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for Through the Dark Clouds shining (English version)

12/31/2017 c13 42oz diva
Wow busy night for us authors. Happy New Year from futureland.

Some many interesting things here, the guns. I think it’s incredible that they could be heard in England. That constant rumble must have been unbearable. Particularly when you knew it spelled hell for someone somewhere.

The girls costumes sound pretty grim, a witch and a patient, but the party sounds like fun. Interesting point about English nurses not being able to dance and how all commonwealth forces are unde the banner of the English.

Funny to think this is set 101 years ago exactly. What will 2018 bring.
12/30/2017 c12 19Alinya Alethia
I love the colour Colette brings to this story, especially now she and Rilla are at the teasing, bantering part of the friendship. There’s a sense they’re still learning each other as they tease about costumes and trade family histories. (In light if recent mutual venting, I can’t help but notice you give Colette an imperfect past that is neither overly horrific nor comedic -though far from ideal.) I can’t help but think Green Hat Rilla would have lived this luring, and Colette certainly seems to lighten Rilla considerably. Does she feel she doesn’t have to be at her suing best with Colettez. It’s not quite that, though they’ve obviously relaxed around each other.

I do like all the detail we’re getting on Rilla’s studies. She never did do things by half and the all-consuming medical interest is a nice replacement for wee Jims. Only here she’s perusing anaesthetic books and not Morgan, and much more confident for it.

In Maurice you capture perfectly, that painful, awkward admiration at a distance. I can’t imagine Colette would find it easy either, if she’s perpetually affecting not to notice. I’m glad Rilla can smooth over the worst of thosecawkwardnesses and I do hope we see a bit of that party!
12/29/2017 c12 14elizasky
You are making me so nervous with all of these references to Rilla's fear of being enclosed or underground. Every time it comes up, I find myself guessing what horrible situation she will find herself in eventually. She's unlikely to be in a submarine at any point. Buried in a bombing raid? Building collapse? I can't handle the foreshadowing! Same with the anesthetics. I don't want Rilla to know about Stovaine because if she knows about it she might have to use it! (Aside: the US Army sent female anesthetists overseas as contract surgeons in WWI. I was just reading about Anesthetic Unit No. 1, seven women and two men who went to France (the women as contract surgeons, the men as lieutenants) in 1918.)

I do hope Dr. Thomas is as kind as he seems. Even with Colette's insinuations, he doesn't seem to have any ulterior motives (but we shall see).

It's good to know more about their pay. I have seen the charts of the pay scale, but without context it is hard to know how much that really was. So thank you for providing this peek into what it meant to receive an officer's pay! Do you know how the money was paid out? Did they get cash handed to them? Money sent home to a bank account? Some combination?

I do hope Rilla will allow herself to enjoy this outing with Colette. Rilla of the Green Hat days would have delighted in it. I am glad this Rilla is taking an interest in the job, but no need to spend all your precious free time studying. I enjoyed the part at the end where Rilla's venal motives made Colette like her more. Colette's childhood is nothing like growing up at Ingleside, but, at the same time, probably not an uncommon story, nor the worst potential outcome for a motherless infant with a flight-minded father. I hope that the Blythes will continue to love all their children unconditionally.
12/29/2017 c12 10Excel Aunt
I sort of like Collette's attitude with regards to money, if you have it, spend it. I think she's reasonable enough to also change her mind about those attitudes, if she sees something in her future that warrants a savings plan, she'll do it. Is Uncle Omer a farmer? Sounds like he was a city laborer of some sort. And I'm sorry, the only Daigle family I knew had a girl in it that was a bully and gosh, I feel so badly for Collette now!

