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for By a Simple Twist of Fate

12/14/2018 c8 5fanofNC
First of all, that title. Oof, being friend-zoned now, are we?

Oh, yes, the good Mrs. Weisz. I like very much that she put him in place. That leads to a lot of things. First, Rilla doesn't have to do much of the scolding, since the awkwardness showed that he was indeed scolded. (I look forward to the day that we see more into Ken's reserved private life.) But Rilla not addressing this problem seriously with him will lead to future problems, whether they remain as friend she or not, like you so generously hinted on. It will certainly cause trust problems, and I have a feeling that it's going to be an important conflict.

Nice family background, by the way, on both Rilla and Ken's side (though, obviously, more so with Rilla).
Speaking of Ken's family, there seems to be a lot of history that repeats itself, doesn't it? What with marriages and death and all...

Ah, George. That sly matchmaker ;)

Nice chapter :))
12/13/2018 c8 14elizasky
So Ken has been accepted by George! Tolerated, at least. That is quite an achievement, especially given Tristan and the ear-biting. Rilla’s been checking him out as well, though only a bit if she’s only gotten as far as Wikipedia. I’m sure Shirley could deliver a dossier if she wanted one, but it seems sensible to adopt Ken’s own policy of not knowing too much you don’t figure out on your own. (I'm also interested to find out which of the sisters are royalty-watchers, as I'm sure you'll need exposition sometimes.)

I would have expected Ken to have other commitments on his birthday (not necessarily willingly), but perhaps the American holiday let him dodge (or perhaps Rilla is celebrating belatedly). Though Rilla must have done some real gymnastics to avoid being roped into Seraphina’s DAR Thanksgiving (I’ll imagine she went freshman year and vowed Never Again). Does Joy’s family not celebrate? In any case, Rilla and Ken both being alone on major holidays characterizes them as loners and outsiders here – partially due to their foreignness in the US, but that doesn't account for it entirely. To make space for Rilla on his birthday means Ken is either very fond of her already or he really hates birthdays. His pleasure over the home-baked cake seems to suggest that perhaps he didn’t get a lot of cozy birthdays in his childhood, what with being shipped off to boarding school at such a young age, which might explain why he has declined/avoided other plans. (Get Nan working on that.)

Mrs. Weisz haranguing Ken and not knowing(?)/caring who he was reminded me of the line from Rilla of Ingleside where Susan is “looking at Ken's six feet of khaki uniform without the least awe” and then “at sixty-four even a lieutenant's uniform is just clothes and nothing else.” I’m not sure whether Mrs. Weisz, lover of romance novels, keeps up with the tabloids as well, but I’m hoping she’ll keep that same irreverent Susan energy even when she does know to whom she speaks.

Leslie’s unwellness is intriguing. You’ve begun to paint a picture of a family with a lot of mental health and substance abuse problems, which may speak to the pressure they are all under. I wonder how Ken relates to them all, especially if he was shipped away at age 8. I’m also wondering about Teddy’s staying close to home as a child and whether that was done for his own benefit or for parents who didn’t want to send another young child away (Persis seems to have gotten on fine in the matter of schools).

Alas, poor Shirley. At least the Shirley Temple references are rather thin on the ground these days, unlike the 1930s (unless meddling siblings decree otherwise). The internet anonymity is a good gesture here – I can see how being free to choose his own handles would be satisfying, even if it’s not quite as interesting as Nan imagines.

So these Blythes have Ingleside as a vacation home. Is Susan around at all in this? Property manager? But this is a good explanation for how they know the Merediths if they’ve been going back to the Island regularly.

I’d like to see future chapters get Rilla out of her apartment more. I’m missing the sense of movement we last glimpsed in chapter 4 – Rilla moving through the city and different locations. We know she has a busy life of classes and waitressing because you’ve told us that, but we haven’t seen much of it. I am beginning to wonder whether you are purposefully playing on princess-locked-in-a-tower tropes by keeping Rilla in her Shoebox so often. I know Ken’s movement is restricted, but I’d really like to see other settings and types of action in the future to give us more of a feel for Rilla’s world and how she interacts with it. (I say this as someone who is going to toss my laptop out a window next time I am even briefly considering yet another 1-on-1 conversation that takes place over tea, so I definitely feel you on the difficulties there. But I’m interested in seeing what you could come up with to shake things up with regards to setting and narrative.)
12/12/2018 c8 Jxuan
Hmm. I don't know how I feel about Rilla falling in love with Ken here. I don't like how he holds back in conversation. I understand why he does but I don't like it anyhow. There seems to be alot going on in the royal family and it seems alot for Rilla to handle. I hope he feels comfortable enough to open up to her, slowly but surely. Right now, I can't imagine them having an honest conversation without Rilla being constantly on teeterhooks.

