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for By a Simple Twist of Fate

4/12/2019 c25 5fanofNC
First and foremost...
GEORGE IS BACK! That deserves some celebration, yes? ;) I do love the cat-human conversations very much.

Great to know that Rilla recognizes some of the problems that come with such a demanding relationship!
Clever Ken indeed, a drive-in theatre, no doubt a result of very high-quality royal genes ;). I like that you brought Rilla's family and their fun moments into this, too. (Poor Shirley!)
And our friend Hanson is back! Talk about having our favorite people (and animals) back in one chapter :)))))))))).

Audrey Hepburn is the redhead that appeared on a magazine cover with Ken, right?
4/12/2019 c24 fanofNC
Mollie seems a bit like a harmless version of Yseult, yeah? Maybe a little bit of the personality, but not so spiteful. Perhaps, given time, she can be better friends with Rilla?
Nice wedding planning, by the way ;).

And so we are introduced to Grandma Bertha! I see where Anne (and Rilla) got her skill with language and talking ;). Every step of her argument was planned so well that it was rather comical when Rilla fell into that hole. She is officially added to the list of favorite minor characters- excuse me, George doesn't count as a minor character ;).
She does have a point, anyhow. I love how Rilla's family is trying, with all of their might, to make sure that she's sensible and in her right mind about this relationship. I hope that at one point Rilla will... um, take what they say to heart? Not that she doesn't, as she's clearly thinking it through, but she strikes me as being a bit... flippant, maybe, in her attitude (at least, toward those that are constantly trying to drill "sense" into her).

Nice conversations :).
4/11/2019 c25 39oz diva
It's good that Rilla is knuckling down to her studies and she may as well do so, if only to stave off loneliness, that it helps her marks and keeps her parents off her back is just the icing on the cake as it were.

I see in this 'verse, Aunt Mary Maria is still as nasty as ever. Will we meet her down the track? What will be her take on the whole situation? If she's a complete snob, she's going to find it hard to bring Ken down. I can see her crowing over her 'friends' (if she has any?) at her movie club or wherever.

I could just picture Rilla in her sports bra, throwing her surprised self into Ken's arms laughing. You surprise us, and Rilla by the deferment of sexy times, but it's all in a good cause. Now even this Aussie knows better than to wear a Red Sox cap in NYC, but Ken is clueless, despite having lived there for some time now? Still it's a good disguise obviously.

I liked Rilla's slight apprehension about their destination. I'm sure there are plenty of bodies stuffed into that forest, but that's now how this story is ending, we know (and she hopes). She's right about backseats too, there's just not quite enough room, especially if you have long legs. I wore a long black wig to a party once and my friends could barely talk to me, it's funny how the wrong hair throws you off. My mother didn't recognised me in the photos afterwards either.

It was good that Rilla stands by her independence even when presented with the extensive credit card limit of her boyfriend. She can buy them all popcorn at least and maintain a small amount of pride. And it was nice to have Hanson backing up what she hoped for, that Ken missed her and that in his opinion she's important to him. It's just good to have a third party say that.

I can report that I rewatched Roman Holiday after many years and it was just perfect for the occasion. One has to wonder if it was scheduled anyway, or if Ken ordered it to be shown?

A very sweet chapter, so nice to see them flirting and doing something 'normal' for once.
4/11/2019 c25 18Alinyaalethia
Wollstonecraft! You got Wollstonecraft in! You know this is where I go off piece to write you an essay, yes...okay, resisting. Really, really trying hard here. She may possibly be one of my pet subjects. I wrote all about her theology at postgrad, in a move that surprises exactly no one. Took first class marks for it too, which shocked me into next year at the time.

Right, okay, Rilla. Yes. Point of story and review. Which you never wanted to be sane, obviously. Rilla misses out Willoughby, who is admittedly greyer than Wickham, but also a silver-tongued car. Oh, and Frank Churchill, who, personally, takes the cake. Why Jane marries him after all that open flirting with every other woman under both their noses...Though even Wickham didn’t have anyone fall pregnant. That’s Willoughby at his best. See? Told you not to expect sanity. And then you bring in Persuadion, explicitly to delight me. So if Ken writes half as good a letter as Wentworth, Rilla is fine. He also has a propensity for bobbing up without a word at no notice and utterly undoing the heroine. So that works, anyway. Though, again with courting multiple women, none of them Anne, one almost engaged. And somehow the Transferable Power If Anne’s Vulnerability (it’s a thing; we want what she does at all times) makes me love him and overlook it anyway. And concur. All that aside, he’s one of the great literary heroes I really love. (He even eclipses Lord Peter, which takes serious effort, as you know. But only just.)

