come loose while transporting him to a hospital). What might have happened in that situation? I have no doubt that Ken would defend her, but then might their marriage come out in a hearing before some sort of review board? But I guess no one will get too curious since the soldier seems to be alright.
7/31/2018 c69 10Excel Aunt
I had no doubt that Rilla could do this operation, and she was very lucky that she had so much help around her, from quick thinking Lucy (she speaks!) and then Bryony, and later Matt and Ken, all follow Rilla's command.

What a ghastly sight that must have been, but, those two having watched so many men die and not being about to do anything, I am sure they were glad to assist for the purpose of saving Davis' life.

It was a wise decision for Rilla not to give anesthesia, although, I was thinking back to the beginning of this story and those little lessons she received about anesthesia from a doctor, (pity, I cannot remember his name). I wondered for a moment if those lessons would be harkened back to. I supposed she learned better about the application of anesthesia during that time which aided her decision at this moment.

I'm happy that Rilla's work was complimented. She might think her stitches were poor, but the medical officer is clearly satisfied. Isn't a battalion large enough to have more than one medical officer in the ranks?

For a while, I was wondering if Rilla missed her calling and she should be a doctor too. But the way she needed to unwind in Ken's quarters tells me otherwise. She had no time to second guess herself during the operation and now that it is over, she has all the time to question her actions. Even with though it seems to be a success, the anxiety is allowed to run its course.

Ken complaining about Rilla's weight made me pop an eyebrow. Yes, it makes sense that she would still be recovering, but, for Ken to comment on it, the way her hands are absorbed into his own, and her sheer exhaustion following the surgery. I'm beginning to think she should resign so she can properly recuperate or maybe Captain Steele can request a nurse for this battalion and she can get a transfer and be with her husband in a clandestine fashion.

Happy new year, Rilla and Ken!

Oh-I was thinking a bit about the three dresses taken from the Germans. Are they compensated? Were they commandeered? Freely bestowed? This is occupied Germany under martial law, I'm not sure. It sounded at first that Matt and the factory owner were buds, but, yeah, that's probably not right.
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