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for Through the Dark Clouds shining (English version)

9/21/2021 c42 32Feux follet
Your writing is amazing. You know why? Because I hadn't read the title, and I was so plunged in the reading of this chapter that when Rilla said softly that the Americans were there, and the way you wrote it just expressed her relief, that I just let go and cried. Maybe those were the tears I couldn't let fall in the previous chapter. Maybe because I needed hope, as it was getting hard to believe that in November 1918, it would be the end of this war, but right now, it seems easier to believe it. It was like breathing again after a long time spent in apnea. Thank you for this!

I was touched by how you described Rilla and Persis' dynamic here, with Persis being exhausted, on the edge of breaking down, and Rilla trying to calm her, and tell her to rest, while being tired just like her. I enjoyed the scene spent with Middleton! If Persis didn't hear a word about Rilla's explanations, at least he did, and I was particularly interested in his questions. I'm glad that he will be able to walk again, and it was moving to see him looking everywhere to find the tools to write to his Betty - and the reminding of the other Betty was deeply moving too. After the previous chapter, and all the horror and suffering, it was like a sun ray in the scene.

The way you described how everyone reacted differently to the news and to Haig's words was perfect, too. I enjoyed the way you shown that everyone was participating - nurses, patients, etc. - and how each of them had a view on this - even a silent one, which you made audible. Though, I can't imagine how hard it must be to go through everything like this and receive those words after it. It must be frustrating, in many ways, because they sacrificed their lives, and sometimes words aren't enough anymore, especially when they tells you to hold on even if you're tired, that the victory will go to the one who old on longer than the others. In some ways, you could even hear "if you don't hold on, we lose and it will be your fault".

I'm relieved to hear that Rilla won't go back to operating theater, and the way she stand up to say no was amazing! I'm glad Miss Talbot didn't forced her to go there, though I'm not really sure about the exchange, but if it can prevent Rilla from having worse panic attacks, then it will be a first good step, and we'll walk with her a step at a time. I just hope that she will be alright!

And again, the end was perfect. There was so much relief in Rilla's reaction, and it brings such hopes! Thank you for everything!
9/21/2021 c41 Feux follet
This chapter was one of those which makes you sit and watch - it's strange, but with these ones you don't feel you're reading, you just watch, witness - the horror all around. Tears are there, but not rollings down, because it's just too hard that you don't even let them roll. You just wait until the chapter is finished, and then you wait for a minute, to see if it is truly over, and then you grasp all the air you didn't take while reading.

I admire you for writing chapters like this one, which must have been very hard to write, too. We are so close to Rilla, to her thoughts, to her fears and sometimes moments of despair, and she's so genuine and lucid about them ... It's truly realistic, which seems horrible to think and to say, because behind this story, you can only imagine the real men and women who faced those situations and had to carry on

The fact that you started with Rilla not being able to see something, and being surrounded by blackness all around her, making her feel blind, was truly powerful, especially as you carry on with this thematic during all the chapter, with the question should she look at the soldiers and ask them their names, and therefore see them, recognize them, or should she just carry on without doing it, and therefore go blind about what is happening. Both paths are explored, and it only empowers the scene, its horror and Rilla's description.

There is also this movement between carrying on or letting go, which deeply moved me. No other word could have describe this scene and Rilla's feeling that the ones you used here. They felt right. Painfully, horribly, terribly right (the words, not the situation!). It was well accompanied by this feeling of being overwhelmed, even crushed by the waves of injured soldiers, which doesn't seem to stop - I was particularly moved by the moment where you say that the night is too short, and the soldiers too many.

There is also the reminding of "Not-Dead" which only increase the stress of the situation for Rilla. And all those nameless and faceless soldiers, coming in waves ... I don't really know how to explain this, but when I pictured the scene in my mind, I had this feeling that the screams, the cries, the howls were audible in the background of a silence that no word could replace or silence (to silence the silence...).

I was touched when she talked with Red Eye. They didn't know each other, but as they walked through hell the same way, in the same places, they seemed to understand each other completely. They could talk honestly, without hiding anything, and tried to hold on together, to reassure themselves that they are still alive and human by talking - especially when they say that God is German. This moment particularly hit me, and so did the last sentence, which was particularly true. I just wish more people could read this ...

