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1/12/2019 c12 AnneShirley
Well, I actually came not to review but to sort out a niggling historical issue, which is that if your British royal family diverges from the real one somewhere in the late 19th century as you mentioned, does the Russian Revolution still take place? Because one of the multiple causes of the revolution was that Tsarina Alexandra, the wife of Nicholas II, was a German and the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and was thus suspected of collaborating with the Germans during the war. So does the revolution include Alexandra? Does it even happen? Because otherwise, if it doesn't happen, then Jem's remark about Walter and Russian Communism in Chapter 10 would be anachronistic.

Other than me geeking out about the Russian Revolution, I loved this chapter. I just realised that this is one of the first times I'm meeting these characters in your work - in Dark Clouds, the Blythe and Meredith men were stationed all over Europe, and most of the women and their parents remained in Canada, so we never really got to see them. Shirley, in particular, is a brilliant characterisation, the stereotypical antisocial teenage hacker who turns out to be far smarter than anyone gives him credit for. Both his ideas were really incredible, even though Rilla refuses to be a guinea pig by surrendering her phone (also, cool to see the two most secretive Blythe siblings connecting, and I loved the nod to the no-touching rule in Dark Clouds. Can I just say that I want this Shirley to be gay too? Because I don't know, gay Shirley as you and Elizasky write him is both unbelievably strong and unutterably poignant, and that's really amazing from a reader's point of view. Plus, I'm all for LGBTQIA representation.)

Again, Anne outdoes herself, keeping her patience and kindness from last chapter and adding a sweetly annoying, quirky protectiveness that I love. It reminds me of this show, Here's Lucy, in which Lucy, a widow, tries to raise her two teenage children in Los Angeles in the late sixties. When her daughter Kim goes out on a date to a drive in movie with a boy who Lucy worries will mistreat her, Lucy actually dresses up as a middle aged hippie and embarrasses herself in an effort to protect her girl. I'm sure our Anne would do that as well, the curiosity of her mother and mother in law notwithstanding. I also loved her sensitivity over the word 'carrot'. My dad always teases me about my 'potato nose', so I now offer up my most embarrassing facial feature for Jem to use in his snowman - a tuber rather than a 'beetroot in a colour mixed from red and yellow'. Because carrots are sacrosanct, apparently, at Ingleside. Who knew?

I can't express how much I laughed over the snowman contest - Jem and Faith the captains, Joy and Jerry the would be usurpers, and the rest of them who honestly really couldn't care less. I didn't know Dan's last name was Raine, and let me tell you now, if you do give him and Joy a third child, Edward Raine sounds almost aristocratic. Also, I love the multiple bobble hats. It's winter now where I live, and though we never get snow, we've reached seven degrees Celsius, which means that bobble hats are a standard in the schoolyard. The Blythes would fit in just fine.
1/11/2019 c12 5fanofNC
You know what, I'm liking the baby Shirley arrangement more and more. I like it when Rilla is taking care of someone :).
Good to know he isn't hacking the CIA here, or should I say, now. The CIA should hire him, really! Ken can write the letter of recommendation, the influential figure he is ;).
Wonderful program, Shirley! We definitely need more of those things in everyday life. Not so that we can be more lazy than we already are, but that some things, like college applications, are seriously too complicated to deal with.

Oh, Anne. Always with the best advice around 3. Can't wait till she actually meets Ken, Gilbert and the grams, too! Your modern but motherly Anne is very lovely, I love her a great deal. Her understanding of other humans is just so remarkable.
Well, I can't wait to see the grandmothers in action, so I'll be looking forward!

Loved it, as always! :)
1/10/2019 c12 10Excel Aunt
I love Shirley's commnet "best get it over with, then". Sounds like it could be his epitaph one day far out in the future. More practically speaking, I feel that Shirley is going to be a character of some importanace in this story. Not only does his search engige sound intriguing the security app might be useful in tracking down Rilla or even Ken, or both. I'm not sure exactly where you're going with this one but it will be a nice read no matter what.

To be honest, Shirley isn't as anti-social as I think you'd like me to believe. My brothers would have told me to get out quick as a wink when I approached their door.