Okay, with great effort here...the baseball cap is well observed. It would be glorified Rounders to any Brit, and Ken is rightly mystified. And I feel Rilla absorbing incidental sports details. Cf my relationship to Cricket. I think I almost understood it once for five minutes and that was Brian Aldridge and the Archers everlasting Single Wicket Competition,, not a romantic partner who pulled it off :)

Also well-observed is the drive-in theatre, which is a nice timeslip moment and fits in with the fairytale, even if there’s no dashing steed to ride in. Though, Persis’s reluctant animal is there in the wings. Oh, and I have to nod at cunning plan. Ken never conjured that line without growing up on Blackadder. Though I notice he outdoes Baldric. Well, it’s not like it takes all that much effort.

Then we have more of that easy banter, even after months apart about back seats and all sorts, and it’s good to see they can sustain this romance in their own way. And Grandma Bertha would be proud to see Rilla balancing the economic scales here. (I always made a point if it and American friends always skitted me, but it’s uncomfortable even without a monumental class divide, if you ask me). Her inclusion of Hanson only solidifies the shades of Bunter for me. Now, I know you make the distinction, but you haven’t spent years making a study of his relationship to Harriet Vane. They navigate around each other in a very similar way, even if Hanson's attachment is much less personalised. But he’s the person Rilla can be vulnerable around who isn’t Ken when in New York, and that definitely recalls the Harriet/Bunter dynamic to me. He’s the lynchpin between two wildly different worlds.

And if course it’s Roman Holiday. George will be deeply gratified.

I’ll try not to wander into literary analysis if other stuff, next time, shall I? ;)
4/11/2019 c25 4OriginalMcFishie
Love Daydream Believe. Used to love watching the Monkees!

I like Rilla at the start. Focused on her studies. Seeing friends, living a full life and yet empty and sad like something (someone is missing). Funny how a empty a fully life can feel when the one we love isn't there. But I do admire her get on with it attitude. I was amused by her 'don't know what happens after college' thought, as while we don't know the lengths they're going to to stay together kinds of gives us an indication of where it will go.
Surprise! What a lovely surprise, with Mrs W as co-consipirator, who clearly approves of their relationship and is supportive of the young couple. A proper date would be so much fun , it really shows how much he wants to treat her 'normally' though what they have is anythng but, and isn't he just a bit proud of himself for pulling it off!
I loved drive in theatres in my 20s. fun, relaxed, and cuddly with all the food you want (I used to bring pizza). And romantic too. Rilla is her natural self, 'treating' the protection officers to popcorn, even though they have more money than she does no doubt it shows how much she appreciates the help around her that this life affords and I sense its that human touch that will warm her to all the staff when she becomes officially known.
You get a real sens of how fatherly Hanson feels towards Rilla, letting her pay, helping her carry, opening up at how much Ken misses her. When its long distance its so easy to doubt but these offices get a glimpse of the reality and that helps not only Rilla but I think will help the household know how real this is., she isn't just a passing bit of skirt.
As for the film - I LOVE Roman Holiday. i'm now imagining the conversation they have . About Rome - where to visit, what to see, what he's seen (I'm assuming he's been but she hasn't), how much he'd like to show it to her one day. And what it was like for Princess Anne to escape unknown - how it was like Mrs W not knowing K and what a breath of fresh air that is...how unworldly Anne is, at least Ken wouldn't order Champagne in a cafe in the middle of the day, but he has been protected and how he wants a more real experience for his life...how scheming the press are and what they'd do if they knew about Rilla...how far technology has come along that could make it even harder...Rilla joking that at least there are no naked photos of her on the internet (unless Tristan has some?) ...and then the painful reality at the end, how it will be different for them and how they will find a way no matter what because to have this love is wonderful and now they've found it they'll never let it go. Not that its an issue because they have all the time in the world,no one knows and how lucky they are that they can take their time planning how and when the world finds out about them...
4/10/2019 c25 12MrsVonTrapp
Ah, kslchen, it has been an age since I had the opportunity to review this, and I'm leapfrogging well over a dozen chapters, but you drew me in with your title, as you often do, and the rest was completely delightful, so... here I am.