Thank you, as always, for your work, which is admirable, and for everything, really!
9/20/2021 c40 Feux follet
The transition between the happy, sunny time spent away from the hospital, and the brusque, cold moment when they discover what happened was perfect! I perfectly worked, and I could feel the cold coming as we discover the scene with Rilla and Persis.

But first things first. I'm reassured that Persis likes Rilla - even before she discovers about the engagement (and after too, but I'm getting tangled in my words). She reminds me a bit about Colette, especially as both seems to often wait for Rilla out of the tents! Both seems eager to have some fun, even in the middle of this mess, and both take Rilla's hand to not leave her behind. The only difference that could be make is that Rilla and Colette seemed to have the same age, so Rilla was playing the sensible friend, whereas here, she's more like an older sister to Persis. It's amusing to see both dynamics, and I wonder if Colette and Persis will meet one day.

I enjoyed the moment they spent together at the Touquet, there was something very strong, you managed to offer them a real window out of war for a short moment, and it was amazing. I liked to read Persis' memories. Even if they are both strong opinionated, both her and Ken seems very close, and it is always a great thing! I particularly enjoyed the Champagne's story, and how she managed to have Champagne there. But even if she seems very happy about it, the taste is different. Even for Rilla, there is something different, as you create another parallel with her younger self, and what happened between her arrival and now - something which I always enjoy.

But like I said, when Rilla thought that this was too perfect, that something was wrong, a small cold started and only grew bigger as we discover with them what happened. It's pure horror when she describes the scene, and it only increases when we see Persis' reaction, and then Rilla's fear for her brothers ...

As always, your chapters are not only realistic, they are amazingly written. Thank you for all of your work, and for sharing this story with us!

Ps. Also, thank you for the information about Princess Louise. I went to read more about her life, and she seemed to be quite someone! I particularly enjoyed to discover her through your story, so thank you again!
9/20/2021 c39 Feux follet
What?! Of all places, Etaples? Is it me, or the army does have a dark sense of humor? I wonder what happened, if they just didn't want her to go back to England, or if some informations really didn't pass, and there was a mistake. About that, I'm very glad to see Miss Talbot again! It must be strange to meet again, after all that happened. It makes me think about what Ken said when Selina broke up with him. War changed everyone, and no one can be the same after it. It's certain that Rilla isn't the same girl who arrived more than a year ago in England, after all she went through ...

I was glad to meet Tim, for he seems to be a great character! He reminds me about Cooper, in some ways, and I enjoyed how he took Rilla with him to the village, helping her to go without a chaperone. I find it hard, though, that the nurses had so few liberties. I once heard that it could help them ensure their authorities, the fact that they were officers and had to stay with officers, but I can't believe it's the only reason, for since when the army care about men respecting women's authorities? Anyway, I'm glad he took her with him. He seems a lot more confident than Cooper was, but there is the same caring for the others.

Thank you for all the informations about mutiny! I remember discovering a bit about this in Private Peaceful, by Morpugo, but I didn't know it had gone so far that they shot the mutineers - well, they do the same to Charlie, in Private Peaceful, but it's not only about something which happened in the camp. Australia seemed to be the most human army, not killing its own soldiers. It seems so absurd to think that those poor men, to whom nobody asked if they wanted to be there, were under the threat of their own army if they did one step out of the line - a line mostly drawn by people who never put a foot in the battlefield, for sure.

There is something very powerful when Rilla sees the V.A.D. who just arrived and think about the girl she was when she arrived. It was already there with Miss Talbot, but here it's even more moving, and I think it just tells how much was taken from her by this war, things she will never have fully back.

Persis! I wasn't expecting her here at all, but I'm looking forward to know more about this! In theory, I'm glad she could follow what she wanted to do, despite what her brother or others could say and think. However, in practice, I just wish that no new nurses, nor new soldiers, would put a foot in France for this war. I just hope she'll be safe! And I wonder what will happen with Rilla
9/19/2021 c38 Feux follet
This chapter was great, and I enjoyed all the informations you gave us about the illnesses which could be seen by the nurses at this time. I particularly liked to read that Rilla was finding her work there interesting, and that it was a kind of relief after what she went through in operating theater. The young soldier who joked about the thermometer made me laugh. It will pursue her until the end of war I think! Maybe that, when it will be over, someone will offer a thermometer to Rilla. Speaking of which, I didn't know that there were books with photographs, words (or hair) like the ones you described!

