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4/3/2019 c24 4OriginalMcFishie
As much as Rilla is enjoying planning Betty's special day it must grate. not that she's ready for marriage but because she can't be with or even talk about her love. Interesting that she and mollie are agreeing. perhaps she will be a support when needed. I am concerned that once Rilla is outed it will upstage the bride if the timing isn't convenient. Grandma Bertha is in fine form. we learn a lot here, Carl's back story is interesting, always tough when a mum leaves. It's a pity Rilla can't enjoy the relationship for what it is , without the pressure of what's next. she's had a taste of reactions to her from his service, and how his life works by fitting time together around his schedule. it does seem, likely that she will have to move her life if they are going to be together. Still that's a long way off as they are not ready and the relationship can continue for the next few years until they are. That is, unless the media funds out sooner and this not so subtle pressure of Grandma Bertha gets notched up a level or five
4/3/2019 c24 10Excel Aunt
The first thing I thought when I got through with the update, was, is anyone happy for Rilla that she's in love? It seems to be a lot of doom and gloom and Grandma Bertha is the worst of the lot. Gilbert of all people seems to be the happiest for Rilla and that's saying something right there.

Rilla told Grandma Bertha the day before when Rilla was probably ready to talk about it, and Grandma has to think about it, probably to build up an agenda of bullet points of why she's right, and then goes after Rilla when she's tired. I thought it was annoying when my grandmother kept begging me to have a baby so she could be a great-grandmother, but I think Grandma Bertha's attitude is worse.

(I did chuckle a little that Rilla is the one wanting to take an afternoon nap and Grandma is the one with energy and wanting to walk.)

Sure, she makes valid points on how the royal family will generalize Rilla, but at the same time, her arguments are sweeping generalizations themselves. I'm not saying she's wrong, but her opinions too strongly spoken. And furthermore, why does she need to strong arm Rilla to her point of view? Rilla is a perfectly intelligent woman that has a lot to offer the world, not just her man. What would Rilla have to prove she's not completely blind. Just because you don't have a goal doesn't mean you're incapable of decisions. Yeesh.

So, I'm not a fan of Grandma Bertha. Her remarks to Rilla about Rilla fitting her calls in around Ken's schedule was not fair at all. I'm glad that Rilla asserted herself.

As far as where does it end, even if Rilla thought she might accept a proposal of marriage from Ken, I don't think she's free to answer that question with anything different than ambiguity.

Now, going back to the wedding, I wonder if the world finds out about her as Ken's girlfriend during or just prior that ceremony and she brings in a lot of press. Of course, the wedding is next year, I would assume that by then, her relationship with Ken will be known. And I wonder if that means she'll have to drop out for security reasons.
4/3/2019 c23 AnneShirley
Quick moral lesson before we begin - never, never think, "I'm on holiday, I have plenty of time to review Twist of Fate" because you're likely to find yourself frantically tapping out a review for the previous chapter on Wednesday evening. I promise to make this a good one.

Knowing this was a Gilbert chapter, I went searching for the musical references, and paused at Jethro Tull. A friend introduced me to it last year, and Rilla and Gilbert's conversation about it struck me as hilarious, because my dad and I are likely to take completely opposite sides on the issue - he's likely to lecture me that rock, if it's supposed to be rock, shouldn't have flutes in the middle of a song, while I keep reminding him that it's progressive rock. I've loved 'School' for as long as I've known it, and these days, as I go through continual admission tests to find me a place to study for the next two years, you can usually find me singing that or 'We Don't Need No Education" by Pink Floyd under my breath - the principal of one of my top schools actually offered me a place today after he heard my little act of rebellion.