Firstly, thank you for The Monkees reference. I am a huge fan, and we lost Peter Tork only at the start of the year, following on from the incomparable Davy Jones a few years ago, so it was a very lovely bow, there, even if you didn't quite mean it that way, as obviously the lyric fits superbly.

Ken is definitely a white knight here, even if his (later!) intentions are not altogether courtly ;) and his grand romantic gesture blends the romance of the drive in as date with the subterfuge still necessary at this point in time... yet, intriguingly, Ken talks about their discovery almost as an eventuality, as if their privacy is down to borrowed time. Would some part of him welcome the lid being blown?! Rilla's talk with Hanson is sweet, and indicative of his partiality for her noted by his protection officers so it makes sense that it has been noted by his family as well. Certainly the clock is ticking on Cinderella, although smilingly you always flip which one actually is that titular character! And the Red Sox joke is fun - even an Australian knows that is not the safest choice, Ken! It's like saying you follow Arsenal when you're teaching in West Ham. Which I might have done, once :)

You detail Rilla's waiting and missing Ken very nicely... the determination to get on with her own life, including study (yay, Rilla! and i am VERY glad the Joyce has long been left behind for Mary Shelley and her magnificent mother...) But obviously there is a lot of wondering about Ken and lamenting his absence, though Rilla is not moping, which is terrific to see. Their exchanges once he knocks on that door are always a delight, but there is a real warmth to them now I've noticed, and not just an exchange of quick wits. There is the enjoyable Austen hero exchange as well, and I always applaud how your references meld both the modern (Madagascar lol!) with the traditional. And a song or two as well! And your conversation is done so deftly and smoothly (infact it sparks!) and never lags. It's a real treat.

Though perhaps you save the real treat till last... Roman Holiday, no less! Talk about stacking the deck! Audrey Hepburn is my favourite ever actress (Gregory Peck is no slouch either!) and I have the Italian framed movie poster of Vacanze Romane on my wall, from my honeymoon in Italy, bought near the Spanish Steps (no ice cream - it was January!) The riff here of the royal enjoying a stolen moment as a commoner, and your continued themes of perception and identity, are well appreciated. And of course, Ken has to trade in his 'Vespa' for a car on this occasion. So too, the press in the movie ended up being supportive and benign - and part of the story. I wonder if you are trying to hint at something here? Will an insider accidentally-or-otherwise give Rilla and Ken's game away?

Let's not think about that. I'll leave them to snuggle in the car, with their popcorn x
4/10/2019 c25 10Excel Aunt
What an enjoyable read, although, I had figured out pretty quick that the secret venue would be a drive-in. Those are really few and far between, and I do hope there is one really in operation in New Jersey or upstate NY. When I was a kid there were three in operation where I was but those days are long gone and I live in the boonies compared to Rilla.

It sounds like Rilla is managing the situation as best she can, and even taking advantage of the fact she can get caught up on her studies. Staying busy is the best way to not notice the time spent. I do wonder if she might be avoiding her girlfriends a bit if only to not talk about her boyfriend. On that note, I wonder about Mrs. Weicz, because she has met Ken if Rilla can actually be more free about the things she misses about him with her. I wonder what she'll say when she learns Ken is a prince?

I liked how Rilla insisted on equality and even bought snacks for the entourage Ken always has around. The little conversation she has with Hanson tells me that the royal family is wondering about this girl Ken met. Because I don't think he'd be this open if it's not being discussed more openly with the palace.

But I'm glad that Rilla was missing Ken as much as she was, it tells me that she really does like him, that he's not just a passing fancy to be amused with. It also will help her see that if she wants to be with him, she'll have to go the UK at some point because short of the abolition of the constitutional monarchy, Ken's going to become king and he can't quite not live in the country he rules.

I'm really looking forward to the update when the news breaks out.
4/10/2019 c25 48Tinalouise88
Roman Holiday! I adore that movie so much.

I am really glad that Ken Surprised her and really tried to make the trip special and finally gave her a night out. Though I am sure it took a lot of effort to not just toss her in her bed haha. So kudos to Ken.