The way you described the hungriness for the letters touched me, too. You've already shown it, but it still hit every time, to think that sometimes families didn't heard each other's voices during years - sometimes never again ... I was glad to read that she and Gilbert can talk about the illnesses. In chirurgical ward, she was alone, and no one could really understand what she was going through (and again I apologize for what I said about her being in her element. I was truly thinking about her work, not about how it was making her feel. It wasn't the right way to put it, and I'm sorry!). Jem had seen some bits, with the soldiers he saw after they went there, but Gilbert couldn't imagine it with this conditions, while for the illnesses, the treatments are mostly the sames, though again, the conditions aren't the same. But it can still be something they share together, and in this situation, it seems great to have something like this!

Also, I'm curious about Mildred, and wonder if we will meet her one day. She seems nice, and very interesting, though I can't really forget what happened with Nan ... But it's great to see that she's writing to Rilla! I was also glad to hear that Miss Inglish was writing to Rilla. She seemed to be someone who could disappear, and I'm glad that she doesn't. It says a lot about the bond which grew between them since their scene in the cemetery, and how, even if there is still a bit of distance - the fact that she doesn't call her by her name but by her surname - there is still something :)

I was also particularly touched about Maud, and how Rilla perceives her as a mother-figure, feeling sometimes closer to her than to her own mother. Maybe because Maud shared this war experience with Rilla, while Anne remained at home, or because at peace, we think our parents will remain there forever, that we have time, while in the middle of this mess, everyone is in the same boat, and maybe it makes people go closer, have stronger friendships after the experiences and traumas they went through together? I don't really know, but I was moved by how you described their bond. I hope that, though Rilla is going away, Rilla will have some news about her, like with Miss Inglish!

About that, I was glad to see that Dr Murray and Rilla could talk like this. He was honest with her, and the fact that he was able to see how his attitude affected Rilla, both professionally and personally, and that he apologized reassured me. I'm also so glad he was the one to tell Rilla she had her transfer! It would have been great to have Maud telling her, too, but here, in a way, I feel that it really participates to the apologize and end of their "story" on better basis. He won't try again, will he?

Again, thank you for all your work! It's always amazing to discover your chapters!
9/18/2021 c37 Feux follet
I enjoyed the atmosphere of this chapter! With Jem's questions and remarks from the previous chapter, I was wondering how you would bring them between Rilla and Ken, though I admit that I wasn't expecting it so soon. What's funny is that Jem was the first to ask questions, when they were just going along with the idea of getting married one day after the war.

The way they talk about what the future could bring to them, and the uncertainty of everything, touched me. It surely isn't an easy conversation to have, and while wedding's talks should be happy, this one, despite the darkness around, is honest, and that's the most important. They look at everything with open eyes, both knowing that everything is conditioned to one thing: If war will let them get out of this alive. And once again, I can't help but fear that Ken is the one from the prologue. I can't help but feel scared at the idea that, like Vera, Rilla will lose him.

I was also touched by how you show Ken's attempts to establish his shell again, with the squeaky humor (about how she salutes him when she arrives, or when he says that Persis' departure when she received the letter was all Rilla wanted), but then reveals again to Rilla his fears, and it was moving to read his words about his injury, and how he woke up with Rilla next to him, as he kept wondering if it was hell or heaven. And when they talked about Jerry! This war took already so much from them ...

Also, I'm glad to hear that Persis is not against Rilla - though the idea of her being against Selina isn't much better. Ken said that the letter Rilla sent touched her, but I wonder if she replied to it. I don't think she did, otherwise Rilla wouldn't have go away when Persis was there, they would have know each other, so now I wonder if their first exchange will be through letters or if they will meet each others. It was great to learn me about her, and see that Ken had come around with the idea of his sister being in England.
(ps. You know what's funny? Since your other story, I can't help but look for Teddy!)

Now, I hope Rilla will get her transfer to England - and I hope that Ken will have many months of recuperation. I know, it's not very kind, and even selfish, because all he wants is to go back to war, and months of recuperation aren't a funny perspective, but it's less dangerous than a life-risking return to the front. Please, can't he be on the safe side?
9/17/2021 c36 Feux follet
There are many things here, but first of all, thank you for this chapter. It wasn't an easy one to read, but you did a marvelous thing in writing how Rilla felt. Now that my hands aren't shaking anymore, maybe I'll be able to review it properly:

I was happy to see Jem again. There is always something both riotous and calming when he is around. I know it's a contradiction, but I can't help it. He'll always remain the joker, the young boy full of life, and at the same time, the doctor who can be calm and reassuring. I enjoyed the way you show him and Rilla having a meal at this hotel, and I thank you for explaining why nurses were having this treatment when they were on holidays. In a way, it looks like a golden cage. Beautiful until you want to go out and hurt yourself against the barrels.

