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for Through the Dark Clouds shining (English version)

9/1/2021 c12 32Feux follet
First of all, thank you again for all the informations you gathered here! I didn't know a thing about the anesthetics, especially not about those used before and during ww1. It's strange to think that at one point, cocaine was used as one. I particularly enjoyed the way you put it in scene, with the questions-answers movements, and an amused Dr Thomas when it comes to the serious Rilla puts in her answers. I also like the fact that, if it isn't open to women for now, she still learns about it, as if just in case.

It was also great to have the answer about her friendship with Colette (I'm sorry, I think I called her Charlotte earlier, I'm terribly sorry!). She's an interesting character, and In a way, she seems to be full of contradictions, but it goes like in a mosaic, making it both multiples pieces / sides but also a unique way. It seems that she's never stopping enough time to put her two feet on the ground, nor her tongue to rest, though I feel for Maurice! I wonder how their relationship will evolve - if it evolve. On another hand, it was great to be able to learn more about Colette's background, and have a comparison between her life and Rilla's.

Also, I didn't know that they could celebrate like this, with costumes and everything! I can't wait to see what will happen there :)
9/1/2021 c11 Feux follet
I don't really know where to start. Should I start with saying that, even if I cried before, reading the first chapters of this story, I never thought I would just fall into pieces like I did? Should I start by saying that your description of the lifeless body felt so true and right that it hit back memories I thought I had put well under everything, like you push something under the bed or the carpet? Or should I say that Rilla's fight, then Charlotte's confession where just the cherry on the top of all of this? I don't know, but I can certainly say that your writing is amazing, and no one could write this story the same way you did.

I particularly liked the way Dr McIver talked to Rilla, while bringing her back to her tent, after taking her from the body of the soldier. He's not the best with comforting words, but that's also why it works, here. I must say, it was also a relief to see him care like this, especially after the last chapter, though it was understandable to see her going to Maurice after her fight. He looks a bit like Hanson, from your other story, though here he is younger. But they do look like siblings, and it was great to see them here, and to see Maurice comforting her, and saying that Charlotte may have her reasons to act like this.

Now, about Charlotte, I was deeply touched by her story. It mustn't be easy to go with your dying friend and to come back and, instead of the lost person, find someone else who's totally unaware of what happened and comes with a happy smile. What touched me the most is this sentence : "I so wanted her to be back. And then I punished you for not being her". Not only it is extremely honest, but also deeply powerful. Even if it mustn't have been easy for Rilla, after all that happened (it's easy for me, safely behind my screen, in no hard condition like they're in, but for Rilla, who endured this for weeks, who's enduring a lot more with her work, it must have been hard), she accepted her apologizes. I can't wait to discover where this new friendship will lead!
8/31/2021 c42 Andrea1984
Warum ist der eine Text auch schon im deutschen Original auf englisch gedruckt ? Und warum fehlt der Satz: "Wenn ich die Wahl habe, zwischen den Toten und der Säge, lasse ich mich lieber von den Toten in den Schlaf begleiten." ?

Herzliche Grüße

Andrea
8/31/2021 c10 Feux follet
There's many things to say here, but first of all, it's congratulations to you. It wasn't an easy chapter to read, that for sure, and it took me some minutes after the reading (and an open window) to take back all my senses, but even if it was hard, it felt right. And for that, you can be proud, because not many would have had the courage to write it this way. It mustn't have been easy to write a chapter like this, with such an attention to details, and everything. Thank you for your work, too. For all your researches, for your words, for everything.

I didn't know that an amputation could have a start like this one, nor that it was seen so often. It already seems horrible to send men fighting for silly arguments, and to maintain them there at any cost, but here you look this cruelty in face, without looking down, and that's admirable. Also, the way you describe the instruments, the sounds (the bone saw was particularly a hard moment), the vision Rilla have in front of her, it all felt terribly right and true.

On another hand, Dr MacIver seems to be an amazing surgeon, and I'm glad he took Rilla with him. Even if it isn't always easy, they seem to work well together, which is only more important in those conditions. It's the same with Dr Thomas, who seems more calm, but with the same kind attention towards Rilla. I particularly liked the moment after Dr MacIver agitated the leg in front of her, where Dr Thomas stays a bit with Rilla and tells her that it's perfectly normal to not feel fine after such a thing. After the moment we just passed with her, it's like a return to the light. The promise that there is still some kindness in this world. Not just cruelty and despair (I particularly thank you for this little moment, which was really a relief and like an anchor, linked to a safe place. A little place to breathe).