I think Rila is over thinking the phone call and I agree with her hestitancy, because it does sound like she's checking up on him. Of course, HE wants her to check up on him, it would validate him to a degree. At this point, since he's staying/spending so much time with her, she could text and ask when he plans to return and offer to supply the shoebox with delightful, normal, non-royal warranted, things.

I wonder if there's any worry on his end that we're not seeing as well. He did say not to kiss anyone else while he was away. As far as Anne checking up on the comings and goings of the Royal Family, I think that's very natural for Anne and as a mother. I believe her admiting this to Rilla, such as she does, was a risk. Also, I will bet you dollars or pounds (or marks) that Ken's people has already dug in a bit on Rilla's extended family as well. Security is a big deal for this group not without reason.

So, Shirley has hacked the CIA and thinks he can hack other governments? That might prove to be interesting. I wonder if a booby trap could be set up for him if the UK government can make him a nice little mouse trap to lure would-be hackers into databases of junk.
1/10/2019 c12 Guest
This is lovely, Don’t see Marilla in any conversation
with anyone. I would love to see her relationship with the family especially Gilbert.
1/10/2019 c12 4OriginalMcFishie
I like Shirley. Thoughtful, considered, tech-smart. He may be quiet but I get the idea he would make an awesome friend.
Snowman building comp sounds lots of fun. No one likes organised fun but it nearly always turns out well.
Loved Anne the matchmaker, giving her daughter supportive tips to determine the relationship she wants. I like to think Canon Anne and Rilla discussed Ken too , we just didn't see it.
Truro eh? Gorgeous part of the world in winter. I hope he made it to the coast to stare at the big seas they get down that way.
Look forward to them back in New York and dating under the radar.
1/9/2019 c12 47Tinalouise88
Oh, I just love Shirley in this. He was always my least favourite for some reason in the book..but I love him in this. Hacking the CIA!

Ken though, for being not talkative makes me angry. I remember reading Rilla for the first time and actually terrified that he wouldn't come back for her...I was always a little dramatic when it came to reading when I was 12.

Anne stalking Ken, I can see that and her line of it's on the interest is just priceless. It what I tell my boyfriend when I used to stalk facebook for pictures of his daughter her mother would never send us haha. It's public and out there for me to grab lol.
1/9/2019 c12 Jxuan
Aww...Anne is such a great mum! Encouraging and yet protective. I love that she tells Rilla that his title doesn't make him any more special than her and she should chuck him if he doesn't know how to appreciate her! That's awfully great advice there. And the part where she scours the internet for his whereabouts is just so funny. Of course she's kind of stalking him, infomation may be there but people don't usually go looking right?! haha.
I wonder how Gilbert will take the news, him being a worrywart lol. I'm thinking he's definitely going to be more protective and harder to win over. Ken has got to show his sincerity and those half hearted texts aren't going to cut it.

I like how you give us little snippets of the characters and we can tell what kind of people they are in those few lines! There's a small piece of canon in everyone. And I love how you make Joy and Jem so in sync with each other. They're both born leaders, in their own way. Makes me think they grew up planning schemes over their little brothers and sisters lol. Joy too, seems to be wearing the pants in the marriage here haha. That snowman building competition? I'm thinking its going to turn into a snowball fight, with Jem having snow chucked at his face for ordering everyone around. Whether Joy or Faith does it first is anyone's guess. lol.

Will Shirley be a white/grey hat then? Hmm, I'm not sure if he can track anything else in Rilla's phone with those app installations. Seems like he could uncover the big news, unintentionally. Looks like a hint of Shirley getting involved with Rilla's life? He's really an interesting character here. I love that there's so much pride in him from his family. More Shirl please! I like that he's not totally left out. He might be reluctant to join in (having better things to do) but I like to see that when he does join in he's having fun too. Same goes for Walter. Oh I would like to see Shirley interact with Gilbert. I'm hoping for a close father and son relationship here. For all the boys in fact, not just Jem.

