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for Through the Dark Clouds shining (English version)

11/20/2021 c75 32Feux follet
Hello!

Persis! It's been a long time since we saw her! I'm glad we could see her there! The pink uniform made me laugh, but seriously, could the daughter of the people letting them use the place determine what the nurses and vad there would wear? Even if she plays her part in the administration, it just seems strange to think that she could - or, to say it otherwise, to think that someone would think that it is important for nurses to wear pink and no other color, and to ask them to be made with specific things like the apron. I'm sorry, I share Rilla's surprise here!

I was touched by the way you let the talking slip to a humorous tone with the pink uniform to a more serious and hard one with their time in France. From the letters Rilla received in the previous chapters, it was visible that she was tired, but I hadn't realize just how much. I think I was more worried about Rilla because she was right under my eyes, and we were seeing her fading away again, but now I just feel guilty I didn't saw before that Persis wasn't doing better!

On the other hand, the fact that Rilla tells her that everyone needs a break, and she deserved it touched me. Of course she deserved it! But we're often the last ones to realize that we need one, and here, it's even more important, after all she did, all the stress, the fear, the loneliness and helplessness when her patients were dying, and when she learnt about Leslie being ill too ... I can easily imagine how hard it must have been for her to carry on facing the patients dying while, for all she knew, her mother could be in the same condition and not being able to go to her ... Even if her experience differs from Rilla, I think both needs and largely deserves to go home and breathe. What's hard is to think that they won't let Persis come back home soon, apparently. Even if it is "already" march, it still means long months waiting, worrying, working, and even if she said the place where she is isn't very hard to work in, it's still a burden of pressure, isn't it?

If I can say this, I think it was very brave from Persis to do all she could to go in this place and get out of Rouen. It takes courage to carry on in a place where you're not well, but it takes a lot more to get out of it, and here, she did it by herself. She should be proud, even if I can't blame her for feeling guilty, because I would feel the same, but she shouldn't because she did what was right for her, and for now, that's the most important thing.

Also, the way she let go and talk about how hard it was, and how Ken didn't wrote to her - I hope he did since, because even if he had a lot to think about - and I don't deny it was hard to bear - they are lighter now, and he can't leave her like this! Also, it made me think about the first chapters, where Ken asked Rilla to discourage her from coming, thinking she wouldn't be able to survive the trauma, and wishing to protect her. She proved that she could do it. But now she need someone to take care of her, too, and listen at her. Just like Rilla did here, but I think it would be great if Ken could do it too. Especially as she's afraid of losing him now that he have Rilla, even if she just showed that she won't steal him from her.

Nan and Selina? I hadn't thought about them meeting, even less working together, but why not? It could be great! The idea to employ war widows is also an amazing idea, and if it helps Nan too, it's even more wonderful! Especially after this line : "her stories died when Jerry did". I couldn't immediately go back to my reading, but only look at the words. It just translates in a few and simple words all the suffering she had, and still have. I just hope we'll hear more about her before the end again - maybe see her? I'm only even more curious about their business!

Another moment made me stop in my reading, though. When Persis said that now, Rilla will have a "normal" life, being a wife, and then a mother, like society wanted women to be at that time, while her sisters will be working. It seems strange to think that Rilla won't get out of this frame, and I think / hope she won't remain in it. It seems almost wrong to imagine her stuck in a house, after all she went through, after all the work she did ... I don't mean to say that she won't enjoy resting for some time, because she needs it, but still ... Won't she be a "worming woman" too?

This chapter was amazing, as always, and I thank you for everything. Your story touches me a lot, and it's always a great moment to come and read it, even if I take some time doing it. It has a lot to do with the historical elements and background you manage to write in a realistic way - even more realistic than a lot of novels I read before - but it's also about the emotions, and the way you show your characters' emotions, paths and growing. Really, thank you for everything!
11/17/2021 c74 Feux follet
Hello :)

I enjoyed this chapter and the tension you put in it. It mustn't have been easy for Shirley to tell, and the way you show how defensive he is just proves it. It was interesting to see that right before their coming home. As if to put it there, so when Rilla will come home, it will be this, and not another thing. There is ... I don't really know how to put it, but a sense of I tell you now so when we're home, there's no question, but in the same time it's a bit I tell you, and I dare you to say otherwise, as well as a sort of asking for Rilla to accept it and be on his side, if we can say it like that. It was very moving to see this between them, especially as we know how close they are. I think it is very brave of Shirley to tell it to her - I think she's the first to know, but I'm afraid of a "blink it and you miss it" - and you really showed how important this was for them. I think it is also the first time we see them arguing, and it only increased the emotions of the scene.

First, I'm glad and relieved to know that Rilla is in England. I remember her saying that, after England, Canada is not far away - and the end of this story isn't either, unfortunately. I must say, at first I thought I had misread the place, so I needed to read it twice before being sure that yes, she was there, and there was no coming back to war - I know the war is over, but I think I'll only believe it when she'll be on Canada's soil.

Now, I was touched by how you pictured Shirley - and Carl - here, with a sense of both vulnerability and strong will. Well, not really strong will, but more like a strong will to defend each other - it's especially showing with Shirley here, but there is also Carl protecting Shirley by seeing them, by not forgetting him. It's true that Shirley is one of the most forgotten characters in this world, and Carl is following his path too. I don't know why, if LMM thought he would be just a "decorative" character, which is hard because she could simply have written him out. I don't know what she intended to do with him, I'm sure there is a meaning (or maybe that's what my literature analysis' path which leads me to think that, and if so I'm sorry), but it hurts to think of him being left aside.