The last scene was also particularly difficult. Maybe it is because of the tension from the previous scene, maybe because it took a lot of energy to read it (again, not in a bad way!), but when Rilla said that she was tired and needed to rest, I had the same feeling, and this Charlotte ruins everything. The tension was only starting to go away a bit, and there it just rises up again. It's like sitting on a chair to rest and painfully discover that it's cover with sea urchins (1. sorry for the comparison / 2. Again, it's not your writing, it's the scene).
I really think that the worst, whether it is here or in real life, is the feeling of loneliness. But it's worst here, because with all the horrors they're seeing and treating everyday, the solidarity could be / should be a refuge, a safe place. It's heartbreaking to see that there isn't this safe and stable place / feeling here! And to think that she have to write to Nan about Jerry ...
I admire her bravery. Truly. And I do hope that things will arrange soon, though I know it's just a wish and there's no magical wand here. But I do hope she won't stay alone in this.

Again, thank you for this chapter!
8/31/2021 c9 Feux follet
I wasn't expecting Rilla to go to France so soon, but I don't regret it - only Miss Talbot, Polly and Betty, but I'm sure we'll hear from them (I hope?). I enjoyed the tour with Maurice, and I'm curious to know more about him. He seems like someone who jokes easily, but when who can be calm when needed and who could be a real friend there.

Now, I must admit that I laughed when he explained why the French soldiers were called "poilus", and when he presented her the racetrack. I didn't know there was an hospital here! That's why I must also thank you, for all the informations you gathered here about the hospital, welcoming civilians too - something I didn't know at all!

The doctor seemed like the devil getting out of his box (I don't know if this expression exists in English, but it's the only one coming to my mind for this picture), and he made me laugh with his indignation - the aunt Aggie and the parrot! - but I don't think the matron is really pleased by the arrangement that comes from it, and I can't help but fear her a bit, and wonder what she'll do in the following chapters. She seems like someone who could bring troubles to Rilla - or maybe that's only me being afraid of people?

The least I can say is that it was quite an arrival in France! I hope that things will settle soon and well for Rilla
8/30/2021 c8 Feux follet
Yeah, Shirley!
A sign that your story works perfectly, I'm never entirely sure that the ones on the battlefield, or near of it, are alive until I hear from them. It was a relief to hear from Shirley, who couldn't be written better than here. I enjoy their kind teasing, with the fact that they can't eat together, according to the Army rules. I knew about this one for the nurses, which was presented as a way to ensure that they would be respected, but I hadn't thought that it could lead to such situations - which really are absurds.

It's the same atmosphere when Shirley tease his sister with the tube, the elevator and the submarine, though I can't say I'm particularly fond of the first (and glad I don't have to take it everyday, only once or twice a year). I've never been to London, so I can't tell about the dirt, but from what you write, it reminds me a bit of Paris.

I was glad to hear about Carl, too! He have a bit more consistence in The Rainbow Valley than Shirley can have, but not so much after, except for his eye, so it is always interesting to see what path he'll have in every story.

On the other hand, it was hard to think of Jerry having shell shock ... It's even worst than a physical injury, because you can't heal the same way, and it wasn't treated the same way, with the same attention, during the war. I remember reading something about doctors who sent those men to war, saying that they were only cowards and lazy, while behind there was this terrible distress ... I can't wait to hear more about him, about Nan, how she will be told this, her reaction, and more importantly, what will happen to him.
8/30/2021 c7 Feux follet
I particularly enjoyed how you wrote the difference between the hospital room and the outside, here. Like in real life, it's as if Rilla's uniform was an armor, which protects her, and in the same time helps her to stand up, and face everything, but when she and her colleagues takes it off, they're back to young women thrown into a world which shouldn't be like that.

The young man's scene made me smile, especially when he points the wrong side of his chest. Usually, someone flirting like this would make me feel uncomfortable, but here there is more teasing than harm, and I enjoyed how Rilla replied, with the other soldiers laughing. There is the same "light" - or attempted, at least - with the thermometer's scene.

It's different, but goes in the same direction when she goes out with Betty. I particularly enjoyed their talk about family and what others might think, and how hard it can be to be so far away from the ones you love, with no other way to communicate than short letters and, if you're lucky, some photographs. I liked how Rilla tried to make Betty smile, before helping her to put words on this.

Again, I know Rilla's older, but I think she already had this temper in the books, though it is often depreciated in the way Lucy Maud Montgomery shows it, at least in the beginning. I had this impression with your other story, already, but when I comes back to reading the books now, I often try to see Rilla from another angle, thanks to you, and I can say that I was unfair for Rilla, in some moments. She does have many qualities, but as they didn't / don't count in society - not being recognized as ones, often - they go unseen. You helped me see her through another side, and once again, I can only thank you for your work on her character!