Anyway, sounds like a wonderful Christmas week in Ingleside. From the lovely interactions, I can imagine there's so much more fun going on. Can't wait for the next get together!

Oh and its super funny that after all those years Anne is still sensitive to carrots. Hahaha.
1/9/2019 c12 4Anne O' the Island
I want that computer program. Rather, I want that computer program two years ago. Programs like that exist, but I want his - because goodness knows we need a minimum of pizza parlors within a five mile radius (completely ignoring the fact that I can't eat pizza).

And yes, Anne must keep stalking Ken. I would dearly love for her to find out something about Rilla and Ken via the freely available information online, but that might be a little too cruel for this story, hmm?
1/9/2019 c12 38oz diva
A lovely warm family scene. My but Shirley is bright. I laughed when he was taken aback about the prospect of hacking the CIA, you get the feeling he’s quite capable if he wanted too. But nevertheless he’s chosen to use his powers for good rather than evil, so there’s that. We get a bit family backstory, Jem and the clowns which is a very brotherish thing to do.

I laughed when Rilla jumped out of the frying pan of snowman building into the fire of a clandestine meeting with Anne, her grandmothers looking on curiously. I see Anne is still sensitive about the word carrot, that was funny. Time to move on Anne, it isn’t all about you. Now that she knows the truth she’s remotely stalking Ken. Anyway her advice is good. Rilla shouldn’t skulk around suffering, she can be a bit more assertive, it will help in the future too,I imagine.
1/8/2019 c11 8Catiegirl
You’re really doing something unique here- I love the interactions with the family, however what I loved best was the echo of RoI here, with Anne telling Rilla that I’d a prince asked her to keep her lips for him, that was exclusive. That was so lovely. I loved that Anne wasn’t fooled by Rilla’s deflections, and that she could tell her mother everything- even if she didn’t want her mother to do the same! Loved this chapter.
1/4/2019 c11 5fanofNC
Thanks for the update :)

Carl and his birds, chickens, whatever. Yes, Rilla, they are animals.
A GIRL FOR CARL! WHO WOULD'VE THOUGHT! He *was* rather lonely in canon, so yay!

I love how Anne and Gilbert met in your universe! I'll be honest with you, the "End Violence" joke didn't hit me until Gil said it. Well, nice to see they laughed it off and stuck together without the five-year-feud process!
Also, the mother-daughter talk was touching, and a nice portrayal of Anne's understanding nature, just like Paul Irving says. (Speaking of Paul, I haven't seen him make an appearance in any fanfiction- yet. You?) I like the many parallels to the canon plot, with a logical modern twist. And that both parents noticed the difference in Rilla's appearance is something never mentioned. I think LMM could've done a better job writing her father figures, whether Gil or Owen or anyone else. Good job on your part :).

I loved your Anne, don't worry about that!
1/3/2019 c11 38oz diva
Your description of the snowy landscape is almost enough to cool me down on this hot day. Lovely to meet Bertha and Marilla, almost. I believe her family will provide Rilla with a sound foundation when the going gets tough. Like how our Princess Mary comes home to Tasmania on occasion.

They make such a nice picture all walking home in the snow, forming little groups, having snow fights. I, of course, loved John and Shirley’s conversation. Those two have always had an affinity for emerging technology, and it’s nice to see it carries over to the space program now,

Carl and his birds is lovely, and I like that Rilla is pretty bored by them. I think they’ll always be friends these two, but no more, they just don’t have enough interests in common. I smirked at ‘because the universe apparently hates me’, poor Rilla having to watch that with the family. Though I expect the King’s Speech would be equally cringe-worthy, especially if you think you might be mentioned in 12 months time.

As you know I’m canon blind when it comes to the Anne / Rilla conversation, but the reviews tell me I’m missing out. Well done on telling us that they did sleep together, putting that out there like that was wise, and created a good cliffhanger beforehand. A healthy dose of speculation is good for the story. It was a lovely scene, Anne’s quiet disbelief about Ken’s fame, and the lack of words, for what is there to say? Sometimes all you need is a hug.