Anyway, back to the chapter before I fall down the rabbit hole of the soundtrack (excuse my mixed metaphor, if that is one - honestly, I wouldn't know). Is it strange of me to find the lunch with old friends particularly significant? I mean, I'm not quite sure how to explain it, but is Rilla's guilt over her neglect of her New York friends also compelling her to try to rebuild bridges with her Halifax friends? I mean, she does go back home quite often, but the fact that she didn't know that Betty and Liam had progressed to the extent of an engagement, though she was the godmother to their relationship, does suggest a certain distance from her old friends, which she may be trying to rectify. Though I know that lunches with old friends are a prerequisite of going back to your hometown, I still think that it could be a possibility. I mean, you look at canon Rilla and the fact that she really can't deal with her fight with Irene Howard, and you do see a girl who doesn't like the fact that she's growing away from her childhood friends.

Moving on from that line of speculation, the image of Gilbert with his feet on his desk listening to music and shirking the task of writing the article ties in rather well with the Gilbert who was laughing fit to kill in his study while Anne met Miss Cornelia for the first time. His vinyl snobbishness, by the way, I think is congenital when it comes to guys who were musically inclined in the sixties. Only, vinyls aren't very widespread yet around here, and so my dad gets a great kick out of grumbling about the lousy quality of CDs and MP3s, or the high cost of 32-bit FLAC downloads. The part about Joy and Gilbert, by the way, was a perfect snapshot of the pretty much universal relationship between a father and his oldest daughter. I gasped out loud while reading it, laughed, and then sneaked a glance at my dad's CDs.

I can't express just how important this conversation between Rilla and Gilbert was, both from the viewpoint of the characters and narratively. It did expose some fault lines in the family ("I'm not Di", the divisions between the Blythe kids who are truly brilliant, the ones who are clever in the traditional way and the ones who just don't care, and the fact that Di hasn't been home to Halifax for years). I admit, I wanted Gilbert to be angry at Rilla in this chapter, simply because what she was doing had crossed the boundaries of what I consider ethical. Grades notwithstanding, she'd come to New York, rented an expensive apartment, and New York University fees don't pay themselves. There was a huge amount of money spent, and not for her to know more about swimming in an Olympic-size penthouse bathtub with the Prince of Wales than about what she's going to do in life. "Whatever you do in an office" may be cute in a three-year-old playing at filing and answering the phone, but Rilla really needs to grow up.

Whew. I guess I am catching something from the hundred million Mrs. Lyndes who are currently advising me about what to do with my future.

I also love the way Rilla and Gilbert connect through the music they love, rather than through speaking. I mean, when he tries to be affectionate, she tells him to save his sweet talks for Mum, and when he tries to talk about the exams, Rilla immediately becomes sullen. But when it comes to music, it's a different story. There could probably be a avant-garde theatre piece set to this soundtrack, where the father keeps putting on the music of his choice while he yells at the daughter, and then finally, she springs a bombshell of a lifetime on him and then picks up 'Locomotive Breath' as a way of conveying to him that it's alright, really.

Though he does respond well to the bombshell, all said and done. I thought it came a little abruptly, this part - the lighthearted jokes about cats, followed by "I'm dating a prince." Though I understand that perhaps if Rilla were to let Gilbert go on and on with his music, she would never get a chance to speak. Still, he reacted well to an impossible situation, so kudos are due to him even more than they were at the time of Rhoda Allonby. At least there he had a precedent in the operation he'd seen in the Kingsport hospital. Here, he's utterly confused and baffled, but the fact that he was able to remember his beloved Hendrix and Santana so quickly shows that Rilla has another ally in good old Dad.

And 'Lucky Man'! Really?

Also, exams went really well, but I utterly dislike the fact that results will only be out in May. My friend is still kinda sick, but it's the grumpy kind of sick and not the hospital-and-smell-of-death kind of sick, which I guess I could consider bearable. Could.
4/3/2019 c23 wow
How much do I love that image of Gilbert with his feet up on his desk and the way he methodically put on his records. Also Joy rearranging his record when she was angry with him? What a nerd! I love it. I'm also side-eyeing the Blythe kids who don't return home to see their parents. Tut tut.