Now, I can't help but fear for Jerry. Is it the gangrene? Is he now amputated? Is he the one who's buried in the prologue? (Or is it Walter, who doesn't seem to recover well either? Or Ken? Or Jem? Or Shirley? - I'm sorry, the worst being that I don't want you to answer to those questions before I read the chapter where it will arrive, though I just can't help asking them)
8/28/2021 c6 Feux follet
Last chapter, you talked about Courcelettes, and I was wondering about Walter's situation. I knew he wasn't a soldier here, but I didn't know if he'd still survive this. At least, he's alive now, and that's the best we can hope for during a war, isn't it? To see every day alive as a victory, even if the threat is constant. I wonder how I would have read this chapter with a week gap, but it was a real pleasure to see Walter - especially alive! - and learn more about him in your universe, and hear more about their relationship before the war and then here.

The way you described Walter's evolution was interesting, and I wasn't particularly surprised he chose the catholic side, as it is full of mysteries (or so it seems to me, who don't know many things about it except from a friend and the churches I visited).

I also particularly enjoyed the way you described Rilla being caught between her nurse's nature and her sister's relationship, and laughed when you talked about Faith being "stuck" with them for a year. I would love to hear more about this period, because book's Faith is more often with the "oldest", and we nearly never see her with Rilla, for example. It must have been quite a time for them three! I was glad to hear that it was her who encouraged Rilla to go, and can't wait to hear more about her and her siblings in the next chapters!
8/28/2021 c5 Feux follet
Once again your writing is amazing, and hit just the right place, with the right words, the right tone. This chapter couldn't have been better, between the description of the conditions in the hospital, the injured soldiers, the kind orderly who's already seen it often and understand how Rilla may feel. I can't help but think about this poor young man who asks if he's going to be alright, not knowing that soon he'll have to be amputated. If war hadn't been there, he could have been at home, his body in an entire and uninjured piece. They all could have been.

I was also touched by the fact that, in the previous chapter, we saw her putting her uniform on, or at least describing it as she starts her shift, while in here, you close the chapter with this image of her putting it off and breaking down. As if she had put on a mask of impassibility along with her uniform, the mask her function here asks, and putting off the uniform, she's herself again, and can cry like this - and honestly, who would blame her for this?

I've read a lot of novels about nurses during ww1, but there was often a sort of "I look away from the injured, the pain. Look, this is sad, but I won't show you, I'll just tell you, and you'll have to believe me"'s posture. But here, like with Vera Brittain, you don't look away, and I particularly like the way you write those scenes, the injured soldiers, the medical team running everywhere, trying to ease the pain, though knowing they won't erase it.

You don't look away, but you don't look away on Rilla's pain, and hard times. I was deeply touched by this duality between the woman who's been trained, who's starting to know how painful and hard it will be, and in the same time this "little girl", to quote you, who wants nothing but to run away. But if Rilla's doubting her bravery - I think it is when she don't tell to the soldier that he'll be amputated - I don't. And tears doesn't tell about bravery either. The scene with Polly was perfect here.

Rilla is brave, and I can only applaud her, and all the nurses who were there, to do that.
Again, thank you for the wonderfully written chapter!
8/28/2021 c4 Feux follet
Hello :)

First of all, I must thank you for all the historical and medical informations in this chapter! It's always a pleasure to learn more about history, and the way you gather and give us those informations is perfect. Miss Talbot seems to be quite an interesting character, and her quiet but firm temper certainly added to the atmosphere you developed here. Also, the mention about Jem's letter made me smile. No brother would lose an occasion like this to joke his sister.

On another hand, I was touched by Henri's scene. The way Rilla handle the situation seems perfect, because unlike her colleague, she doesn't simply say "you don't have legs anymore" but she takes the time to know him, to listen, and maybe that's the best to do. I know that she won't always be able to do that, as you pointed that it was a quiet moment in this hospital, but I truly enjoyed this scene.

More generally, the change between the books and your story about Rilla's figure is amazing, and I'm glad and curious to discover her with this new angle. You said in your introduction that you wrote her older, but I don't think that is all. You really take the time to "listen" to her character in the books, if I may say so, and give her back what she may have had from the beginning but which was never shown, because she was needed as a depiction of a girl growing into a marriageable young woman, as the books for girls were supposed to be at that time - and that in every country, I think. So thank you for offering us this version of her, and letting us - at least right now me - discover her qualities like this, and rediscover her character!
8/27/2021 c3 Feux follet
Like Polly, I didn't know about Taplow (thankfully, google was there), and looked for the hospital they are going to work in. What I always enjoy with your writing, is that you make us discover historical parts, figures, and events that would go invisible otherwise. It's even more visible here, as it is an historical fiction, and I can only imagine the work you did to gather all those informations! You never let a detail out, and that's one of the greatest aspects of your stories.

I hadn't realized that Jerry and Nan were married, and I was far from imagining the way it happened. It's always strange to think that if we knew what will happen in the future, we would act with our hearts, not caring one second for the rest, but without this feeling of emergency, we act otherwise, and often to our own detriment. Like for Faith, it's hard to imagine Nan staying at home with her daughter, while Jerry is injured, and nobody's sure he will see his daughter, though it was fun to hear that Di picked her nickname.

