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for Through the Dark Clouds shining (English version)

11/2/2021 c69 32Feux 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!
10/10/2021 c62 Feux follet
I'm sorry it took me so long to recover and come back, but I'm so glad I finally can! And this chapter was amazing :)

I always enjoyed the chapters where you have only two characters, talking about what happened, what they feel about it, how they listen and support each others. You did a marvelous job here! I was touched by how you pictured the scene between Rilla and Jem. It's both full of mischief, as if they were still children teasing each others, and yet there is this gravity, not only start of adulthood but war gave them and that can't be shaken from their shoulders anymore. It was very powerful!

Jem taking the mirror of her hands, teasing her with the telegram, then eating a lot made me smile. There is something amazing with this characters, he can have all those serious talks, there will always be something luminous about him. I'm glad he guessed, then asked the confirmation to Walter, and I enjoyed how he confessed writing to his parents to prevent Rilla from going. But what touched me the most is how he explained he felt responsible for all of them. As the oldest, I can say it feels this way.

It was also moving to read about Rilla's explanations about the letters, how she tried to write about her wedding, then about Walter, and just couldn't. There is this thing about words. If you write them, they become true, and you can't go back. The way both talked about the ones they loves, about their siblings - the passing of Walter, Shirley being a kind of enigma to his own relatives - about the "what if"'s was very powerful too.

I particularly enjoyed this chapter, and how you built Jem and Rilla's relationship. It was a great thing to see them together, and speak so honestly and - in a way - as equals. Scenes like this one are truly missing, in the books. I'm glad we can have them here :) Thank you, as always, for your amazing work!
10/3/2021 c61 Feux follet
Twelve of November! They made it! They made it! I though this day would never come, but finally, it's here!

(Sorry for this, it's maybe the only thing which can brings enthusiasm, with Jem's presence here)

Now, I don't know where to start. I was relieved to see that Jem had come, and that he was the first one Rilla saw when she woke up. I loved how he took care of her, helping her to sit down, to drink, then coming back to his old self, joking about the flu being on every paper - no, sorry, only the pages 4 and 5. It was reassuring to have him there. And it was emotional to see how, without many words, they showed how Walter's death had mark them - and who can blame them for this?

It was hard to wait for all the names, those who made it, those who are still fighting, and those who were defeated. But like Rilla, I want to ask: Doesn't Death have enough, sometimes? Was she obliged to take sweet little Bruce? And Susan? Strong Susan who would always defend them, even if she had to correct them after! Why them? Why? It's like jumping from one death to the other, it never ends. No wonder Jem was so worried about his son!

I can imagine him, not eating until he knew he was safe! I was touched by how you described his fear, though, and how he thought about the love he have for him. To think of all these children who started their lives without knowing their fathers, then seeing men coming home and to have to adjust to this ... It reminds me about how my grand-father told me about his first encounter with his father, after WW2. He was very young when his mother send him to her sister, because she couldn't take care of them all. When the war ceased, his mother called him back, told him a man would come, that he had to call him dad. He called him sir and got a slap for answer.

I'm glad Ian is feeling better, and Nan and Anne, too! Now, I just hope that Mildred and Di will get better! And Rilla, too! I can imagine how Ken asked to have the telegrams every day, and how Jem asked Dr. Everett - it was great to have a name to put on his face! - to send the telegram to him, so he could send him to Ken after. enjoyed how you went directly after the Armistice, it was particularly well done to only have it after! But what a shock it must be to wake up after two weeks and hear that the war is over ... But it is, and I hope Rilla won't go back to work, after what she experienced, at least not right after walking again. I know that there are still a lot to do, and that the Armistice didn't make all the injured soldiers magically get better, but maybe, for the first time since a long moment, she can take some time for herself. Just for herself.