I really appreciated Rilla's self awareness in this chapter. Also how you've kept her canon acceptance of her "ordinariness" compared to her siblings. I mean, imagine being part of a family where you're either brilliant or just run-of-the-mill clever! Of course the irony in this story is that Rilla is soon going to be one of the most famous women on earth. She also seems to have inherited Anne's "bend in the road" philosophy which will unfortunately be stifled by the rigidity of royal life, but I digress.

And as someone who has a job instead of a career, I sympathise with her. I had anxiety flashbacks remembering the "what are you going to do with your life?" conversations with my parents. But Gilbert is so lovely and gentle here, despite how difficult it is for him as someone who has always had ambition and drive to imagine *not* having it. Also his laid back attitude will come in handy when he has media camping outside his house after Rilla's relationship becomes public. Anyway the way you wrote the father and daughter relationship in this chapter was lovely. Gilbert is loving, concerned, reasonable and practical. And it is a nice reminder that even though Di is supposed to be the daddy's girl in canon, Rilla was the one who named her son after him.

ok, I can't help but mention it- Shirley is going to university in the US too?! If Anne and Gilbert are paying for him too then they must be going broke.
3/30/2019 c23 Guest
I love that this is Rillas story. We don't need to see her goodbye with Ken bit we catch up a bit later once she's home. I adore Gilbert. Intelligent, articulate, academic artistic. I'm surprised Anne didn't tell Gilbert but then i tell my husband everything so maybe I'm the strange one. Without him knowing we get a fathers genuine interest in his daughter. Her welfare her happiness and her future. The fact that he talks to her through music is wonderful and i get the feeling he's been doing that her while life. He doesn't care of she's not an a student but he does care if she's making the most of her opportunities. Rillas reveal to her dad was gorgeous almost like a little girl confessing. I wonder if she's ever told her dad she's in love before. His reaction is perfect. Fatherly interest, concern for her welfare, unconditional trust in his daughter and I bet a wry chuckle that he produced a daughter who could love and be loved by a prince. An added bonus here was the musical journey an unwritten conversation between father and daughter? And why can't I help but think once this settles he will tease her quite a bit (perhaps a new nickname ? Calling her princess?) Until it's public and then he will defend her like a king..wonderful chapter. I feel the public reveal is close
3/30/2019 c23 14elizasky
Nice to have a big Gilbert chapter, letting us get to know this version better than we have before. He comes across as a Dad-with-a-capital-D what with the gentle interrogation and the expectations-for-your-own good and the corniness and the love of vinyl records. That was a good bit of characterization that fits with his lingering nostalgia for Silverspot in canon and his skepticism regarding the romantic possibilities of flight. Rilla’s character analysis of him being her exact opposite is helpful and shows her as someone who is willing to acknowledge her own limitations and set reasonable expectations for herself. That’s no bad thing and it’s good that she knows herself well, rather than trying to fit herself into other people’s visions. Though Rilla and Gilbert do seem to share a good rapport here, speaking in sort of the same register of gentle joking, so they at least have a little common ground there.

I’m surprised that Anne agreed to move so often. She is very attached to houses and had a tantrum when they moved to Ingleside, plus all the endless poems about the personalities of houses and which ones are too young or too old or have hideous bay windows or whatever. I suppose she has Ingleside to keep her feeling rooted, but I wonder what the significance of all those moves is. Did they not expect to have such a big family when they started out? Are they in financial trouble (especially since they’re living on the top floor of a partitioned house)?

Your discussion of the children’s academic strengths is interesting. This may be the first fic I’ve ever read where Walter is explicitly not brilliant and Di is. (Not that I’m complaining. *Something* has to be done about Walter.) Though I can certainly see Walter not doing very well in school because he can’t be bothered to attend to things that don’t interest him. Rilla being an indifferent student is essential to her characterization and Jem's similar average-ness is pretty explicit in canon, but the rest of them are open to interpretation, so it was interesting to see where you plunked them all down. (If Gilbert needs more fodder for his concern, he can remind Rilla that dropping or failing classes might get her deported — working off campus isn’t the only thing those F-1 visas are picky about (something for Shirley to remember as well, should he decide that his extracurriculars are more interesting than his classes).)