I love Mrs Weisz for setting Ken straight and hopefully got him thinking about his presumptiousness. Will she be horrified when she finds out she gave the future king a lashing? lol. I do hope though, that Rilla herself will stand up to him when he does things like that. She's more than capable of making her feelings felt, prince or no prince. Perhaps not now but if they're going to have a serious relationship, she needs to be his equal and not his subject. (And this is something I've always felt in canon, that Rilla always seems to be beneath Ken. I mean she does make decisions and such except when faced with Ken. Hope to see more of Anne in her in this modern era, that is.)

Poor Shirley. The joke's on him. I've always felt Walter was the girlish name but you've really turn the mickey on Shirley. And I've never felt Jem was ambiguous until you remind me of Jemmy...now you and Eliza seriously...I'm shaking my head laughing at all these. For all the combined brillance of Gilbert and Anne, naming babies is not part of their forte lol.

On a side note, I hope Jem has Monday with him. And I can't wait to meet them all!
12/12/2018 c8 10Excel Aunt
No joke, my red tabby cat came over to me just as George made an appearance. Luckily, he visited me sans decapitive mouse, but Lex would totally bring things to me if he was proud of his capture. I really dig how well you showed how felines show affection, and of course I'm breathing a sigh of relief that Prince Ken is George approved.

I wonder if Mrs. Weicz will headslap herself once she figures out that the fellow she gave an earful to is the world's most eligible bachelor, none other than the Prince of Wales, Ken. That's sort of funny because as a polite English man he's hardly going to argue with someone elderly and also a woman. He'll just have to maintain a stiff upper lip. But I bet this woman would be horrified later on to learn.

The cake was a very sweet gift. It think it's interesting that his plans are not already made up today, a birthday, a royal one even? Doesn't he have appearances to make and the sort? I suppose he's got a room full of gifts and cards that he doesn't even have the time to look at. And for his day, he wants to see Rilla. There's two ways I read this. If Ken is interested in seeing Rilla as a girlfriend, it's beyond sweet that he makes this effort today. It really shows how much he likes her. But, if he only wants to be friends, not romantic, just-buddies, it's sort of a sad deal for him to show up. He has nothing else to do so he comes by. But his hand on wrist, sort of a possessive clasp really, coupled with the question of "Rilla... We are friends, right?" when it's so clear they are friends already, tells me it's more of the former. He's there because he wants to be there. And he's impressed with the betty crocker cake and rainbow sprinkles (funny he'd know they're rainbow sprinkles). I wonder if little Izzie get's a thank you card too for her part in the creation of his birthday cake.

Now, you've left it to me to blow out the candles for a wish.
12/12/2018 c8 4Anne O' the Island
Question: is Ken wondering if Rilla's trying to poison him?
Oh, getting "presents" from cats. There used to be a cat down the street who left us headless birds once in a while. My first thought when I read this was, "And this is why I have a dog."
And is there anything I should know about any euphemisms you've employed? Because I really do learn things when I come here... ;)
Sexy Eyeore! *Snort-splutter-cough!* There went both the tea I was drinking, and my childhood.
12/8/2018 c7 5fanofNC
I love the support Rilla's sisters give her! Comes with a big family :)
Ah, Robert from Awasa (did I get that right?). He seems like a decent person, just not suitable for Rilla. I think I'd like to see him again, maybe when Rilla and Ken have themselves straightened out again.

Speaking of which, I have a quite a bit to say about the our oh-so-polite Royal Highness, the prince. I wonder what Marilla will think of him, if she ever gets the whole story. My guess is that she will be hostile at first because he really could've handled this better. Only later will she forgive him and accept him. (And besides Anne, Marilla would be the best candidate for holding a grudge ;) Watch out, Ken!)
That was very impolite of Ken. My wild guess is that Ken's security detail required him to hand over his phone so that they could inspect it for bugs and hacks every once in a while, so he didn't get it back for a while. But three weeks is too long to count as "a while", don't you think?