Anyway, I understand why he was defensive, even though it is a bit hurtful. I already enjoyed it with Di and Mildred, but the way you show how uneasy it is for Rilla is very interesting, because even if he his her brother, there's all the stigmas from this period of time, and all the laws and everything, and you show how much it weights here in her reasoning. On another hand, maybe it would have been easier if Shirley did not play with cynical smiles, even if again, I can understand how uneasy it must be for him to tell, and how Rilla doesn't help either when she shouts back. The tension just rose up here in a short laps of time and it is incredibly done, and terribly realistic.

In a way, it reminded me about the rumors on Edward Brittain, and how he apparently did everything he could to be killed before a commission came down and asked him about his personal life. I don't know a lot about this, I don't really know if it is true or else - I read Testament a long time ago, and I can't remember if she talks about it. Anyway, when Shirley said they could be shot, it reminded me about him, and just to think that they used war to do this too ... I mean, they started a war, sent men go and fight there, started losing some of them, and then, learning about homosexuality of some of them, they tracked some of them down ... Each side said the other was full of monsters, but who's the monster in this?

The end was perfect, maybe because you didn't show the reunion with Carl - at least not yet, I don't know if it will be in the following chapter, but if it is, at least there would have been some space between them, and it give this scene much more strength, but maybe that's just me. And the way Shirley asked her not to hurt Carl - though there is also this feeling of "don't hurt me either" - and how Rilla promised, and it is the last word of this chapter is deeply meaningful!

Again, thank you for this chapter, and for everything really!
11/13/2021 c73 Feux follet
You did it again. At first, I was afraid to go and read the next chapters. After the last one, I was a bit nervous it would be a chapter about the flu again, and didn't know if I really wanted to go through two chapters about the flu in an evening after a hard day - emotionally speaking. The title hit me, but I wanted to try. And then, there was the saw again. And the previous chapters with the same sound came back to me, and it was a bit frightening. It was truly frightening when she accepted to go through the operation. But then, there was this scene where she admits she's tired, and starts crying, and the matron says she'll send her to the nurses hospital in advance, and then, in a few days, they'll go home together. There, I started crying too. I'm sorry for this, but in the same time, I want to thank you, because your story is always powerful, emotionally speaking, and I don't know why but I prefer stories like that, even if they're sad, just for that - though I wonder why, but that's another matter, sorry for the bother. So thank you. Thank you for this chapter, and for the good news!

Now, I'll try to elaborate this review better.

The first scene, with Bryony trying to decide Rilla to go with them and pointing that she was always tired was worrying, even if it was perfectly well described. The way you introduced her getting more and more tired, refusing to go out on evenings, and saying that she's going out, but only around one time by week, was particularly stressing. It felt like the moments after Walter's death. Even if it was less strong, it was there. I think there was also form of loneliness, here. I know she have Bryony and Lucy near her, but sometimes you just need one or some specific persons, and the fact that they're not here, next to you, is making you feel more lonely than if you really were. The way you translated this feeling here was terribly moving, and it was hard to witness her like this. There was the letters, too - and the fact that like when she was in the other hospital, she asked Gilbert some advice and treated her as an equal, in a way, was very powerful again, and makes me wonder about how things will be when she'll truly be home - but in the same time, it makes the distance bigger. I was glad to have news from Shirley, though!

But the worst really happened when olive came to fetch her and bring her to the operating theater. The sentence "can a doorway be menacing" was truly one of the best ways to show it. You did an amazing work in describing her going slowly into the room, trying to control her emotions, and I was particularly touched by how you gave each step a line, to show how hard and important it was for her. I wasn't expecting a little boy either, and it increased the tension, but the worst came with the saw and its sound. The way you put it, since a few chapters, is quite haunting, as the sound is for Rilla. And the way you show this "automatic feeling" - I don't really know how to call it, apart maybe from the "survival mode" like the other time - ... Again, I admire her strength. Not many could have go over their trauma again like this, even for a few moments, and she's done it twice. I just hope for her that it was the last time.

And again, I thank you for the last scene. For Rilla, admitting to herself that she's too tired, she can't carry on - the fact that she accepted to go without protesting was maybe the most powerful clue about her condition -, and the matron who's telling her that indeed, she's tired, she needs to rest, and after a few days, they'll come home together ... The first word to hit me there was "home". And then "together". Because they lived this war together, like sisters in arms, and fought against death and saw horrors and ... Home. Together. It's just a relief!

Thank you so much for this chapter! It was one of the best here, I think, and I can only applaud you for all your work, and your amazing writing! Thank you!
11/13/2021 c72 Feux follet
You know what's strange? Reading this chapter with the covid crisis around, knowing it was written before all of this, but recognizing expressions here and there which are now deeply linked to the actual crisis. I think that the word which hit me the most was "wave". It was like reading about the covid situation, even if the historical side helped to put it a bit in distance, but not so much, because to think that they didn't have all the ways we have now to take care of those patients is frightening. I'm sorry, I hadn't realized how much it had mark us before. Only here and there, small touches, but here it is everywhere - I don't mean that you wrote it badly, on the contrary! It's just that it is particularly strong and it was the first thing I could see, I'm sorry, I hope it won't be too visible in the rest of my review

Just another note before I really start, but a more funny one : Does this strange mixture with the eggs really exists? It really sounds horrible!