In terms of writing, I thought this chapter had some good points and some rocky bits. I liked that you went all-out with the diegetic music to complement what is usually your non-diegetic use of mid-late 20th-century music. That was nice both as a character bit for Gilbert and as a way of conveying the way that he and Rilla connect and communicate. Some of the rest felt a bit awkward - specifically, Ken’s off-page departure and the jump to Halifax was jarring and then the two halves of the conversation were sort of scraping up against one another (with Rilla saying she’s always known she’ll never make a name for herself and then two minutes later segueing inelegantly to “I’m dating the Prince of Wales”). I know you had to cover some ground and this is chapter is mostly just covering ground so the plot can move along, so I’m not complaining too much. It wasn’t one of my faves, but it got the job done.
3/30/2019 c23 18Alinyaalethia
In a tangent interesting only to me, I may have sat up at night puzzling out Rilla’s IB curriculum. I’m thinking Economics rather than a more obvious social science at higher level, English at standard, or she’d have realised she wasn’t so keen on it before university. I’m thinking she kept her art, Music maybe, also higher (if so I sympathise, because Higher Music is bl***y weird), Carl maybe talked her into biology, but not Higher, not even for him. That leaves Mayh, either standard or studies because higher level maths was infamously treacherous, and so her language must also have been Higher level. French or Spanish, probably, I don’t earmark Rilla as a fellow Latin person. (Higher Latin is also so infamously hard my school wouldn’t teach it even to the people who wanted it.) Then there’s the nonsensical Theory of Knowkedgem and Rilla would have a field day mocking it. No guess what her extended essay this to say I still wouldn’t wish the Baccalaureate on anyone, and Rilla is much more academic than she lets on to pass. Your 27 point total is the bare lads, and only one of your subjects can come out a three. (Not a level three, or a three out of seven. Just 3.) So at a minimum she scored 4 on everything and got the TOK/Extended Essay bonus points. Shall I move on? Probably. Why would you make me relive this?

Okay, now I’ve dissected the glancing details of Rilla’s school history, the story. Though I’m still not wishing the IB on my enemy. Right. Gilbert is charming. He does exactly the right thing here, listening and cycling through music and *trying* to get it. He’s obviously baffled by not having that one, life-shaping thing in your life, but he does try. And the observation about Anne’s new, baffling preoccupation with Royals was perfectly observed. This is humour I can get behind.

There’s also lots with music here. Rilla’s insight on the running piano resonance shows that even when they aren’t talking directly about exams, here are two people in harmony with each other. Rilla choosing the next track in the sequence crystallises this, and Gilbert approving the choice hits it home. Notably though, Rilla’s pick includes flute too, so we know she’s not just Gilbert Mark II. I approve of this. Similarly, Ken’s overlapping tastes remind us that prince or not, there are ways in which he and Rilla’s family have common ground. Just as Joy reordering those records succinctly establishes the nature of her relationship to her father; a bit tempestuous, often off-kilter, essentially loving.

I missed George, so naturally soaked up all titbits you dispensed about him. Of course he charmed Anne and Gilbert. He is a charming cat. He’s coming to England eith Rilla, so you know. I’ll even give you details on what kind of paperwork is involved, just to make your life easier.