There are so many things in this scene which makes me think about Vera Brittain, you really captured the atmosphere in the best way possible! Also, I didn't know Canadian nurses had the same status than the soldiers in the army, and were the first to have them! Thank you again for all the informations you gave through their exchanges, and for everything, really! This beginning is amazing, and I can't wait to read more!
8/27/2021 c2 Feux follet
I continue to enjoy the way you start this story. The prologue showed us the Rilla "after" the worst moments in war (at least I hope for her that the prologue was in a time after the worst battles), and here we have a younger Rilla, still "unexperienced", if I may say so, but certainly not childish! Not everyone would admit that they stayed somewhere only because someone else told them or said about them that they would never make it. The first lines, and then her explanations to Polly and Betty were great in their honesty and lucidity. I particularly enjoyed how it places her in this story, and I was touched by the way she talked about her sisters and showed how much it costed her to stay in their shadows - something which we can see in the books, but not in the same way, as it is more often to Di and Nan's advantage.

About that, it's also interesting to see how the four years gap can change the whole story! It certainly make sense to see Faith and Jem married, though I can't help but feel for Faith. To stay alone at home with her two children, and not being able to do anything to participate, like she did in the books, must be quite frustrating for her, especially with Jem there. On the other hand, Walter being a priest makes sense, though it makes me curious to know what you'll do about Una, as in the books her story was deeply linked to his. Shirley being an engineer is also great, and I can't wait to heard from him too!

On another hand, I enjoyed the new characters, Polly and Betty, and can't wait to hear more from them! It's great to see this solidarity, and I'm looking forward to see their relationship grow. It was also nice to have this talk between them, to learn more about them, about who they were. I particularly enjoyed the way you shown how uneasy it have been for them to enlist as nurses, the talks with their families, whether it was for them or for Rilla.

Again, thank you for translating this story in English! I'm sorry, those reviews aren't very long, but I can't wait to discover more!
Also, I forgot to say it earlier, but I like the fact that here too, you use quotes from songs for your titles :)
8/27/2021 c1 Feux follet
Hello :)

I'm finally here, and I do not regret it. I'm only sorry for being so late in discovering your story. I've only read this prologue, but I'm already looking forward to the next chapters - which I'm going to read right after writing you this. But first of all, I would like to thank you for translating this story in English, and therefore opening your story to more people - including me. It mustn't have been easy, but from what I've read, you certainly did an amazing job!

The fact that you started with this scene - which could be the end of this story (maybe it is?) - was amazing, and I'm only more curious to follow Rilla's path through this war, and discover what happened here. I don't know if she's attending to Ken's or one of her brothers' funeral, but you captured the right tone here, and it gave me chills all along. I was particularly touched by Rilla's reactions, especially the ones she thinks are childish (the fear of burying someone alive, the thought that there is nothing to protect that person from the cold and the snow, etc..).

Maybe they can be perceived as foolish, childish reactions - but who can say they never had them, even during the adulthood? - but if they were, they were also certainly counterbalanced by her words, or the gravity and the maturity of her other thoughts. The last sentence particularly hit me. There was this feeling of an old soul trapped in a young life. It was the vision of someone who had seen too much, and it must be something everyone involved in a war must feel, I think. Again, I can't wait to learn more about what happened to her and her relatives!
2/18/2021 c74 Asianprincesss
This is one of my fave fanfics ever, and because of the pandemic I have a lot more time on my hands than normal, so I decided to reread it. I just wanted to say that with this chapter, I really like the way you presented Rilla’s reaction. One thing that frustrates me with some fics is the expectation that everyone was automatically accepting of gay relationships. This obviously and tragically wasn’t the case, but often people don’t write about it. Rilla isn’t perfect and nor is the way she reacts to Shirley coming out, but I like that. For all of her nursing experience, she hasn’t had too much experience of the world, and homosexuality wouldn’t have been something discussed. I like that she is trying to understand due to her love for Shirley, but it also wouldn’t have been realistic is she had been automatically fine with it. People aren’t always okay with it now, and wouldn’t have been 100 years ago, however much we might wish they had been. Definitely realistic, and like the rest of the story presents a very accurate, to the best of my limited knowledge, portrayal of ww1 both medically, as well as showing the very human effects of the war. Love this fic!
7/17/2020 c81 Asianprincesss
This is one of my absolute favourite rilla stories, and one of my favourite wartime stories as well. It was well researched and I LOVED ken and rillas relationship. I’m very impressed as English is not your first language yet this was an amazingly written story. Thank you for writing it, I felt transported to WW1 and it’s horrors yet also the resilience of humanity.
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