Your descriptions are dramatically realistic, and it mustn't have been easy for you to write them. It certainly wasn't easy to read them, but in the same time, it felt right, the words felt right. The tension in Rilla's thoughts made me think back about the days where she was working in the CCS. I know it's not the same, the dangers are not the same, but still, there is this same emergency feeling, the same need to go to one bed to the other quickly, to fight against death at all times, to see and live things nobody should see nor live - and the blood. It was haunting the scene, like an old ghost.

It was hard to see them all suffering like this, especially as we know what they all went through. To think that they thought it would be over, they would go home and try to rebuild what could be, and now they're suffering from this, even dying from this. It was very powerful to read that the blankets made her think about the flowers on the graves. They survived obuses, and balls, and else, and now they're dying because of the flu, it's just ... It's just revolting, and the worst is that it's not like the war, something which could have been stopped long ago if some men's egos hadn't been what they were - I know, I'm exaggerating a bit - while this, this can't be stopped like that, and it's right after those fours years of hell ...

I was also moved by how you showed that Rilla isn't fully recovered yet, like when she's shaking after helping the patients to sit down, or when the patient with delirium is pushing her back. I hope she will be alright. I know it's silly to say this here, and that way, but we can't nearly-lose her again. Not after all of this.

There is a feeling which came often with this chapter, as if Rilla was opening her eyes again. I don't mean it badly, I don't really know how to put it in another way, but I'll try. What I mean is that with the flu, she didn't see the first wave, unlike Lucy and Bryony. After it, it took her some time to recover, it still does, and it was like an awakening, sometimes sweet - like seeing Ken again, visiting places, etc - sometimes harder - like when she saved the soldier's life - but here, she really opens her eyes on what's left, and this feeling of wanting to go home, too, as if another wave of loneliness was hitting her - which is understandable because Ken is gone again, they're all exhausted and this situation is impossible to live. But maybe that's just me!

The last moment, where she turned to the patient, but said he was already dead moved me a lot. I know there is always hope, but here it's suffocating, and there seem to have no escape for anyone. You really gave this scene the atmosphere we all lived, and it felt particularly true, so thank you for your work! It's amazing, as always!
11/11/2021 c1 audiotrope
This is almost too sad to be reading on Armistice Day, but I'm trusting it gets happier. Poor Rilla. Poor soldiers. Which one is she saying goodbye to...
11/10/2021 c71 Feux follet
This chapter was very moving, for me. I don't know why it particularly hit me, but it caught me.

First of all, thank you for the visit and all the informations you gathered in Radley's speech! I went to see some pictures on google, to really picture it in my mind, and it reminded me a bit of Clermont-Ferrand's cathedral - the structure, not the stones used. I quite enjoyed Radley's explanations, and how he allowed us to learn more about this place which I didn't know before - I'm sorry, I think he was supposed to be a bit annoying, but honestly I really liked to read those informations, but that's maybe just me, I know how I am when I can learn more about history. I'm glad to see that he and Lucy were getting closer, and wish them the best! Also, I had a question, if I may ask. Lucy here reminds me a bit of Lucy in By a simple twist, and I was wondering if it was just me or if there was something, like a link, between them?

What touched me was how, without concerting before, both Ken and Rilla thought about Walter, what he would think about this cathedral, how he would have visited it. There was something deeply powerful here, even more since Ken said before that he didn't know if he had the right to mourn Walter like a brother, knowing that he wasn't and that he was "only" his brother-in-law. I may have say it before, so I apologize for it, but I was really touched by this scene, and how you brought the question about legitimity in grief in your story. Here, I was a bit relieved, because Ken seemed to allow himself to feel more, and to talk about about Walter. It was a very sweet but powerful moment.

It feels as if, every time they take a step out of war, trying to regain some normality, if there can be normality again, war come up again and hit them. Or, to say it better, like a wound you are trying to heal, and every time it starts to look better, someone cut it again. Like Rilla, I thought this was the last step, that after Germany, they would go home. And now, he's going away again ... I'm a bit selfish here, I'm sorry. They are not the only ones suffering from this, and Germay is suffering too, under the boots of the "victorious side" - and you showed it perfectly with the little girl, I'll come back to it (sorry, it looks a bit like a mess) - but after all they went through, you just want the to finally find peace. The war is officially over, but unofficially, it really is still there for everyone. I just wonder when a war really ends. Is it when the last building is rebuilt? When the last injured heals? When the last soldier / nurse / civilian comes home? When the nightmare ends? But do they really end? I know that now a lot is done to help the ones with PTSD, but then, there wasn't anything ... I'm sorry, I let myself be a bit carried away with that, sorry! Now, I wonder what Rilla will do ...

