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for Through the Dark Clouds shining (English version)

1/16/2018 c5 2Kim Blythe
To the man with the whole in his body...

To the man with the gangrene gas on his shoulder, leading on to amputating his arm...

To the next wounded, hurt, pained, damaged soldier, and to the next one, and to the next one, again and again and again...

This is the life of Rilla Blythe, as a nurse, in the war, in London.
1/16/2018 c18 14elizasky
I would like to think that Dr. Murray is just looking out for Rilla — sorry, I mean *Sister Blythe* — by staring down cheeky officers who come poking around, but his little compliments about her work when he hasn’t seen very much of it yet shows that his motives are more personal.

Ok, yes, Ken is very charming in a confident jerk sort of way and I can see how that might be alluring but I can’t talk about that right now because . . .

Una got married! To Fred Arnold! I nearly fainted! Miss Cornelia and I can have a gasping party. And Rilla! “He joined up and then they got married two days later” hardly explains anything at all! I’m going to need a companion chapter for this, as soon as humanly possible.

Nan is breaking my heart, crying at night over lost Jerry. Even in a house full of people who love her, she sounds very lonely.

I found it interesting that Ken is Walter’s best friend. I don’t know if we’ll get to see any more of that relationship, but I’d like to know what teasing, smoking, jovial, fancy-school Ken gets up to with moody, introspective Walter. Maybe they balance one another out.

Oh, Ken and Dr. Murray. Go jump in the lake both of you, with your territorial circling and sizing one another up. Ken repeatedly “forgetting” to call Rilla “Sister Blythe” is not an accident at all – he’s showing Dr. Murray that he can get away with it.

I laughed with Ken when Rilla said “Moustache and Beardless” aloud. I’m nearly certain that Ken will never think of them as anything else.

But Ken is very smooth with his “oh, I just invited everybody along.” I suppose this concert would have happened either way, but I wouldn’t put it past Ken to organize a whole concert just for an excuse to chat up Rilla again. She feels she *should* object, but instead she’s gazing after him as he brushes her arm. And putting his hand over hers earlier! He’s bold enough. But for all that, I like him better than canon Ken, who basically just talks about his stupid ankle a bunch and then ambiguously asks her to marry him (sort of). It’s possible that this Ken and Rilla have already spoken more than the canon couple do. I’m glad that Rilla is showing some spunk, prodding him into an apology and sticking up for Shirley, even though those aren’t really winning battles and her irritation only shows how flustered she is. Hang in there, Rilla.

Looking forward to this concert!
1/16/2018 c18 10Excel Aunt
Whatever type of relationship Dr. Murray and Rilla have, it seems as if he needs to protect it from Ford. I can't remember if he's a man with a family or not. It might just be that he likes Sister Blythe (gosh, how many times did he say that?) is his favorite nurse and he doesn't want to have her in any sort of situation that would expel her from the CCS.

Is Dr. Murray smitten with Rilla? I should poke back and reread, but, even if he's not, he's recognizing someone that is keen on Rilla. The efforts made to get her to attend the concert warrants "disapproval".

I'm going to enjoy where this goes.
1/16/2018 c18 45oz diva
A very newsy chapter.
The sparring between Ken and Rilla is interesting, I’m pleased she has someone from home to talk to, I hope they become less prickly with time. I guess she didn’t like being on the back foot at their first meeting.

Princip was the Archduke’s assassin wasn’t he. I’m surpirsed she hasn’t heard of him, was that not very well publicised at the time?

I’m sorry that Jerry is still ill. Not that you’d expect a quick recovery. Will he be kept in England, or will they ship him home to Canada? I suppose the best treatment is in England, I couldn’t see them posting him back to active service, apart from anything he’d disturb his fellow soldiers.

Dr Murray is quite protective of Rilla. Is that because she’s his nurse or is there something else going on there?