I wish Maurice would make his feelings known to Colette, but I suppose as she's an older woman that could be some of the problems. Three years mean nothing when you get to my age. These girls are here yet.
12/29/2017 c12 42oz diva
Interesting to learn about the different types of anaesthetic used then, do they still use them today? Not the cocaine, I’m guessing.
Poor Maurice, he’s got it baaad.
Nice to see some Collette back story. You assume growing up that your lifestyle is the norm and it’s only when you get older that you realise it isn’t.
We usually capitalise New Year’s Eve. Will we see that party and what Collette and Rilla wear? I do hope so. Unless they go as trains! Was Rilla always claustrophobic?
Pleased they had a day away from the operating theatre, a jaunt to Paris even if it’s freezing sounds like more fun.
12/29/2017 c12 Crispybluebirdperfection
I've been enjoying this story in all its fascinating WWI detail since you started translating this from German and am amazed at your command of the English language. For a chapter without a beta, this reads well and the (very few) mistakes are easy to understand. I think what I enjoyed most in this chapter was all the little details about anaesthetics. I can perfectly understand Rilla wanting to learn and it started me pondering what they use nowadays. Something to ask my own anaesthetist friend, I guess.
12/27/2017 c11 19Alinya Alethia
There’s so much to like here. To start with, you let Rilla fail, and that’s hard. But howevermuch we may wish it, she can’t save every patient. There are too many of them, and I loved seeing that unexpected wisdom from McIvar. He might snip about the French and the hospital, but he’s not unsympathetic and he is good at his work, both things to his credit.
And then you land us in the fight with Colette, and all told, this is not Rilla’s day, but it doesn’t appear to be anyone else’s either, and their at war, so that’s all all right. The Rilla of the short temper feels very reminiscent of book Rilla. She doesn't suffer fools lightly, and she’s not st her golden best, and this unearned ill will is a bridge to far. They fight fiercely here, and it feels incredibly real, do we feel all Rilla’s pent up hurts and burrs.

Maurice is a lovely bolt out of the blue after all that. He can’t do much, but he does try, as does Rilla in her turn. And then, having given us a day built on failures, you give us not even Colette’s failure, but an institution’s failure to save Aimée. And because we have felt Rilla’s hurt, we feel this too, and know that these girls will end up friends, or at least allies. It’s a lovely, poignant chapter, full if little things that are our if our control, and all of them feel larger than life. Maud might be a while appearing, but for now there are quite enough interesting people to keep me engaged in Rilla’s story, Rilla not least of them.
12/26/2017 c11 14elizasky
I suppose I will allow you to make me feel sympathy for Colette. The loss of her friend is terrible, and she has apologized for being nasty in her grief, so if Rilla can forgive her, so can I.

I appreciated the way you started this chapter in the aftermath of the procedure, rather than before or during. That contributed to the sort of numb shock that you get from Rilla through the first half of the chapter. Her frustration with the corpse for being stubbornly Not Alive was heartbreaking, but also very effective in conveying her disbelief. He was just breathing a moment ago — how is it possible that he isn't now? As for the stillness of corpses, I agree with you/Rilla about them being utterly changed. In my family and community, we generally do open-casket funerals. I have yet to find it particularly comforting.

It's almost sweet that something so ordinary as Maurice's (ill-advised) crush can exist under such circumstances. Along with Rilla thinking back to her pique over Ken slighting her when she was 14 and her outburst at Colette, there were those little touches to remind us that these are young people (often very young) dealing with overwhelming circumstances, just doing the best they can. Even Colette acting like a brat is part of that — there isn't time or space to grieve properly and even if she's not treating people well, perhaps she is doing all she can.

I do hope Rilla gets out of here soon, though. The intense, unblinking doctor and the volatile roommate are not the sort of emotional support Rilla needs to keep a level head. This chapter shows again that she may be able to perform her job well, but she is struggling with it emotionally. Is she keeping in touch with her family? Going to church services? It seems like she needs some sort of emotional anchor to help her in times like this and I'm not sure Maurice is enough.

Your comment about her doubting God made me wonder where all the characters fall on that question. I can see Jem joining Rilla in doubt. Walter seems pretty committed to his Catholicism, though I haven't seen enough of him to know how much of that is passionate relationship with God and how much is serving his men. Jerry . . . well, I wonder whether a loss of faith might be one of the traumatic things that has destroyed Jerry's mental health. Engineer Shirley and Off-to-Sea Carl might not be particularly invested in the religion of their childhood (though we haven't seen enough of either to know for sure). Do any of your Presbyterians come out of the war as believers?
12/26/2017 c11 42oz diva
Poor Maurice, but even more so poor Aimee (I have a niece called Aimee) and Colette. Still we knew there had to be something going on with her, because it’s hard to maintain that animosity in close quarters.

I have actually only seen two dead bodies, one was a dead Pope (yes really) lying instate in St Peters I guess that hardly counts. He was all rouged up and surrounded on each corner by a Swiss Guard. But I can imagine their stillness.

Then, There was my Dad, very still and white. The machines stopped and it was ghastly and all I could think about for a few days afterwards. I’ve replaced that image with happier ones now thankfully.