I was touched when Bryony said to Rilla that she knew she wouldn't be able to go the end of the stairs, that she's still trying to recover, but didn't succeed yet, at least not entirely. In the chapter before the last one I read, if I remember correctly, Ken said something about it too, that she was still fragile, even though she's strong, and Rilla said she had been really ill. When we hear Rilla's point of view, she / you don't let it be too much visible, and I think she's doing the same with the others, hiding it or at least trying to, but they see her, they see how much energy it is taking from her, and it is becoming more and more visible. What I mean is that you really show it perfectly in your writing, and for that I admire you, because she could hide it from the others and think about it when she's alone in her thoughts, but even there she doesn't let it out so much, as if she was trying to hold it together to prevent it from breaking into thousand of pieces. I just hope that the fact it is becoming more and more visible doesn't mean she's not relapsing, but more acknowledging the fact that she should breathe and be careful.

But what touched me the most was when Rilla saw the little girl. It was a short scene, and somehow, something which could happen everyday but so powerful! I think that it is precisely the fact that it could happen everyday which makes it even more strong. Because Rilla and the others heard for so much time that the Germans were monsters, and saw the atrocities of war in the same time - I think it was the same on each side, but each side saw their own side (sorry, I'm losing my words, I don't know it it is very clear ...) - and to see that, behind the uniforms, the trenches, everything really, they're just humans like them is something they aren't accustomed to. I truly enjoyed how you brought it here, with the little girl observing her - I really loved this moment where the little girl "turns around" Rilla a bit, as one would turn around something unknown to try to understand it - and then the game, it was truly powerful, even more because there wasn't a single word exchanged between them. You just brought them back to their humanity, both of them, and there was no Canadian/German, and the last sentence, "you are no monster" ... Really, it was amazing! You did a marvelous job here, and I can only thank you for this. Like I said, it particularly hit me, and I think that, if more people could read this, maybe there would be less place for war, because like you showed it perfectly here, we're all humans, before being anything else.

Thank you, truly, for this chapter and the message you carried here!
11/2/2021 c70 Feux follet
So, tonight I decided I could take some time for me, which means another chapter for me, and another review for you :)

First of all, can I say that I was particularly moved by the title you chose here? It was a perfect one to show that, despite everything, there is still life. On another hand, you perfectly shown how strange this life was, with the line about dancing in an old factory after doing an operation on her own. The way you added the elements on one line was perfect, and just added to the feeling of strangeness.

I enjoyed the dance scene, and how you managed to describe it while introducing the talking too. It certainly was interesting to know more about Matt! I don't know why, but it seems natural to have a character like him being friend with Ken. Despite all the jokes, you can feel that the other soldiers are not the only ones to feel respect for him. It transpires in his words, too, and it is a very moving thing to read about. I'm also glad for Lucy and Radley, and hope we'll learn more about them in the next chapters!

On another hand, like Rilla, I'm glad Ken wasn't alone when she was ill. But I'm quite nervous about the way he handles alcohol. We already saw it when they learnt about the hospital ship, and now of course when she was ill it certainly wasn't going to help, but ... I can't help being afraid about where it might go. Matt stopped him once, alright, but as it is a coping mechanism, a single "stop it" won't work for every occasion, will it? I wonder how things will go ...

Well, if Rilla didn't, I certainly thought he was still living with his parents, I'm sorry. But I'm glad he left his flat to Di and Mildred! I like how you built their relationship through the story, with small glimpses all along, but always important ones. Also, about the fact that they're thinking about going back to Toronto, I think that it is marvelous! Maybe because the way you spoke about the Glen and how Rilla perceived it particularly hit and moved me - her explanation was great! - or maybe because I have the feeling that Toronto truly belongs to them. They both spent some time there before the war, as young adults, and they were free to live the way they wanted to - read: without the Glen's rumors and thoughts. So it makes sense to imagine them going back there together. I can't wait to read about it! (Just a small worry and a question: What will happen to their little house in Bretagne? Will they keep it and come there again? - even off your story, in your imagination, what happens to the little home?)

I liked how you ended this chapter, with a look towards the future. I can't wait to discover what it will bring them!
Now, I realize that there are only eleven chapters to go before the end ... It may seem strange, to have a preference for stories with so much historical and emotional basis, but I can certainly say that, even if I absolutely enjoyed By a simple twist of fate, this story marked me more, and I can truly say that it will certainly haunt me for some time. Your writing, the way you always added new informations and facts while allowing us to follow Rilla, Ken and the others through war ... Yes, it's amazing. I admire your work, and can only thank you for sharing it with us!
11/2/2021 c69 Feux follet
If Rilla ever doubts her capacities again, I hope someone will come and remind her what she did that day. To save someone in such conditions, but moreover with a phobia like she have, was beyond bravery. I often heard that, in hard conditions, you just do the things, without taking the time to think or fret about it. You proved it multiple times in your story, but here it is deeply meaningful.

But first of all, I was touched by how you show how easily their mind can jump to the worst, when Matt said that Ken wasn't there (not in a bad way!). Again, the war is over, but it left many marks and wounds, along its way. They all spent four years worrying for their relatives, while seeing what could happen to them. No wonder Rilla thinks about all that could have happen to Ken, while he's just away for the army.