As always, thank you for all your work! I'm sorry, I don't dare to go and look at the next chapter, in case it brings bad news again, but for all your chapters, the ones I read and the ones I can't wait to discover, thank you. Thank you so much!
10/3/2021 c60 Feux follet
There seems to be no word to describe the way you wrote this chapter and Rilla's grief. As if a words would be too strong, and break the soft gentleness you brought here, along the terrible moments grief creates. But you write it in the best way possible. It was a very powerful depiction of it, of her pain, how it overwhelms her and her world to the point were she goes numb. You took the time to describe a world going fast, but without face, without name, without colors for Rilla, walking slowly through all those dark shadows grief brings. It felt very true when you said that her head was working, and that it was "just" her emotions which were blocked.

I was particularly touched when you said that the others had started by inviting her to come with them, to ask her how she was, but that it slowly stopped - except for this young doctor who keeps asking her how she feels. I had the same feeling when you said that some patients were calling her a ghost, and when she says that she can't bear the sun. She shuts herself up, both on the inside and on the outside, and it feels very true, though when it is someone else, you can only wish that someone will come and show them the light again.

How Rilla started to come back (a little) to life with her brother's poems was a beautiful, despite all the sadness it creates. He helped her cry again, then took her tears away by dying. She needed to hear his voice again, even in her head, to come back. I enjoyed the way you presented them, without writing them. It works perfectly, just like in the books, if you don't take a look to the poem she wrote after. Especially the one called "Beauty". I can picture Walter "collecting" (I was particularly moved by this term you used) those precious things and moments. To think that they coexisted with war ... Beauty and destruction side to side ...

What struck me the most here is how lonely she is. Far away from home, no one from there can come and offer her a shoulder, but what about Jem? I know Shirley and Ken are in France, and can't have a leave that easily, but Jem could come, couldn't he? I wonder how they all are doing with Walter's death ... It feels like a constellation. Stars, away from each others, though forming an ensemble, mourning one of them away from each others ..

Now, you told me about the other waves of flu, in the autumn, and they are well into the autumn. I hope that, if it is the flu, she'll fight through it!
10/1/2021 c59 Feux Follet
(Sorry for the problem with the review)

Loosing Jerry was already hard, but it was bearable, in a way, because it was the first solution he found, and I think (I hope) that he found peace after it. But loosing Walter ... Loosing Walter is just ... You had given me clues, saying you couldn't promise Walter would survive the war, even though his story was different, but here ... it just hurts ... It particularly hit as I was close to live something like this during the summer.

I'm sorry, I'll try to put my thoughts and words in order. First of all, the waiting for the name was particularly well written, as were the stages she pass through (If I do this, see him, etc. he'll live, it won't be real). Those little things you try to hold on to until you see the situation and know if, yes or no, they will live. Those little promises, sacrifices, you promise to make if someone can save them, if they can live.

Then, there is the truth, the answer. And there is the name. And it is so infuriating to not be able to reverse things, to press the button which will make us come back to the previous day, where we'll be able to prevent it. And there is this anger, this rage against those who did their best but not enough - it seems in those moments - to save them.

I really burst when Walter said he wasn't coming home. What can be worst than dying away from the place you were happy to live, away from the people you love, away from everything, but plunged into this hell, sinister place ... I'm glad Rilla could make it on time. I'm glad she could see him, hear him talk one last time.

And when he said "let me go" ...

I'm sorry, this review is short, while it deserves more, for you did an amazing job here, and it certainly mustn't have been easy for you to write it .. I'm sorry, but thank you for everything!
10/1/2021 c59 Feux follet
Loosing Jerry wasnha
10/1/2021 c58 Feux follet
I thought it would be a good idea to come back, at the end of the day, sit down and read one more chapter before eating, but no, definitively no. I'm now fighting against myself to not run and read the name of the person, and try to leave a correct review before doing it - besides, Rilla maybe have to wait before knowing who it is, and your other readers certainly had to wait a week before knowing it, so I can wait for a few minutes

I was touched by the scene of the faceless man. The way you described the injuries is just terrible, and even though I saw pictures during classes, every time it's the same pain for them, to think that there was nothing left but holes, and the consequences of this. Your words particularly hit when you wrote that the body is strange, but sometimes stronger than we know. It felt particularly true. But what also hit me there is that those men were already faceless, nameless - apart for their relatives. But to the world, to us, they are nameless and faceless until someone say there name, show their picture, tells us stories about them. So to have those injuries, and to be faceless again ...