About Halifax, I must say that like Vimy, I didn't know about it since a long time. After that, I was a bit surprised to see that it hadn't appeared in the books, as Lucy Maud Montgomery seemed to have recorded many things of war - and an impressive chronology. I'm relieved that, in the characters we know, no one was hurt!

You talked about the Museum, the Selfridge, and I can't help but wonder about the impressions they could have to go there, while knowing - carrying in themselves - what war is like and what is happening to the others at the very minute ... It's strange to think that war can cohabit with museums ... it made me think about what they did during the second world war, with the paintings - one coming to London each months, if I remember correctly. How can there be this destruction and this creation coexisting?

Now, about what happened to Rilla ... Like I said, I was particularly touched by how you shown the memories hitting her back, how the panic rises in her, and how she froze until Jem leads her to a silent and not crowded place ... There is also the moment she realizes where she is, what happened, and she talks about the piano. It was all so vivid, I couldn't help but feel the panic rising too. You did a marvelous job here, showing how war affected her, and again I wonder if there are any research about nurses' trauma after the war, for like everyone involved, they saw and lived things that no one should have. They fought on their own battlefield, and did with what the authorities accepted to give them to save so many lives, but the cost ... I just can't imagine how much it costed each of them ...

Now, Jem is amazing here! The way he helped her to make her way to a safe place, the way he reassured her, telling her that maybe she had a better hearing than him. But what touched me the most was how they talked after this. Like equals. It seemed that Jem was discovering his sister, and it was shown in a great way. Also, I don't think we ever saw Rilla confessing what she went through like this. Even with Ken, there are some moments like this, but sometimes it doesn't even pass by words, whereas here, she puts words on everything, telling how awful her last experience in operating theater was, how close she was to break ... I just enjoyed the way she said everything, how Jem respected her voice, and only asked questions here and there, while offering her his full support. It was heartwarming to see that she wasn't alone in this

The last moment of their talk, about Ken, made me think about Jerry and Nan, who waited a year while they could have marry each other before and enjoy a happy married life before this. It also made me think about Vera Brittain, who wanted to marry Roland during the war, and was ready to, when he died just a few days before. I don't think there is a right answer here. They just have to do what's best for them, and like Rilla said, it's not that easy.

Again, thank you for this chapter! Every new one (well, new to me) seems better than the ones before, and it is always great to discover them. This one really touched me, and I can only thank you for it! Thank you for everything!
9/17/2021 c35 Feux follet
I couldn't believe it when you revealed that Jem was here. Apart from the memories and the letters, we hadn't properly meet him until now, and for Rilla, it certainly represented a big amount of time - more than three years ... I was also glad to see Walter, to see that both of them had recuperate and were now safe from their sickness! The atmosphere you created here was perfect, especially with Jem's jokes, or Walter's comments. What a lovely and funny reunion it was!

You really gave them all their attitude back, between Jem and his jokes - always accompanied by a lot of observations around him, and genuine care - and Walter, who still tries to preserve a bit of the world as it was before all this mess. I like how you make him feel connected and touched deeply by everything he sees, and how it really matches his function here with what religion is officially - though I think he's better. I stand with him for Eliane Cossey - though I wonder how he learnt her name. Did he asked her? I can see him being the only one to care for her wellbeing, and treating her as a human person, and not as a sort of mermaid at the front of a ship. About that, I wanted to thank you for the biography under the chapter! It's strange to think that she survived the first war but not the second because of an air raid ...

On another hand, his comments about Rilla's work, and the way she nurses Ken made me smile. Of course, Jem jumps on this occasion to joke again, but there is also a wish to defend his sister's work. Being in the medical team, and having work with nurses like Miss Inglish, of course he knows what they see, but I like how he respects his sister's work and don't push her away from it like Walter do, or Ken did with Persis. I liked to see how it made them feel closer, with this shared experience.