A "cage"? But they're not animals!
I only heard recently about the camps like that, and I know there was some in France, though now they are doing all they can (and succeeding) to make everyone forget about it, but is unfair, and wrong, and revolting. Like Ken said in a previous chapter, the men they faced didn't run away. They did what every soldier of every country did. As they were told. But behind the country thing, which is highly subjective if you ask me, they were all men, trying to save their lives, and obey orders. Nothing more, nothing less. Uniforms apart, they were the same. So maybe they won, alright, but it doesn't give them the right to control the German soldier's lives. It doesn't give them the right to act like that. Wasn't there enough suffering all around? If it had been the other way around, how would everyone would have reacted if the Germans had done the same? Humanity's taste for things like that will never cease to horror me. And again, maybe it is a modern point of view of someone who never knew war, but come on, if everyone sit down for a minute and think about it, doesn't it seems absurd?
(sorry, this was a bit long, especially seeing that it was a small part, I'm sorry)

On another hand, Lucy shouting at the man who wanted to take out the piece of metal was quite something. The thing is, you showed her very quiet, so when she shouted, it was immediately visible that something was very wrong and everyone should act quickly. To think that, if she hadn't been there to see it, the soldier would have take it out and the other one wouldn't have stand a chance. Just for a matter of seconds. It's frightening to think how fast life can topple irremediably.

The way you wrote Rilla's thoughts after this, with the "too far", "too late", etc was very effective, I think. It shows how quickly she seize the situation, puts her fears aside - or at least try to push them away - and think about a plan to save this man. As if she wasn't herself, but was very much herself too (this is very confused, I'm sorry). To say it in another way, it's just as if something in her was acting, like a sort of "survival mode", putting everything aside, and she only comes back to her when it is all over. Also, the way you describe the operation was breath-taking, because the feeling of emergency is so strong that you can just hold your breath until it is over. As always, I applaud you for your work on this, because the way you name the instruments, the gestures, and everything really, was perfect in its precision. I don't know on which documents you worked to write this operation - and the others - but you did an amazing job!

I liked the fact that Ken came back and saw her doing it. But I'm mostly glad he was there after the operation. The way she comes back to herself and feel again, and feels all the emotions was very well written. Also, it might be a detail, but the fact that you had her without her uniform there, and under a blanket added a lot to this feeling of coming back to her spirits. Like Ken said, she's both fragile and not fragile. Fragile and strong. I was touched by this, and by how Ken understood that she wasn't feeling well and they took a moment to just "be". No words, just knowing that the other is breathing, that they made it through - especially Rilla - was very powerful.

All I can wish to them is a beautiful 1919's year, and the same for the following ones - you know, I hope this story ends before the rumours about Hitler, because to have survive this war thinking it would be the last one, and now another one is coming ... (Yes, I know, I should be happy that they made it and don't know yet about what's coming, but it keeps haunting me, since I started reading this story). Again, your writing is amazing, and I can only thank you for sharing this story with us!
11/1/2021 c68 Feux follet
(sorry, I'm writing on my phone because my computer won't work, but I'm a bit clumsy with that, sorry!)

So, I was writing that Rilla surely won the prize of broken thermometers. But it is something very touching, in a way, because it went through the whole war, she never lost it. She changed, of course, and for the better moreover, but there are still few little details to remind us about the girl who came to Europe, not knowing what was expecting her.

I enjoyed the other soldiers scenes, between the serious cases and the lighter ones. I hadn't fully realized that the war was over, and I think it may still need time - I think I won't fully believe it until they put a foot on Canada's soil, but I thank you for reminding that the injuries are not the same. It's strange, though, to think that just a few months before, they were still in the middle of it, not knowing if they would see an end to it. I hope that the soldier with the appendicitis which ks worst than for the two others will make it. It would be cruel to think that he made it alive through the war and died because of this. It's cruel for every man and woman who dies this way. On another hand, the soldier who didn't want to see general Currie made me smile. More than a mother, Rilla made me think about an older sister, helping her little brother to escape. I could picture his smile in my head, when she told him he could avoid it by looking for another place. And the two soldiers who wanted to go to the Christmas dinner ... The way you gave each of them enough space to be and talk with Rilla was great, and it really touched me to see her like this, after all she went through!

I enjoyed the letters part, too, and how you list the ones she received, and add some comments on it. I'm glad if Nan is feeling well in Toronto! Maybe she could live there, near her sister? I wonder what you arr planning for her, but I trust you with it :) On another hand, what touched me the most was when you said it would be the first Christmas without Walter and Susan. Christmas is one of the hardest steps in mourning, and the way you wrote about it was very powerful! Maybe because Christmas is about traditions and rituals, gatherings and laughing, and you think about the traditions which will never be the same again, or the laughs you'll never hear again ..

Which is why I thank you for the moment right after this thought, where we could see Moustache again. It was very thoughtful of Ken to send him, and not another, to bring her the gift - and what gift! This gift was perfect, and the way you show how she perceives Walter's poems differently now was very moving. I liked the linked you did between both notebooks, and how you changed the mourn from the other chapter into a quiet hope, which was only confirmed by Di and Connie's package. It reminded me about the flowers Jem used to bring to Anne, which were brought by Walter, then by Bruce during the story. It was very moving, and I loved the fact that it came from Di and Connie.

In all this chapter, there is this thought that they're still under the tunnel, but they can now see, or at least feel, that there is light at its end. hat someday it will be alright again, just like in "Perhaps" by Vera Brittain. Thank you so much for this chapter, which I think is now right under Gallou's one. It was heartwarming, and despite all the pain you can feel in Rilla, there is still this little light which is burning again, and which I hope will never cease to be bright. Thank you so much!