That ending song is perfect. It’s Gilbert at his most playful and teasing, and it reinforces the theme of harmony you’ve had running through this chapter. I should add that I do like how much Gilbert takes this in his stride. Echoes of Mr Bennet here, ‘You’ll have more carriages then Jane, Lizzy, certainly, but will you be happy?’ And once Rilla says she is, the prince part realky is besides the point.
3/29/2019 c23 38oz diva
I'm listening to the music:
Not of fan of Genesis in general and that song in particular, so roll your eyes at me all you want Gilbert.
Bob Seger is better.
Not my favourite Toto song, Hold the Line. Africa is far better, if cheesier.
I haven't heard The Way It Is for about 25 years, but it's good. That's a good piano riff.
Layla is legendary for a reason.
My brothers were big Supertramp fans, I grew up on them, but I don't listen to them much now, I wonder what that's about? (same thing with Dylan actually)
Now it's no surprise that they play The Year of the Cat. George is as much of a pivotal character as anyone in this story.
Jethro Tull is not to my taste really.
Emerson Lake and Palmer, hmm. Still apt song to end on.

What's up with Di? Why doesn't she come back to visit ever? Now you do get the feeling that even if she had not been in love this semester, Rilla is just going through the motions of study/career yada yada. No real passion there. I can't see her as an economist, perhaps she should have found a better career (nurse perhaps?). I'm a bit of a Rilla, the not terribly ambitious youngest child.

I thought it was good the way Gilbert reacted to the news. Only really taking it seriously when she said she loved him and being mollified when she explained his taste in music. His comment about Anne's new found interest in the Royal family was gold. My mum loves the Queen, I think it's because they're the same age, and whenever she meets an English person she asks their opinion, which confuses them, because usually they don't have one, or a positive one anyway.

Great conversation to have and I really liked the way they enjoyed the music together. Well chosen kschlen, just a very clever chapter all round.
3/29/2019 c23 5fanofNC
Gilbert is so adorable as a father that loves his vinyl records!

And so, off to college Shirley goes! I hope he breaks out of his turtle shell ;).

You know, Gilbert took the news very well. He's shocked, of course, but reacts well enough. ("It explains your mother's new found interest in the royal family" is quite an interesting first comment ;).)
Rilla made a smart move, by the way, with Jethro Tull and mentioning that Ken likes it too. That's going to score a lot of points with Gil when Ken finally comes to visit at some point!

It's break, so I hope we see more family interactions (and of course, hope to see the day Ken comes to visit the Blythes. I can imagine him being nervous out of his skin already!)!
3/28/2019 c23 Aoggfan
I have been checking everyday for an update:) thank you for another wonderful chapter. Glibert as a Dad is now my favorite and it was on point. You ABSOLUTELY delivered. I’m excited to see how the long distance relationship pans out!
3/28/2019 c23 Jxuan
Oh another nice chapter! I love that while the chapter moves on with two main goals, there are so many neat little notes thrown in. So instead of just a conversation between Gilbert and Rilla, there's actually so much more happening in the background.

Gilbert procrastinating on the medical journal and "no telling your mother" had me laughing. Now what would Anne say to that?! Lol. That, and the "excellent idea" to "save your sweet talks for mum" gives the glow to the loving relationship between him and Anne.

Then there's Joy, who's daring enough to rearrange Dad's precious records! Poor (little) Joy probably got shelled lol. I imagine only Anne can get away with doing that, maybe?

And while the friendly banter between father and daughter takes place, there's a pang of sadness for how time has flown by. The kids have grown up and all but one has left the nest. Shirley's soon to leave too. The frequent downsizing of the house and rare visits by the kids. The old father (and mother) missing their beloved children. Di hasn't been visiting in two years? Is there a story behind that? And oh oh oh. Are they going back to Ingleside together for a summer reunion of sorts?

I love the way Gilbert talked about the results and bring out his point with a song! And I'm glad that they talked about that before Rilla told him about Ken. It would have been so easy for Gilbert to link poor results and new boyfriend so its great that he didn't! That would have been a total shutdown! The part where he kneels down and assures her is simply wonderful. He's talking with her and not to her. Oh, what a great dad!

I also like that Rilla decided to tell Gilbert on her own terms and not him asking. And his reaction is just so neat! He's surprised (more like stunned hahaha) but he's happy for her and on one hand he's stunned by the "prince" idea but on the other, any man that his little girl falls in love with is a lucky man! Can't wait for Ken to meet him! Please make that happen like soon...?