Also, I particularly enjoyed the way you shown that Rilla grew up without them for a part of her life, and that even if they are all glad to see each other, there is a small gap - like when they speak about wedding, or what she saw during her nursing time. It's small, but there is also the old habit to attempt to protect her, to see her as a young girl, rather than a young woman. I also enjoyed to see Jem's suspicions growing about what was really going on between Rilla and Ken - I particularly enjoyed when he doesn't see the problem of smoking, even if Rilla doesn't like the smell. Fortunately, he didn't see them holding hands, or they would have to endure a fire of jokes. But what touched me the most was when Jerry's name wasn't pronounced but everyone thought about him.

Thank you for this chapter, which really was a great moment, which seemed to come from before the war. I really enjoyed it! Thank you :)
9/16/2021 c34 Feux follet
I should never say that one chapter is better than the others - except the one with Gallou, which is on the top. I said the earlier chapter was great, this one is even better, thank you so much for this!

First things first, I was interested by how you described the atmosphere in the recreation room, how everyone laugh at the sketches - with them! - and how it helps them to take the war off their mind for a small moment. The fact that there is better food sent by everyone meant a lot, too. I can imagine how hard it must have been for Nan, though I picture her with a determined frown when she baked the oatcakes. As if to say that war can have many things, but not her. I admire her for all the strength she have, even though we often see the difficulties she faces, she still holds on, and I admire her for that. On another hand, you made me laugh when you say that what Faith baked must have been baked by Una too, for it's a bit too perfect to be only Faith's.

I also enjoyed the talk about Talbot House, and how it leaded to a conversation about faith. It reminded me Gallou's talk. Two main things touched me here. Firstly, when you said that it was one of the only place where people from different faiths and ranks could share some moments together, even those who didn't believe anymore - I think that it is the thing which touched me the most, in this scene, the fact that they don't believe "anymore", as if their faith had betrayed them, as they were facing all the horrors of war, while it must have been something important when they were younger - and who can blame them for this loss of faith? The other thing is when Ken says that he went to the chapel, even though he didn't believe in prayers anymore. I like what he became under your plum (or keyboard). A liberal who doesn't truly believe, anymore. If Miss Cornelia learns this one day, I think that it will be the worst drama for her, worst than the reunion between the churches!

But finally, I'm just so glad and relieved to see that they confessed to each other! At first, when he said that he was going back to England made me think again about what the army will decide about him. When Rilla said that maybe she would be able to go with him to help him settle there, I started to wonder if they were going to talk now, or if they would wait England. When he said he wanted to go outside, I started smiling like an idiot. It think that it was far better than in the book, because once again you wrote this scene with a sense of equality between them, which I think is becoming their more solid basis, and I can only thank you for this scene! I also thank you for allowing me to discover the Claddagh ring - I went to read the legends about it, and saw what it looked like in the same time. I really enjoyed how you wrote this element in the scene, and linked it to the women of the Ford's family!

I think I'll never be able to thank you enough for all your work in this story, and it's always a pleasure to read your chapters! Thank you :)
9/16/2021 c33 Feux follet
There are many things in this chapter, but let me tell you that it was one of the best :)

I was glad to see Maud again! She seems to be such a kind person, caring for others, and taking Rilla under her wings. I really enjoyed how she checked on her, to be sure she had a proper meal, and how they talked about the news. I felt that it wasn't solely her curiosity which leaded her to ask for the news, but also a way to allow Rilla to get out for a small moment of her nurse's work, to help her gather herself a bit - or maybe that's just me.

I'm so glad to hear that Ken is healing nicely! It's strange to think that if Rilla hadn't stand up to say no to the amputation, he would be without his leg, now. I'm sure the doctors were trying to do their best, and if Rilla hadn't offer to do the treatment - and without Maud's help - maybe it would have been impossible to save him. But now, to think that he will be able to walk again is reassuring - though I can't help but fear what will happen when he will be able to walk again. Will the army call him back, or will he be sent home? I think it will be the first option, but after Jerry, I can't help but be scared that he's the one from the prologue - unless it is Shirley, Walter, or anyone else. I can't read your chapters about an injured or sick person relative to Rilla without thinking that maybe he's the one from the prologue ...