Ps. Also, in my first but incomplete review, I said it was their last Christmas touched by war, but paradoxically, it is also the first one out of it, and I think you translated this feeling of being in-between in the most perfect way!
11/1/2021 c68 Feux follet
I truly enjoyed this chapter, both strongly melancholic and hopeful. You always manage to put the emotions needed, and make us feel them so strongly, that once again I ended up crying in front of my screen - but not like sobs, like soft, quiet tears. There is a sense of all that they've lost, and all that is lying in front of them, and this chapter felt a bit like a turning point. Maybe because it is the last Christmas touched by war - of course, now all of their Christmases will have something bittersweet, but they will be home, without soldiers or patients around.

The young soldier made me smile with his stubbornness. I bet he still tried to get up from his wheelchair in front of general Currie, though - after making sure Rilla wasn't around. It was fun to read that she still couldn't take a thermometer without breaking it. I think she won the
10/24/2021 c67 Feux follet
Sorry for being this late again!
This chapter was very poignant. Very heavy, but needed, and absolutely well written.

I enjoyed the way you put the interrogations about the Kaiser in their talk. It reminded me about Vera Brittain's interrogations. The first impulse would be to say, like Rilla, that he should be put in a trial, at least, then into prison, at most, but then, like Ken said, what good would it do? It felt particularly powerful when he said that it wouldn't bring them back. I admire Ken for saying that right after the war. I thought Rilla would be the one having this side of the question, but I'm agreeably surprised to see it is the reverse.

It is easy for me, a girl who thankfully never experienced war and its torments, to say that I am against executions and vengeance. I can only hope I would be the same under this, but that's all. For him, who lost his friends, and his men, and himself a bit, too, in this, for them who went through so much - and it seems that, even if the war is over, it will still be long before going back home for good, and it will only be a step -, to say that he (they, because I think he wasn't alone) stands against vengeance, yes, I find that particularly brave and strong. Just like Vera Brittain.

As for Rilla thoughts on the victor's side who takes their ease, I find that particularly true. But again, that's just me, and my non-experience.

I was also particularly touched by how you let them express their fear about the future. It must have been strange, and scary, to think that something you lived for so much times, which leaded you to places you never thought you would see, situations you wish you never lived, which was horrible was now gone and you could live again ... But how? I like the way you describe how it affects both Rilla and Ken in different ways.

The moment with the picture, and the "Greensleeves" mention was perfect. Like a small moment of peace, washing away the shadows who are still running around. I like the way you put this through a constant hesitation between the pain from what happened, and the joy of being alive, being together, being able to live together here, which immediately brings back the fear of losing it.

It is even more true when Rilla discovers the list. It's heartbreaking to think of all these men, and of the way Ken remembers them, through this diary (the fact that his writing changes here was particularly meaningful), and by memorizing their names ... I can't imagine how awful it must be, to have these men under your commands and not being able to save them, to bring them home safe.

I'm glad Rilla could talk with him about it, about she felt about Walter, and about the fact that in the end, they couldn't do anything more, and the sole fact that he memorize their names just proves that if there had been something more to be done, he would have done it. It's not his fault, nor his guilt to bear. And when he said that he was reassured by the proximity of the tranches, because it meant he could go there and do it if Rilla had lose her life ... It just brought back the memories of Jerry, and Nan ... he shouldn't have been put in this situation. No one should have.

Also, just a small note, but I was particularly touched by how Ken said that he wasn't sure he could mourn Walter, at least not like a brother, because he was Rilla's true brother, not his. It particularly hit me, and I thank you for putting words on this. Sorry for this small note.

There is a strange atmosphere, because we know the war is over, and they know it, but there is still this feeling that it could start again tomorrow, and that, in a way, there is a need of tiptoeing to not awake it again. In the previous chapter, Rilla said it was about taking it step by step. I thank you for taking the time to show us all of them. Thank you for all your work, too. You really are an amazing writer!
10/17/2021 c66 Feux follet
I enjoyed this chapter, and I thank you for all the good laughs! It was great :)

I'm glad Rilla could go with Lucy and Bryony! I enjoyed their dynamic, and the scene it created when Rilla told the driver that he could go, between Lucy's reason, Bryony's jokes, and Rilla telling them that she was married to Ken, just as she would have tell them she was Canadian. I was wondering if she had told them, now I have the answer! I loved the succession of "What?" from Bryony, it was funny to see her reacting that way.

I was touched by the young private who asked Rilla who she was, and when she replied that she was the girl from the picture, he said "You really are, Ma'am", though like Rilla, I wonder how many people saw it. There is a lot of questions about how Rilla should be called, in this chapter. The war is over, but not their work, so to tell she's married is a bit risky - though, a lot less than during the war. On another hand, the fact that it is more and more important since a few chapters, that she starts to tell about it to more people, seems to be a good sign, both for her - she's starting to see a future ahead after so many weeks of grief and pain, and that's amazing - and for the end of her work - in a way, it makes the end of war more and more real, and more something of the past, which doesn't belong here and now, and which won't touch them more than it already did (I hope).