I’m pleased she’s allowed to go to this concert, there’s little entertainment around.
1/13/2018 c17 8Catiegirl
So I certainly came to this story late- although if I look at the German version, we have a lot more chapters to come in English! I won't be able to catch up on all the reviews I missed, but I can start from here. So, while I read the first 16 chapters, I've been wondering where Ken is- and I nearly fell off my chair at the end of the chapter, I just didn't expect him at that moment! I was totally thrilled to see him though. I liked him from the beginning walking that tightrope between his duty to his men, and his duty as a superior officer if they were attempting to desert- and I adored Rilla thinking that she wasn't going to be fooled- she didn't grow up with three brothers for nothing. Too right she didn't! He was awfully cheeky to keep his identity hidden, and he must have been pretty shocked himself- although he was wise to not let his men know that he knew her. At the same time, with every chapter I've read, I'm trying to puzzle out whose grave Rilla was at in the prologue- and I don't want it to be anyone I recognise! I'm intrigued, and look forward to seeing Rilla handle the captain, she's certainly not going to be playing the shy little girl here- she's stronger and more courageous than that now.
1/12/2018 c17 19Alinya Alethia
Enter amen! I saw the chapter and thought he must, so was resolved to savour it. The right decision, obviously, as there were so many details to enjoy. The cemetery of thermometers was gold, as was the bit about them perishing dishonourably. Really, Rilla and the thermometers is a great everlasting joke. Not forgetting Mentiri disease. As the comedy sketch says, ‘I never had the Latin to become a judge’ but I did have enough Latin to spot that! Beardless and Moustache were delightfully bemused, more delightfully managed, and the Captain’s nascent playfulness had me on high alert for Ken from his first appearance. Rilla might have been surprised, but I was mostly gratified. He’s not just playful though, and you do give us the hint in the way he looks out for his men. He’s that bit grateful Rilla has saved their necks for the time being, I think. Now, I can’t imagine they’ll be often thrown together, but I shall be interested to see if and when it happens again.
1/12/2018 c17 10Excel Aunt
Wow! You had me hook, line and sinker! I was reading and laughing at the Moustache and Beard's antics, and how Rilla and unnamed officer handled them, thinking... that officer LIKES Rilla. I wonder if there's something there. Thank you for not dragging it out for chapters on end. I rather love the fact that Ken and Rilla found each other. I suppose they will be seeing rather a lot of each other and have a proper romance!

This was an excellently composed chapter and it read like a charming bang!
1/12/2018 c17 14elizasky
Yay! When I saw the title of this chapter, I got so excited because I was hoping! You did string us along there, but it was delicious. An excellent reveal! I loved "had the thermometers not already perished dishonourably on the ground . . ." From the first mention of that box of thermometers, I was just waiting for them to smash. (The cemetery of thermometers also got a chuckle.)

I am confident that you will write us a better-than-canon Rilla and Ken (which you have already done in "Things Silver and Golden"). In fact, I think just making Rilla a bit older and more worldly goes a long way toward making that whole relationship more palatable from the get-go.

So what have we learned about Rilla here? We see cleverness and confidence (willing to try the supply bag idea), kindness to the soldiers, humor (Mustache and Beardless is good, and her teasing them a bit). Ken mirrors her, going along with her joke/face-saving, which builds a nice connection between them. Of course, he is at an advantage, being able to see into the tent. I wonder if he recognized her right away.

But he's off preparing for an offensive! They have a couple of weeks before Vimy Ridge, don't they? Enough time for Rilla to see him a few more times? Even if they're training hard, he's not very far away at all. Might a very busy officer get a little bit of free time to see another very busy officer? Can't wait to see.
1/12/2018 c17 5OriginalMcFishie
Ken's here, this could get interesting. Good fun story, one to laugh over back home after the war! I imagine life is going to get tough once they are ready for patients. ..and with an offensive starting. ..
1/12/2018 c17 45oz diva
I laughed out loud when the thermometers dropped. Thermometer cemetery is canon now.
What a lovely little chapter, Moustache and Beardless bunking off to see a Canadian girl, Rilla inventing Mentiri disease and their concern that they may actually be ill.
Her idea for the bags being accepted on its own merits and setting up the station out of nothing. I would imagine it being mobile in case the front moves too, bit like a MASH unit in future wars.
So she knows Ken Ford, but not well enough to recognise his voice.
1/10/2018 c16 19Alinya Alethia
As predicted, Gallou is worth the anticipation. He makes me think of the sandman, benevolent bringer of dreams. And he verily radiates peace. Not only that but he gives Rilla interesting things to mull over as they discuss the mirrors and reflections of their lives.