I was glad to have news from Di and Faith and Nan! I often thank you for offering a new vision of Rilla, or to say it better, a new angle to consider in her character. But here, I must thank you for offering a new angle to consider for Ken. I was agreeably surprised to learn that he was supporting women's rights - at least, women's right to vote - and that he was against conscription. On another hand, I was deeply surprised to read that at this time, the main opinion was in its favor. I knew that at this time, there was this patriotic feeling which isn't the same nowadays, but I hadn't thought that they would mainly agree on the fact that everyone is called to war, and that if they don't answer to this call, they are threatened to be killed. But that's my view from a century where things aren't the same. Also, something touched me in his speech. When he said that they had enlisted on their own accord, and therefore, that it was their fault. I don't think it is their "fault". And that it is not a "fault". They just wanted to do their best. No one could have tell about what followed.

Nan crying after realizing that she just laughed broke my heart. It was a very small scene, but I think it was the most powerful here, and the most speaking picture about her grief. A grief she shouldn't have to went through if the authorities had been thinking and not acting like children trying take their toys from each other, not caring about the human lives they sent to the butcher.

Now, about Selina. I must admit, when you said that Ken was reading a letter and only smiled when he recognized Rilla, I was wondering what was the letter about. But I wasn't expecting this! I had the idea that maybe it was her, maybe she was breaking up with him, but I certainly never imagined it would happen like this! But on another hand, I think Ken told the truth. War changed many things, and firstly, the ones who went there. I was touched by how he explained that, if they could have been happy before, they couldn't have been after it, for too many things were different.

I know, I'm often repeating myself, I'm terribly sorry for this, but I must tell you that I love how this story can be both instructive and inspiring. I didn't often learnt so much from a story, both on historical and life's sides, and it is only a pleasure to read this story and discover new things, learn new things, and be inspired by your characters. Thank you so much for all the work you did here!

(I'm sorry, it seems that my reviews from yesterday disappeared, I don't know if it's a glitch or else ...)
9/15/2021 c32 Feux follet
Nurse Johnston seems to be an amazing character! I was particularly touched when she reassured Rilla about Ken, and explained that she cut off the alarm on purpose, to let her sleep while she was taking care of everything. There is such kindness in her tone, it's just like a bird who extends its wings above others. She made me think about Florence Nightingale, in some ways - not just because of the lamp, though there was also something with that. Besides, there is a small touch of humor when she let us know that she knows about Rilla's love for Ken, though Rilla herself isn't fully aware of it. I hope we will see her again often!

I was relieved when Ken opened his eyes and started talking, though it must be quite a shock to see Rilla by his side. No wonder he's not sure about what he sees, and keeps wondering if it is a dream. I was touched by their conversation, which I can't imagine otherwise than being whispered, or at least leaded with soft voices. There is a strange feeling of quietness, even though they are talking about gangrene and its consequences, there isn't a feeling of emergency, of running everywhere. It's all quiet, and close to a dream, or something like it, a bit surreal ... I don't know if I'm explaining this correctly, I'm sorry if it looks like a mess. It's not just a patient and a nurse, though. It's just them, and it seems that Rilla starts to understand what she feels for him.

Again, thank you for your work! This chapter was amazing to read!
9/15/2021 c31 Feux follet
It's reassuring to know that Rilla is out of the CCS! It was a bit strange to discover the castle and its surroundings, which seems peaceful, and not too crowded, compared to her previous situation. It must be strange to think that a place like this exists in the same world that the battlefields she was close to. To think that horror and calm can coexist, not far from each other ...

However, stress came back when you said the doctor's name. And now the last sentence of the chapter where Rilla had a conversation with the matron comes back to me. She didn't talked to him and I can't help but fear the consequences. It was even a bit frightening to learn that he already knew about Ken, and had already gathered some informations himself even before Rilla came to his office. As she was asking his help, I couldn't help but be suspicious about him, about what he would do to ask for help.

When he started saying that Ken could live without his leg, my suspicions grew, I admit it. In the books, his sprained ankle was already hard to support, for him, I can't imagine how a missing leg would be, and I was particularly moved when Rilla thought that they had already lost Jerry, that they couldn't lose anyone else. Rilla's determination was admirable, but I'm still a bit afraid for her, especially since she added "for me" at her pleading... There is also this quote, which comes back. The idea that one would prefer to be dead than to live like this. Even the thermometer scene didn't help to stop this fear (though I enjoyed it!).

I'm so glad Dr. Murray accepted to help, in the end! The way Rilla fought for Ken was amazing to read, as the way she talked to him to explain what was happening. The fact that you say she doesn't know who she's trying to reassure moved me, too. I can't wait to know what will follows!
9/14/2021 c30 Feux follet
I was relieved to hear that Rilla was going to be sent to another hospital, away from the front. I hope she'll be able to find some peace after the months she spent so close to the battlefield - at least if such a thing still exists...