Well technically Teddy is a prince too and "could" be king one day as well. I can't remember how old Teddy is but why is it that the first association with that thought always goes to the oldest?

Oh and George! So this Gilbert didn't grow up in a farmhouse full of cats? Lol

Lots of love for Gilbert here! More, more, morrrrreee!
3/27/2019 c23 4Anne O' the Island
Rilla. Rilla, Rilla, Rilla. I'm disappointed in the girl, really I am. But I'm the kind of person who believes that grades are absolutely everything, and that getting less than 90 percent on an exam is death (old-school German mother...but also a bit of obsessiveness on my part). So naturally, I'm aghast that Rilla would let it come to this. But I suppose that if I were to meet a handsome English prince, my grades might...well, no, they wouldn't. As I said: bad grade death.

Right: Gilbert. The man is officially my favorite character (or *one* of my favorites). The record player was the clincher here. And his reaction to the whole thing was perfect. "At least that explains your mother's newfound interest in the royal family." Gold, that.

Well, that uncomfortable chapter's over and he handled everything much better than I thought he would (and certainly much better than I could ever hope to)...can we have more Gilbert? :)
3/27/2019 c23 47Tinalouise88
I really enjoyed, seeing Rilla and Gilbert interact in this. I also loved Rilla rather shy reveal about Ken.

Gilbert knowing something was up, and commenting on Anne's sudden interest in the royal family. I bet he had no idea it was that reason why.

Gilbert needing reassurance the Ken loves her as well is sweet, and a touch of being that sort of dad who tries not to be overprotective, but wants to know if she is treated right and loved.

I will overlook Rilla passing on Bowie though haha. Though changes would be a good song for her life though. I am a massive fan of Vinyl and own a fair bit, along with my dad's old record player. Along with a new one.

Gilbert is going to have a lot to process, I have a feeling and I look forward to him meeting Ken.
3/27/2019 c23 10Excel Aunt
You mention in your comments to your guest reviewers some hestitation with writing Gilbert, but I must say, you write a very lovely one through and through. Really, between him and Anne, Rilla has probably the coolest parents on the planet. It was nice to get a bit of of glimpse that the other kids might have worn him down some. I got a distinct impression that Joy and him were always butting heads. But by the time Rilla was born, he's been through these aspects that Rilla is experiencing and he's more inclined to 'let go' and let the child figure it out while still letting them know, "hey, we're here for you, just a reminder."

I don't know how I feel about this, my own life provided me much more controlling yet strangely aloof parental units. But-it's lovely to think that Gilbert and Rilla have this strong relationship, that she can comment on her love life with her father and he's by and large, so cool about it. Maybe I should refrain from personal things in a public review but I think it leds support that to how believable and great your Gilbert is. I almost think Gilbert believes he instigated their shared love for music, unlike what Rilla told Ken.

I listened to this three or four times and each time I sort of laughed at Rilla's belief that she won't go down in the history books, when actually, when she marries Prince Ken, they're going to make note of that somewhere. You repeat a few times in the ongoing narrative that Rilla is studying economics because it's just a good solid major, not becuase she loves it. I wonder if this base education will help her in her future as Queen, not to mention the international experiences she can bring to unite the Commonwealth.

On a side note, I agree with Gilbert's take on vinyl records although I'm not snooting enough to make a big point about it.

And, I know Gilbert's adjusting to the fact that his daughter is seeing the Prince of Wales, it would be a lot, but I think he's going to have more concerns about it later on. I actually see him badgering Rilla a little about it. It will be an interesting day when Ken mets Gilbert, that's for sure.