"Maybe I should have told him". I'm sorry, but I couldn't help laughing about this! It was so much like Rilla, and the way Ken laughed when he saw her made it real. Of course, she wouldn't tell him before arriving safe and sound and come to say "hello, guess who's here". It was great to see it happening this way. It was also a reminder that they didn't see each other since a long time, and in the meantime, Walter died, she nearly followed him, and the war ended. Maybe that's just me, but I couldn't picture the scene without thinking that behind his laugh, there was some tears ready to fall (even if they would have only be inside). There was something really soft, here, but maybe that's me projecting something, sorry.

I enjoyed how you pictured the scene with Matt, too. He seems to be quite the joker, here, and there was something with him which truly get along with the chapter. A sense of laughing, and being relieved. It didn't felt hard to think that war was now ended, while in the previous chapters, its claws were still clinging everywhere, in a way. As if to say that from now one, it would be alright.

I thank you for all the informations you gave here about those places. I didn't know about the yellow thing, and it is those small details which makes it even more real, and horrible to think that they went through this. Also, what I said about the tears came back to me when they talked about the munitions factory, and how Ken told Rilla that, even if he was scared for her when she was working in the train ambulance, he was glad she wasn't one of those girl who worked there. And the fact that many of them died just two days before the end of war ... It's as if for them, the war will carry on forever ... As for Ken and Rilla, I stand with her on the fact that they'll need to talk about this. It's not that there is a sense of false joy, you can see that they are truly happy and relieved to see each other alive, and there is definitely this sense of hope about the future, but you can feel the heavy shadows behind, too, and the need to get them out before they start taking all the place. It will take time to recover from this, to live "normally" after this, but it can't fall into silence either. I think it did for too many peoples before.

After Matt, I was glad to meet Pat, and I like the idea of Ken giving Nellie to him, though it makes me think about the people who owned her before. I know many horses weren't returned to their first owners, and I know many of them were killed, which isn't fair, and from this point of view it's better that Pat gets Nellie, but still, I can't help but think about the ones who had her before (I know, it's naive and idealistic, and maybe the owners didn't even wanted her because of her temper, I'm sorry).

As always, thank you for everything!
Take care :)
10/17/2021 c65 Feux follet
I was surprised, at first, when I read Germany. For a moment, I feared that Ken had been injured or was sick, and that Rilla, now that many people know about her wedding, had left to go to his side. It's interesting to see how, from a few words, you can imagine something totally different! I was reassured when I saw that no, Ken was not injured and wasn't sick (at least, not for now), and that Rilla was in Germany to continue nursing. We often know more about the war than about what followed its end, so even if I knew that some soldiers remained and even went to Germany, I hadn't thought about the nurses going there too, though it makes sense.

I was glad to meet Bryony and Lucy (the way you described her made me laugh!), and I'm sure the first would get along with Colette without problem! She made me think about her and Tim in the first moments, when she takes the letters from the orderly. Both have this "I don't care what you think of me as long as you don't bother me" and this strength which makes them quite powerful characters! I know, I surely already told you this, but I like the way you build strong female characters, and how you make them interacts. It's just amazing, and truly empowering to read about them. It's even more true with Rilla, because we see her doubts, and how she faces them, we see her grow, and maybe we grow with her, in a way. I just hope we won't lose Lucy, and have more glimpses of her!

The letters' part was amazing, too. I'm glad Nan wrote the "don't worry, everyone is well" as the first words. There is something about opening a letter, or answering the phone in troubled times, which often makes you wish you didn't have to open it, to answer to it, because you don't know if what you're going to learn is going to be good or bad news. It was true in the books, when Rilla said that, at first, she wouldn't answer the phone. It's true here, except that this time, she's in the middle of the situation. And it's still true nowadays. I enjoyed how you described Nan's letter - I'm not sure if I told you, but in the previous chapter too, I particularly liked how you built it without putting it all, but describing it and adding quotes. In the previous chapter, Nan's letter allowed Rilla to be honest, and now Rilla's letter allowed Nan to be honest, too. There was something very powerful here, in how you take one step at a time, but with the help of your loved ones.

Which brings me to Anne's letter. I'm so glad Rilla could have one, after so much time of silence! There is something hard when you need the words of someone, but this person can't deliver them to you, nor listen to you. Here, it was like breathing again. For one, because Anne is getting better, and even if it will take time for everyone to grieve, it was reassuring to see her taking the pen again and writing to her daughter. Also, because you managed to bring this wave of relief so well ... It's very much like Anne to ask her if she can still call her that way, and the way you described Rilla's reaction to these words was perfect. Thank you for this moment! It was also particularly interesting to see how Rilla described the fact she felt like a grown-up, just after reading her mother's letter. I liked how you wrote this!

It was interesting to see this matron after so much time. When Rilla started to talk about her wedding, though, I was a bit nervous. I wonder, but the matron seemed to like Dr Murray very much, and doesn't seem to have overcome her hopes to see Rilla and him not being together. I'm sure it's more complicated than that, and she just wanted Rilla's happiness, but she really doesn't seem able to forget him, because the first thing she thinks about is that Rilla changed her mind, not on the wedding matter, but on the person's matter (I don't think this sentence is very correct, I'm sorry). I'm glad Rilla could tell her that no, she hadn't changed her mind on him, and that she was married to Ken. But yes, there is something strange. I had the feeling that she was supporting the idea of Rilla marrying Dr Murray, but not Ken. I'm surely doing a mistake, and maybe she supported the idea of Dr Murray but after everything would have been done, but ... I don't know, it was very strange. But maybe that's just me! After all, she jokes and doesn't say anything, she doesn't report Rilla, so she must support it, but Dr Murray's shadow is very heavy there. But in the end, I'm glad she let Rilla go to Ken!