Dr. Connelly seems to be very kind and observant towards the people working with him. To notice that Rilla isn't eating much, that she doesn't smile anymore, that she went more quiet ... I think it's very thoughtful of him, and wish every person with someone under their authority could have the same kindness.

I can't imagine how hard it must be for Rilla to hear the saw every time silence falls around. It makes me think about Jerry who was hearing the alarm. That and the flashes from the operations must be terrible to live with, and like Dr. Connelly, I wonder how she'll come back to herself, after what she went through. We often hear about the soldiers who suffers from shell shock and other traumas, but is there any work, searches or else, about nurses' traumas after they came back home? It's just a question, which came to my mind as I was reading this.

The last sentence hit me. Of course she doesn't want to be here anymore, but before I had the feeling that that door was closed. There was a feeling of being trap there, that there was no way out. Now that this door is opened again, I wonder what will happen to her

Just a note about my review earlier: I said that Rilla seemed to be in her element there. I didn't mean it was easy for her, nor that it was the best, just that it's a service she knows since she arrived in Europe, something which always comes back to her - or where she always comes back - and that the work she does there is always good. I'm terribly sorry, I didn't mean to say that it was easy or else, I think it's often even harder, but she always do great work there. Again, I'm sorry!
9/14/2021 c29 Feux follet
I'm relieved to hear that "not-dead" survived and was went away to receive treatment, but I'm sorry to hear that the German soldier didn't make it. I was touched by the way you showed what it was for Rilla after this, with her doubts, her fear to make the same mistake again, and asking Miss Inglish to check everything after her. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for her, to think about this soldier she thought was dead. But, on another hand, it allowed her to go back to operating theater, where she always seemed to be in her element.

The talking about laces made me smile, like the fact that she bite her tongue the same way she did when she was a child - the sentence saying that it was because the letters and numbers wouldn't act as she wanted them to made me laugh. I enjoyed how Dr. Connelly and Rilla talked about this, but I think you're right, working with lace asks a lot of patience, concentration, precision, etc. and it is the same for an operation.

Nellie seems to have quite a temper! But we can say the same thing about Ken, apparently. It was interesting to compare his interactions with Rilla and Persis, for he seems to see Rilla as an equal, and I think he have a bit of admiration for the work she do and the person she became, while with Persis, the big brother's feeling comes back. What is interesting is that he could treat Rilla like he treats Persis, for there is something close to being siblings between them, but he doesn't - which is a great thing! I'm not saying that it's not! It's just that it says a lot about how he see them both. But I'm on Rilla's side here, you can't lie to a person in order to prevent them to do something you don't approve, even if the first intention is to protect them. I hope we'll have some news from her, and I wonder how this will end!
9/13/2021 c28 Feux follet
This chapter was hard to read, but definitely one of the best.

I'll start with the German soldier. I can easily understand Rilla's reticence, and I'm sure that for a German nurse, the dilemme would have been the same in face of an enemy's uniform - but I thank the German nurse(s) who saved my great-grand-father during the war with all my heart, whoever she (they) might be, wherever she (they) was (were). Maybe she (they) faced the same dilemme than Rilla, but like her, she (they) did it anyway, and he came home after the war, with less problems than his injury might have caused if it hadn't been treated. It was powerful to see Rilla trying to conceal her conscience with her work, and you wrote it in the best way possible, especially when you mentioned Nellie Spindler (whom I didn't know before, so thank you for telling us about her!). You also showed in a moving way that except the uniforms, they're all the same young men, with dreams and hopes, who have been thrown into this without being asked.

Now, I was particularly touched by the first scene, where she declares him dead, and describe her feelings and reaction about it. On another hand, it must be the worst thing to happen to a nurse, to declare someone dead when he's not, and poor Rilla surely can't help but think about all the soldiers she declared dead - and it must be even worst for her, knowing that she's claustrophobic, and to imagine them buried alive. What helped a bit here was the calm of Miss Inglish (I'm sorry for calling her Laura before) who tries to reassure Rilla by saying that it is very rare, and that there's no doubt that he seemed dead when Rilla declared him that way. I like her quiet presence, and can't wait to see her again.

Again, thank you for all the precision you always put in your story, and for your work!
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