*Do* you want to see him, Rilla? I suppose if you don't right now, you'll eventually see him again, somehow, and want to see him again. Or if you tell him you don't want to see him, he'll just show up at your apartment (since he very conveniently knows where she lives) and try to whatever fault he's committed that he doesn't know of, ask her what the offense is, and apologize, and Rilla will melt.
Save yourself the trouble ;)

(Sorry, I've had a few busy days.)
12/7/2018 c7 14elizasky
Yes, Rilla, I think you do! He’s an inconsiderate ass with the no texting thing, but sadly lots of ordinary guys get away with that sort of thing without even having the allure of being actual princes.

I enjoyed meeting Betty and Polly’s modern counterparts, though I will have to protest vociferously if one of them ends up in a bombing situation and the other has to give up her career to get married and pregnant. You’ve set up some interesting potential gender-role stuff with Rilla already (is being a prince/princess compatible with modern identities?) and I look forward to seeing how other women in this story fare when compared to their century-ago counterparts.

Which brings me to Di. There’s plenty of fun stuff in this chapter (loved the bumblebee guard) but as I can’t comment on all of it, I will pick out something for particular comment. I really enjoyed your characterization of Di here, which is economical but evocative. By calling Rilla “reasonably smart” you let us see that she is someone who does not sugarcoat her responses, seeming to value being honest/fair/objective over being diplomatic or polite. Since you also tell us that she can’t get along with her girlfriend for two minutes together, I would guess that Di’s truth-telling gets her in trouble often enough (though if they are still together, perhaps she knows how to apologize as well?). They’re just a few little lines, but they give the impression of a person who does not make herself more palatable to please other people. I look forward to this character trait potentially intersecting with Prince Ken at some point – would Di give him a fair, unvarnished assessment as she does Rilla? One good thing about Di’s approach is that you don’t have to wonder whether she’s flattering you – if she tells Rilla that she is pretty, funny, and caring, Rilla can trust that it’s probably true.

Overall, I enjoyed this chapter’s focus on women and their interactions, with men’s actions as foreign things that require deciphering. There’s lots of commentary on female social rules — the DAR crowd’s expectations, the calling of dibs among friends, the girlfriend not being good enough to please mom, the sisters-before-misters of the Blythe girls gassing Rilla up, Mrs. Weisz’s commentary on “games” — that place Rilla in overlapping systems that monitor her behavior. I imagine that will only get more complex, and am eager to see what happens when she gets thrown into alien systems of rules (I hope her sisters will protect her as they did in the incident involving Tristan, though Ken has the potential to disrupt *their* lives as well, which might test some of their supportiveness).

I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see the Halloween party. I would have liked to see Prince Ken in a different social setting and would have liked a chapter with a different structure than putting Rilla in a 1-on-1 or small group conversation.

(Regionalisms: “fresher” is British; “freshmen” is the most widely used term in the northeastern US, though many colleges have moved toward “first-years” as a gender-neutral alternative in their official communications (most people still say “freshmen” colloquially). Elite colleges also sometimes use “frosh” as in “pre-frosh” (high school students visiting a college). Also, stick an s at the end of “Daughters” of the American Revolution. Good job on “dibs” and “hottie,” which sound right, though I think Rilla may have brought “taking the mickey” from Canada with her. I liked that the conversation with Rilla’s friends had more slang than the conversation with her sisters, which was a nice way to mark both their age and their relationship (I don’t imagine Seraphina would ever say “pish-posh” unless she was doing an impersonation of one of her DAR acquaintances).)
12/6/2018 c7 18Alinyaalethia
Oh, I like Mrs Weisz. Nothing puts you odd games like a dose of false conflict, and to,ancestry are weirdly full of just that. Because god forbid our protagonists talk - or, shock, horror - work together! I think I know quite a few writers Mrs Weisz and I would bond over. Who write books with conflict that talking doesn’t fix.

But taking this chapter in order, it really is all full of rules. We start with the question of ‘calling dibs’ and Seraphina’s DAR-preoccupied Mother, and all the attendant social quagmires. I enjoy the college life you paint. A good friend fled our university exactly because of a roommate like Rilla’s. Although the toomate had fewer problems mixing Jesus with alcohol, which was...interesting.

Still, it’s good to see Rilla with friends that are just hers, you know? Especially since, as discussed, RoI Rilla never gets closer to a bosom friend than Betty Meade.