I'm running to the next chapter to see them :) But as always, thank you for all your work, and for your chapters!
10/16/2021 c64 Feux follet
This chapter was amazing, as always!

I enjoyed how you described Rilla here. It was reassuring to learn that she had extended her tasks to more medical ones, in a way, even if the thermometers are suffering from this - I like the way you made this joke run into this story! There is this feeling that, even if she cannot be the girl who came here, two years ago, anymore, that she found herself in the middle of this chaos. You talked about it in the later scenes, but there is this thing about nursing which makes her feel whole again which is very powerful. It was visible when she lit up the cigarette for the soldier. It was also fun to read that she was trying to escape this place to find a more interesting one to nurse.

As for the morphine case, it was interesting to see it through Rilla's eyes, because at first, we're like her, thinking about the flu, though finding it strange when she says that the doctor already made his round. The idea that she couldn't see it before because she was in the first steps of their care pathway made me wonder about how each of the medical staff lived the war differently. I wonder, did some nurses and doctors remained in England for the whole war, or did the authorities sent them all at least once in France? Anyway, I was touched by this scene, and how Rilla made everything she could to help him feeling more at ease.

I'm a bit worried for Persis. It must be hard to be sent away from Tim, as he was the last one of the "first team", if I may call it this way. The fact that she is "tired" doesn't seem to be a good sign, I hope she'll be okay! It must be hard to know that the war is over, and yet there are still so much of its wounds to close.
Paddy! I'm so glad we could have some news, and know that Molly waited for him! I wish them the best!

Poor Lionel. I like how you built his character, and how they complete each others, with Jem. But I'm sure he would prefer to see Jem trying to convince his little sister to go back home, or wait only as Ken's wife, than doing it himself. On another hand, it allows a lot more of listening, I think, even though I'm sure Jem would listen to what Rilla wants to say, too. Now, I just wonder, did he know about Rilla's wedding? Did Jem told him, or was it Rilla? Even if the war is over, I can't help but fear a little bit for Rilla, if everyone learns that she married but didn't resigned. On another hand, I really enjoyed how he asked her why she wanted to stay as a nurse, and her answer was impressive. It made me wonder what she will do, when both her and Ken will be back in Canada. Will she remains a nurse? You said in a previous chapter that they were going to spend some time in the House of Dreams, so will they take some weeks to rest, before going back to Toronto, or will they stay "for good" in the Glen?

Yes! The telegram was perfect! It's just simple, short words, but with so much effects! It worth all the long letters, I think!

Again, thank you for your amazing work!
10/15/2021 c63 Feux follet
I'm sorry again for all the time I take, I'm truly sorry.

First of all, I was touched by the title you chose here, and the song behind it. Thank you as always for the discoveries!

It was reassuring to see Rilla fighting her way like this, taking it step by step, but taking it anyway. It's a very powerful picture, and the way you linked it to the stairs was great. It's true that, when everything feels alright, we don't look at things, not truly, and we think they are just normal, until we can't do them. I enjoyed how the matron interrupted her, though, and how she asked her what she wanted to do. It was like seeing someone trying to negotiate with a child - not a bad thing at all! It's also impressive to see her trying to go back to work, even though she's not fully stable yet. It was a good sign that, even though it will take time, she's on the good road.

I can imagine how pressured Lionel can feel, because answering to Jem doesn't seem to be an agreeable thing to do, but behind if Ken learns that they let Rilla overwork and tired herself, it will be worst. I'm glad he step in and helped Rilla going back to the patients'. I find them very kind, too, especially when one of them told her that they were afraid she wouldn't recover, and the "ghost" nickname would become true, or when he said that daylight suited her. It was a short moment, but you really managed to touch the emotions here, and it was very sweet of him, of them, to say!

The letter's scene moved me a lot, too. The fact that she started by Nan's was a powerful thing, because it immediately takes us back to the secret Rilla and Shirley are sharing, along with the pain Nan endured, and is still enduring. It hit me when I read the "I don't know if this letter will reach you", just after the moment she talked about her last letter to Walter coming back to her. It must be both paralyzing and "liberating" to write a letter, after this. Paralyzing because she don't even know if Rilla is still alive, and she still have the memory of writing to Walter and knowing after that that it was too late, but in the same time liberating because she doesn't know if someone will read her words, and I had the feeling that she was talking a lot more about what she experienced, about what she felt. There was something very powerful here, which reminded me about the first chapter (after the prologue), where Rilla talks about her sisters. In that chapter, there was a feeling of "growing against" (not against for being against someone, but for choosing another path, not being the same), while here, there was this feeling of "growing together", at least confessing to each other, trusting each other (not that they didn't trust each other before, but it wasn't the same relationship - I'm sorry, I hope it's not too tangled) which was very interesting and deeply moving!

And the fact that this letter helped her write about what happened, after Walter's poems helped her going back to life, was a strong picture which touched me a lot. All in all, this chapter was moving, and also full of hope, because even if the road isn't paved, even if there are still obstacles on it, I had the feeling that it will be alright. Maybe not yet, but it will. Thank you for this!
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