I wasn't expecting German soldiers here, but I enjoyed this scene, and particularly the way you showed how Rilla changed since the CCS. I was particularly touched when you said that she still had this feeling that they were the enemies, but she still do it, and take care for them, and that's impressive! She fights for them, despite the language's problems, despite what the other thinks, and it is particularly powerful, especially after the first time we saw her in a situation like this.

Now, I'm sorry, this chapter was wonderful, and there are many other things to say, but I'm running to the next chapter!
10/1/2021 c57 Feux follet
I think that this is one of the most horrible things in this war, army killing ones of their owns. Especially when you know that on those trials, the soldiers couldn't even defend themselves. They were already condemned. And what condamnation! How could they do that? How could they consciously condemn them to death? I have the military notebook of my great-grand-father, and apart from his infos, there are all the condamnations possible in it for each case which can be judge. It is infuriating to see what they could endure for things which would be considered as normal, instinctives even!

But I'm mixing everything, sorry. At first, when you mentioned the thermometer, I was waiting for the moment it would break. I enjoyed the atmosphere you created in this first scene, though, with Rilla thinking about other things while taking his temperature and allowing us to learn that the situations is starting to look better. To be honest, it's a bit of a relief, because I was starting to doubt that war truly ended in November! But you also show that it is not the end yet, and that even when the bells will ring, war will pursue and haunt everyone who went there. I particularly admire how the saw haunt your words, though I wish there was a way to help her with this. I can't imagine how hard it must be, to carry on knowing that at every moment, the saw's sound can come back ... It's particularly visible in your words, where it breaks Rilla's balance, but it also interrupts the rhythm of your words, perturbing the small balance of peace everyone is trying to make.

The scene where the soldier attacked her was particularly hard and heartbreaking. Especially after Jerry's case, it was visible that it was that, and that he wasn't conscious about it, that he wouldn't do it on purpose. Thankfully, the other soldiers reacted quickly enough to save Rilla, and everyone came in time. I just hold my breath again when Miller called her "Ford". I read quickly the rest of the scene, hoping no one had heard! But it's good to know that she's really on Rilla's side here, and won't betray her.

I appreciated the scene with Dr Hunter. He seems to truly care, and it is particularly visible when they talks about shell shock. But the vicious thing about it and how the government asked to keep the diagnosis down near the front ... It's vicious, and unfair, that's what it is! I didn't know that near the end, those who could have a proper diagnosis of it could go home with a pension, but it doesn't change much, for how many truly had this pension and the right to go home?

But the worst is when Rilla sees the execution, and Dr Hunter says that it will always happen. I stand with them on this, how could the governments using this methods could expect good results? They points at each others for being the enemy, but in my views, the enemy is the one who send those men to death without hesitation, and sacrificed them as if they were nothing. Every government is responsible, and there isn't a good or a bad side here. They're just as cruel as the enemy they are depicting to the population. I know, you may call me an idealistic, but still, I will never understand this.

Rilla touched me by how she reacted for the soldier who attacked her. I think that, even without the execution, she wouldn't have said anything, especially if she knew the penalty for this. And if Ken ever says a word about this, he'll have to explain how the death of this man would have helped. I'm glad we could see the soldier again, though it was heartbreaking to see him that way. In the end, the song really was amazing here. It's one I used to listen as a child, and still listens at sometimes, and it have something reassuring. I particularly liked what you said about it not being scarred by the war yet.

Again, thank you for this marvelous, though hard chapter. I'm sorry, this review is a bit tangled up, but I really wanted to tell you how important it was in this story, I think it is one of the best written! Thank you for everything!
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