Can’t wait to see what happens next.
1/3/2019 c11 18Alinyaalethia
My Beatles-related trauma notwithstanding, you’ve managed to pick a song here that escapes all of that. Which was considerate of you.

Anyway, on to the story, and possibly sanity. I really enjoy the introduction to the rest of the Merediths. Lots of reasons, but obviously The pastured hens get special mention. And Carl sort of meeting someone. It’s a glorious turn of phrase. How does that work? Surely you meet them or don’t. (I know it’s a colloquialism Carl’s borrowing, but I don’t recall actually committing to sanity, and the part of me brought up by a journalist is parsing apart that sentence.) I love the nod to Rilla/Carl as a past pair. We’ve discussed that a bit and your read on it tracks better than canon’s over-eager glossing of them as friends for ever and ever and ever but definitely not a couple properly, absolutely not, just friends who go on moonlight rambles at ungodly hours. And you do well giving us a sense of shared history, from Carl warding off snowballs to Rilla’s disinterest in hens, pastured or otherwise. I feel her; I was having flashbacks to the height of Tom’s sausage empire (not a euphemisms!) over at Bridge Farm. If Carl ever does leave Canada, I think Ambridge would welcome him with open arms. Of course, then you’d have to explain what the nation listens to at 7:02 ever evening...

We also get our first glimpse of Una, and I’m looking forward to more on her trajectory, as well as Cecilia and Fire Lily. Also enjoyable was Shirley and John nattering about space missions. I don’t think I’d want to be an astronaught, but I do like a good book on the space race. They can talk as much about it as they like, so far as I’m concerned. The visual of Joy and Marilla battling for the kitchen (Anne’s!) was very familial, and very true to Christmases everywhere. I loved that much more that Anne cited it as an excuse to disappear upstairs. But eho did win? I want to know.

The exchange between Anne and Rilla is a lovely reworking of Canon. It makes such sense that Rilla would be second-guessing the relationship in light of the televised pentacle, even if it were previously cut and dried with a highly legible label, which, let’s face it, it wasn’t. And Anne is wonderfully motherly here; warm, reassuring, supportive. If she’s surprised by the revelation of royalty, she very quickly takes a brace and dives in headfirst to be emotionally available to Rilla. It’s exactly what was needed, no sisterly ribbing ur excited squealing, just this safe place to feel insecure and uncertain about what comes next.
1/3/2019 c11 AnneShirley
'Let it Be' for chapter title - you have to be psychic or something, considering that's the song that was playing on my Shuffle at midnight on the thirty-first! Or maybe the iPod was psychic. You never know.

I must say your Merediths are fabulous, almost as much as the Blythes. Carl is adorable, and I think I'd actually like to have a conversation with him, Kara, Joy and Una. Youthful idealistic me, as intent on saving the world as they. Lily sounds like a sweet OC, and I really want to meet that Cecilia Meredith. She sounds like quite a handful.

Gilbert tossing snowballs with his grandchildren was nigh on perfect, as were John Blythe and Shirley discussing the Apollo missions. I didn't actually realize that Bertha, Marilla and John were great grandparents now. Considering Marilla's uncertain forgiveness of Dan for getting Joy pregnant outside wedlock, I really wonder how she'd have taken to Gilbert the rocker.

I can only imagine Rilla's awkwardness while watching the King's address, but I loved Anne's role in this - her perceptiveness, patience, and understanding of her daughter's emotions.

All in all, a sweet chapter!
1/3/2019 c11 4OriginalMcFishie
Oh bravo, bravo. What a chapter! You deftly introduce all the Merediths and give us both insight into them and their relationship with the Blythes. Carl's gay, poor Shirley, though I guess the age difference would make it creepy just now. Carl being into organic farming is perfectly appropriate. Loved the intro of fire Lily as if Cecilia lived of course she would have had more children. And then we get to the crux of the matter, Rillas confusion. The inclusion of the Kings speech was the perfect intro to the subject. I did think they may be watching Rilla next year! Her conversation with Anne was perfect for this story and such a nod to Canon. Anne was just so race of Josephy. The inire into their night shows this is more than just sex. Look forward to seeing how he makes sure she only kisses him!
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