The joke about the tower, classy Ken lol. Classy. Though really, if they did break up...who would actually believe her?

Rilla thinking about the PPOs was rather nice of her and Hanson accompanying her is sweet of him. I'm sure its just his way of making sure she is safe and all. Whether she realizes it or not. Hanson, reassuring her know that Ken truly does miss her, like he may understand what that can do for a person. Being a bodyguard is probably a full-time job doubled, but for some reason I think Hanson as some sort of family, making a child back in England?

Though Rilla is right, cars nowadays are useless for any sort of hanky panky haha. Back of a pickup truck, down a dirt road...sure.
4/8/2019 c9 multidisaster
Gilbert Blythe as a rock star is making me wheeze
4/4/2019 c24 18Alinyaalethia
I approve this colour scheme. I do everything up in yellow and blue given half a chance. They do very nicely together. More pertinently though, I like how you catch the different flavours of friendship here. It speaks very much to how we don’t necessarily sustain connections when we move away. Mollie and Rilla agreeing almost bybaccudentbspeaks yo that. They aren’t necessarily close, but coming together here they stumble in to agreeing. They still aren’t close, but they are both more adult and fond of Betty. (Those are the sort of teas, incidentally, I would brew double strength and ice. Which is what I do for tea in summer anyway. So colour me even more confused than Rilla on the marketing.) Here it’s all very civil, the fancy teas, the planning, and I love the little pride that Rilla doesn’t necessarily enjoy all this. She’s good at it, but it’s still stressful. I shudder to think how she will feel if/when her turn comes. Oh, and you’re never going to taste vanilla over raspberry, especially not in a fruit infusion, which is what Angel Magic sounds like. It’s something to do with having no underlying tea to balance it out. Okay, enough of Notes on Tea.

Grandma Bertha sounds more and more like my mother the more you write her, so top marks on writing a journalist. I do feel for Rilla more people she brings in on this secret, the more reality intrudes. She cantbsustsin the fairytale, and she doesn’t want to be perpetually advised and/or harangued (this surely depends who you’re asking, I think) by family. She can’t really enjoy the evolution of the relationship for what it is if she’s perpetually dissecting it, which is maybe why Joy has left well enough alone. (What’s the betting Joy remembers a scaled-down but similar feeling?) Gilbert, too, in the previous chapter. Still, Grandma Bertha might be exasperatingly right, but whet you do beautifully here is land both points of view. Rilla is indeed the wrong classs, nationality, religion (and have I said yet that it hurts my Anglican brain that in universe Ken will one day head my church?!) and all sorts, and none of that’s going away. So develop a thick skin it is, and Grandma Bertha us offering an excellent lesson in where to start.

Oh, and ‘We voted and got Harper’ is still a riot on second read through. Shouldn’t be, but absolutely is.
4/4/2019 c24 14elizasky
I detect no lies from Grandma Bertha. Rilla may be tired of people weighing in on her relationship, but . . . I mean . . . if she is sensitive about that, she might want to reflect on what it will feel like to have the entire world express its opinions on everything she wears and every tiny facet of her relationship and drag every detail of her life into the glare of media (and *shudder* social media). Give that a good hard think, Rills. But even more than that, Bertha’s not wrong about the monarchy being an institution, not a family. It isn’t really there for the benefit of individuals except insofar as they are useful and that’s not going to change for one woman with no allies (besides Ken) and nothing much to recommend her. I liked that Bertha was uncompromising and said what needed to be said, even if Rilla doesn’t want to hear her. (The succinct summary starting with “Because you’re an outsider” really put everything in a nutshell, and that’s not even getting into political issues regarding the continuation of monarchy on principle.) Rilla definitely comes off as petulant and short-tempered there, which is understandable given that her family really has been trying her patience with their unwelcome opinions on her relationship, but it shows just how unprepared she is. She’ll need to get a new attitude about taking advice and cultivating allies if she’s going to survive this – eye-rolling and lip-pressing will have the tabloids calling her Princess Pouty Pants in a flash.

You hit a good note with Betty’s wedding and the sort of distance Rilla is feeling from her Halifax friends. The line about being included in the bridal party just for old time’s sake was perfect. Rilla’s not really part of that life anymore, but she’s still just close enough that she hasn’t broken out of its orbit yet. Her comment about the wedding-planning being stressful landed well – it’s such a gentle little scene of tea and low-stakes drama that it sets up the possibility for a much different mirror scene ages and ages in the future.