I’m sorry as much as Colette is that Rilla is moving on. I’ve enjoyed seeing that friendship. But Colette has my heart just now -her world is out of orbit. Much too much change afoot, and she does hate goodbyes. You know, all the while Rilla and Maurice were talking I kept thinking Colette must be able to hear them, and sure enough there she was in a magnificent temper at the end. So much Gallou’s opposite -she always makes me think of storms. Wild, tempestuous ones that can be lovely to watch but terrible to be caught in. And you write it so well. Tell me we have a little more Gallou before Rilla moves onward?
1/9/2018 c16 5OriginalMcFishie
I really like the way Rilla has embraced night duty, and found a pattern to her life (staying awake all night is not something I'd be any good at, and I admire her for coping so admirably). I loved the conversation between Rilla and Gallou. She is young, has seen a lot and has a lot of responsibility on her shoulders, sounds like Gallou was the kind of counsel she needed to help her through. How I admire his faith. I don't know how anyone kept a faith in a higher power in such a war, yet it gives Gallou strength to carry on and a peace and calm that I envy. She's moving on, I guess that closes this chapter of Rilla's war. The new position will be more dangerous, I feel for Rilla and what she may see/experience there and I feel for Anne with another child so close to danger.
The last sentence didn't jell - do you mean she is hoping for a dreamless sleep?
1/9/2018 c16 45oz diva
What a beautiful chapter. Full of sweet moments between Gallou and Rilla. The Berthe/Bertha connection is nice and it was interesting to hear that Rilla isn't that keen the name she goes by.

I would imagine any place regardless of the quality of food or the cold is better than the front, so the men would be unlikely to complain.

Gallou sounds a bit older than most of the soldiers, if he has all those children. I can imagine why it's nicer for him to daydream with his eyes open than it is to have nightmares while asleep. I'm sorry that he's lost an arm, but his war is over now, that's a good thing.

Good luck to Rilla on the front, will she see more of Maurice now? Collette won't be happy. I'd think that living with Collette wouldn't be easy, even now they're friends. She sounds rather like a drama queen.
1/9/2018 c16 10Excel Aunt
So now Rilla is off to the front!

I have to admit, Rilla got very used to the night shift quickly. It took me ages and ages to do graveyard, my biggest complaint about it was trying to rest in the day. Before cell phones had nicer features, there was a question of should I or shouldn't I turn off the ringer. Once you fell asleep, it was harder to stay asleep, although I do agree you get more done in the morning following a night sheet verses in the evening coming home from a day shift.

I like Gallou and I hope there is more of him in the future. Anyone who witnesses God is good by saying, "God has a soft spot for me" makes my day. I love that his wife's name her Rilla's first name are also the same. I never thought of Bertha being a French name though.

I have to say I prefer "Abegweit" and its translation better than "Brittany". Cradle on the waves sounds so much more romantic.
1/9/2018 c16 14elizasky
This is a beautifully quiet moment between two shore-dwellers, far from home. For a moment, I thought that you were lulling me so that you could turn the knife and slaughter poor Gallou, but no — you let Rilla find a moment of peace and connection. The atmosphere was wonderful — it really felt like an intimate little discussion illuminating a quiet circle in the middle of a big, silent night, just like the tiny stove making a small dent in the cold.

You do a lot of nice things with inversions here. You have Rilla awake all night, which leads right into the idea that it is more pleasant to be awake than it is to be asleep, where bad dreams can ambush you. That is unexpected — with all this misery, you might expect that people would want to escape waking however they could — but when you put it that way, it makes sense. There are lots of other inversions — we hear that Gallou has lost his right hand, but surprise! he is left-handed. And we hear that Maurice is leaving, but really it is Rilla who is going. Are they going to the same place or nearby?

I wonder how Rilla will like the CCS. On the one hand, she will be back among English-speakers, which might help her feel more connected. On the other, she is going to start seeing some pretty bad stuff — I think the hospitals she has been in so far have been far enough back that most of the patients are fairly stable by the time they reach them — is that correct? I don't know how many quiet little interludes there will be at a CCS, but I'm sure you will show us what they were like!
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