Great chapter!
3/25/2019 c19 AnneShirley
"Queen Alexandra did not look like a woman who'd let her grandson get away with not finishing the food on his plate." Thank you, Joy Raine, for the greatest insight other than Wikipedia title cards that we've got into the British Royal Family until now. Don't get me wrong, I fully realise that there are things Ken cannot tell Rilla, things that could possibly derail the relationship, but one thing that annoys me a little bit is that, while Ken is being introduced to the Blythes and getting along fairly well with them (fairly - see "He's smarmy"), Rilla is yet to meet any of the royals other than through glossy magazine covers. I'm getting into Joy mode here, but this really isn't the way to build a healthy and equal relationship, considering that the royal family is far more likely to reject Rilla than the Blythes are to reject Ken. I mean, that King Owen, three chapters later, sounds like one of those fairytale sort of kings, who delivers orders the way a mailman delivers letters.

All in all, though, I liked this chapter, and though I realise that for the Raines, Ken is the star of the show, to me it's Jake. In my shorter review, I did mention that Jake reminded me of Walter in Anne of Ingleside, and a more careful read shows up the similarities more clearly. Also, I disagree with what you said about not having a handle on writing Walter, because honestly, you're probably the only author who could make me believe a Catholic priest Walter. (I think of him every time the priest at church announces a Biblical verse positively dripping with scope for imagination, and then turns it into a sermon as dry as the Sahara Desert. I know Walter would've done things quite differently).

First of all, Jake appears as your typical moody preteen - a caricature, almost, and in stark contrast to Izzie and her carrot family (does Ernestine come from the perfectly charming and optimistic Ernestine Bugle in Anne of Windy Poplars?). As the chapter progressed, however, it was fascinating to see him show a political awareness that could only have come from parents as idealistic as Joy and Dan. He reminded me, actually, of a phrase my dad used to quote - "anyone who isn't a Communist by the age of eighteen doesn't have a heart, and anyone who's a Communist above the age of eighteen doesn't have a head" - he's still in elementary school, but he's keenly aware of the class struggle and if mitigating that means overthrowing the monarchy, so be it.

But at the end of the day, he's still in elementary school, and is dealing with the fact that his aunt is on the verge of becoming a household name. I could fully relate to his emotions here - my uncles are about seventeen years older than me, meaning that they were my closest friends during early childhood, but grew up and started living their own lives a year or so before I started going to school. (No, neither became a household name) The interim period was a really lonely time for me, with my dad also ill with throat cancer, and I hated my uncles for abandoning me. Possibly made them horribly guilty as well, which is why reading a similar conversation from the aunt's point of view was an interesting experience for me. And let's face it, Huckleberry Jake is just plain cute - too precocious and articulate for his own good, but adorable all the same.

There are so many other things and points to note in this chapter - one thing that caught my eye was Rilla thinking of her own obituary. So far as I know, most newspaper obituaries of non-famous people usually include only their name and dates, along with a list of the family left behind. Is she already, subliminally thinking of herself as Princess Rilla? (By the way, will she go as Bertha, Marilla or just plain Rilla?)

And Flynn Rider - I have a friend who once watched the video of Bryan Adams and Luciano Pavarotti singing 'O Sole Mio' (Adams acts absolutely clueless, Pavarotti sings like Pavarotti always does), and then compared her neighbor to Bryan Adams as an insult. The neighbor being four years old, as she herself was, he took it as a compliment. Izzie's observation totally reminds me of that - ambiguous, childish, but insanely funny. Also, the fact that the PPOs have rented an apartment across the street from Rilla - doesn't this theoretically violate basic privacy laws, even if you consider diplomatic immunity? I mean, if she's under surveillance, at least she should be informed that she's under surveillance - if not by Eeyore, at least by someone else. I'd continue, but surveillance is one of my favourite legal topics and once you start me off on it, nobody can stop me. So we'll leave it here, all right?

In case you haven't figured from this pages-long review, I'm through with exams, and my friend is out of the hospital. I did actually read a few chapters of Dark Clouds to her while we were waiting for some tests to be done, so thanks from me and her for taking our mind off the fact that things could've been so much worse.
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