Cecilia Meredith as a live person is always interesting. It makes sense that the children would have a variety of strong feelings about her, and this seems to dovetail nicely with Carl’s own interests (and underscore exactly how doomed the HMCS Rilla/Carl was from the beginning). Speaking of mothers, I am wondering now about Anne’s relationship with Bertha. Not that Anne didn’t express herself clearly (slate and all) but Bertha seems a bit more blunt and down to brass tacks than dreamy, bubbly Anne. The broodmare comment made me laugh out loud. No mooning over castles or whatever with Grandma Bertha, and no “let’s see where the bend in the road takes us.” Instead, she very practically points out that there are two possibilities and Rilla is hurtling toward one or the other (Does Bertha get along with Marilla? This chapter made me think that Bertha, Marilla, and John may be an interesting trio - different life experience, but some notable similarities of outlook/expression).

In all, I was very glad to meet Grandma Bertha and hope that Rilla processes that conversation and comes back to it at a time when she's not feeling so defensive.
4/4/2019 c24 Jxuan
Hmm. Ok this conversation with grandma seems to have come a little early for me. I mean, Rilla's only just told her and they barely started their long distance relationship and grandma's already telling her to reconsider. She doesn't even know the man! Jumping the gun a little eh? She's concern for Rilla but it seems more that her dislike for the royals is overshadowing that. I also don't like how she wheedled information out of Anne. Not sure if I have a favourable opinion of her right now. She's right with her points but its early days yet.

I was actually thinking you might give us a Rilla-Shirley conversation. I imagine Shirley would be curious about that event although he won't probe. Still, I think there would be some brotherly concern? Or has that been achived for a future chapter lol.

In the background I also sense some improvement in Ken's communication skills. And I wonder why he didn't already establish a secure video connection with his previous girlfriends and just use the same tech. Or like get some prepaid SIM and use that to facetime or something. I think its better to keep things simple then to have some elaborate set up. Or hey, maybe Shirl can help design something lol.
4/4/2019 c24 wow
Oh Rilla. It's disappointing to see her return to petulance and defensiveness after her self awareness in the previous chapter. Don't worry, I know she'll be going back and forth a lot because this is her coming of age story and growing up is hard, but still I really believe that it will take her relationship being made public to get her to understand the enormity of the situation she's in and the way it will impact her and her family. And for her to understand how lucky she is to have family who care enough about her to be honest with over what she's facing. Grandma Bertha was blunt but everything she said was true.

Nice to see some backstory on the Merediths. Hippie Cecelia sounds like *a lot* to deal with.

You swear on your cat's left hind paw, huh? That's so specific that I have no choice but to believe you! :D
4/3/2019 c24 48Tinalouise88
Oh Gramma Bertha haha. But Gramma does have a point. While it is massively easier for Rilla to fit her life around his, it's not always fair to her.

Saying that how the hell does the royal family not have a secure internet line/Channel?! It's the 21 first century I am sure that they can easily rig something up if it hasn't been yet. I am sure our real royal family skype and video call all the time to each other. Ken's people need to stop making excuses and let them video chat!

If its Rilla's phone or computer in question then send her a new one palace encrypted for video chats! Or I'm sure Shirley can rig something up on her phone for her!

Poor Rilla with all the wedding talk, then again she knows if she ever gets married it will be 100x larger and the majority of the planning much out of her hands.
4/3/2019 c24 39oz diva
The first part was fun. It's just Rilla going about her normal life. Something that will prove hard to find in the weeks and years to come. Her mates treating her completely normally and her planning someone else's wedding and expecting to be there. I wonder if she'll make it, or if it becomes a logistical nightmare? Of course there's a bit of a giggle there, about a wedding being stressful. I'm betting a royal wedding is stressful x 100.

Bertha is right, but I can see how annoying it is for poor Rilla. Everyone is concerned for her, rather than overjoyed. I mean I get it. But the girl is in love and surely that's a good thing, isn't it? Isn't it? Of course we know they'll all be there for her when she needs them, and that's great. But right now, she would like a bit of excited squealing instead of cautionary tales.
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