Sorry I didn’t expect to say all that, bit triggering I guess.
12/26/2017 c11 5McFishie 7759380
Poor lad, bleeding out. You can really see a maturing of Rilla as she deals with it, questions why this happens , the frustration leading to the confrontation with her roommate and the eventual forming of what I think will become a strong friendship. In your story I can really feel the hard work and deprivation. I hope Rilla doesn't lose her sweetness and become too hard on all this growth
12/26/2017 c11 10Excel Aunt
I know exactly what you mean when you write that corpses are impossibly still. I made it to the hospital in winter 28 years ago just in time to see the nurses roll my father's body away to the morgue. It was hard to look at, but I did it just the same. So still you can but barely recognize someone you love deeply. I could feel Rilla's deep-seeded desire for him to move so poignantly.

No wonder she couldn't put up with Collette's B.S. When Colette said, 'I don't have to like you' I thought to myself that Colette probably did like Rilla as a person and was fighting it to some degree. At least she had the awareness to admit her shallow behavior. I was proud that Rilla was able to accept the apology. I do wish Maurice would set his sights higher than Colette though.
12/24/2017 c10 5McFishie 7759380
I found this fascinating how the doctor explains the amputation. He and Rilla clearly have a good working relationship . I imagine as a doctors daughter she is better prepared for this than most, though equally I doubt this us what A&G would want for their daughter, as proud as they would be of her. The tale of ingrown toenails/trench foot again remind us how lucky we are with our general health in our modern times, and how bullets were not the only threat of this conflict. I really felt Rillas loneliness in this place, how difficult it must be to be isolated and despised by her roommate and fellow nurses
12/22/2017 c10 10Excel Aunt
I probably would have thrown up all over the place had I Rilla's job. I am not surprised though that she is achieving receiving the esteem of Dr. Thomas and Dr. MacIver. I know MacIver is crude but and he's not always nice but he does seem to trust her and see her as promising. It's a shame that girls are being girls and throwing Rilla resentments for reasons I cannot fathom.

I visited the Amana Colonies in Iowa and on display, there was a field medical kit used by WWI doctors, which included a very scary tool called a bone saw. The picture of newly minted doctors (and probably aspiring doctors) caring that crude kit into the trenches or no-man's land to amputate or do necessary surgeries, probably sans anesthesia really made me glad I was an office worker. I couldn't do it, at all. I hope there's never a moment in my life where I'm forced to watch something like that.
12/22/2017 c10 19Alinya Alethia
This is a wonderful chapter, and it’s a treat not to have to steal corners of time to read, now I’m on holiday. You write the amputation excellently, so that I can all but hear the bone saw and feel Rilla’s faintness. It’s a nice touch, balancing her competence with her humanity, even if she is older than canon Rilla. I second others on Dr McIvat -he’s a delight from a distance, but as someone to work with I’d have throttled him long ago. At the same time though, he’s not wrong about the tragedy of that leg. You balance beautifully the siesmic change if amputation and the almost mundanity of the ingrown toe, how it escalates from a minor injury to a severe risk. Thank goodness for the anaesthetist.

Colette is...sort of what we need, I think. Rilla can’t have Bettys and Pollys at every turn, much as we might wish it for her. And this is Anne’s daughter after all, she might charm Colette yet. But for the time bring I’m enjoying seeing her cut off from her friends. I don’t want it for her, but she’s at a lonely age anyway, in a strange place doing hard work -in its own way this is a trial by fire all on its own. Different to the one she endured in England, but certainly equal to it. You write her loneliness beautifully. Especially I appreciate that she still hasn’t been able to write to Nan. How can she? She’s surrounded by horror, mired in unhappiness, she’s trying to send none of that home and here’s Jerry’s fate like an albatross around her neck.

Also if note, I love the aptness if your song choice here. Rilla isn’t the only girl in the world, obviously, but she must be feeling as if she were.
12/22/2017 c10 42oz diva
I don’t think there’s much I can add to Eliza’s excellent review, but I will try.

That phrase ‘a sound to make it drip down one’s spine, all cold and tingling’ is pretty descriptive and gruesome. The worst sound I’ve experienced is the dentists drill, I expect this is 100x worse. In my limited experience anaesthetists (what we call anaesthesiologists) are much nicer people than arrogant surgeons, so I’m not surprised that Dr Thomas is kinder to her than Dr MacIver. I do agree with MacIver though what a waste of a perfectly good leg. How grumpy would you be all your life to lose it to trench foot. Bad enough to have it blown off, but that’s just preposterous.

Poor Rilla, these nurses sound like complete bitches. Get over yourselves ladies, she’s as much at the mercy of the Matron and Drs as anyone.

Wonderful work, and so well named. Blue indeed.
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