We move in to the bolstering of the sisters, which is just glorious. They’re somewhere between playing communal Emma Woodhouse to Rilla’s Harriet and forming a protective Falange around her. I love their incredulity that anyone is her superior. Isn’t that what family are for? But they also tease and needls and addle Rilla until she actually *touches* the Sacred Tail of George III. Not on,y that, she *wraps it around her fingers*. Do you know the havoc my hands would be subjected to for such transgressions. Also gold was Nan lapsing I go ‘therapist’ mode. I have an aunt that does this and once she’s there, there’s no getting her to hold up her side if the conversation past asking you open-ended questions. Drives me bonkers.

And then we have Mrs Weisz again, who is just excellent. My mother, by the way, would take Marilla’s side in the phone debate, but I enjoy that she goes not. She’s her own person, is Mrs Weisz and woe to anyone who forgets this fact.

And lest we forget the source, your Rilla has the same soldier-on-regardless outlook on life. Radio silence between messages is, admittedly not so calamitous next to a war, but I bet it can feel like that in the right mindset. My vote is that Rilla summons Nia and Seraphina for further Gilmore Girls adventures, before following through with that meeting.

(I owe you several emails, I haven’t , I roomies. Life sort of happened.)
12/6/2018 c7 MarillaCBlythe
Enjoying this story, waiting to see how the rest of the family is. A Gilbert raised by Marilla and what he calls her, and where’s John.
12/6/2018 c7 AnneShirley
Coming to my, um, fourth priority - reviewing!

One thing is, Rilla's college sounds fascinating! Nia and Seraphina (we'll take a moment to pity the latter for her name - you really do something with names in the modern era that you, tragically, couldn't do so well in Dark Clouds) remind me of a situation, back when we were children, when privileged, poetic, shy me was paired in a class project with the girl who'd become my best friend, flamboyant yet practical, and whose mom had been ill with cancer for so long that things had reached their worst point for her family, financially. And it turned out really well, so I'm hoping for more Nia and Seraphina. Not to mention the callbacks to Pris and Phil and Stella in Anne of the Island.

Though Rilla's roomie sounds a little bit - different, shall we say? I can totally feel her pain when she says "Jesus and hangovers don't mix" - I go to a school set up by missionaries, with the result that girls with period pain are told by the school nurse that it's all happening because women are fundamentally flawed all because Eve ate the apple. Though of course, we do get paracetamol, so I guess the Biblical metaphors are part and parcel.

The bumblebee part intrigued me. Did the martial-arts trained hitman (MATH henceforth; I love your term but not its length) choose the costume himself, which would be a story in itself, or did Ken, in a moment of sadistic humour, say, "Hey, MATH, I want you to wear this bumblebee costume and look like one of those overgrown striped lozenges with wings from Winnie the Pooh cartoons."? I mean, even an Eeyore costume would beat that. Sexy Eeyore? Even better.

Though Ken really irritates me. I mean, I get that he's the prince and all that jazz, but there are a few basic rules of courtesy and etiquette, unfortunately not included in the Oxford PPE programme, that require even a monarch to give the girl he's been going out with a basic idea of his intentions. Entitlement, I guess. I'm in agreement with Mrs. Weisz on that point, that it's not polite, and her advice reminded me too much of Teddy's whistle in Emily's Quest (not sure if you've read it, but main character Emily gets angry when would be beau Teddy whistles to her from a nearby forest, decides that all he's doing is reenacting the old Scotch ballad 'Whistle and I'll come to you my lad', and ends up losing Teddy for years). Still, I'm leaving this one up to Rilla. At this point, prince or no prince, suave or not suave, I'd tell him he'd better call it quits or find a way to prove his love to me. Though I'm sweet sixteen and never been kissed, so not much of a source of romantic advice for Rilla.

The sisterly video call seemed a little vague this week, and I guess that conveys Rilla's mood really well. I particularly noted how Di, even in the middle of a spat with Ebony, tries to help her little sister. Nan putting on her psychologist guise - was that a sly nod to the author herself? Rilla dating Seraphina's cousin sounds like a disaster, right from the Wagnerian name, and I really hope that Joy gets over Rilla not even calling Robert back because, seriously? It would be awkward if he found himself easily able to remember Halifax, and she couldn't for the life of her remember Awasa!

Mrs. Weisz and her romantic novels are a great bookend to the beginning and end of this first phase of the relationship - when Rilla and Ken do get together, it's going to be quite different - and I like the way you make her sound like a more modern, even wiser version of Aunt Jimsie. And of course she knows that a man on a Vespa motorcycle came to see Rilla (wait - is this whole story a gender flipped version of A Roman Holiday?) Her advice is right, definitely, but I do hope that Rilla takes it! Because while Ken is an entitled snob, her worry over his being incommunicado is a reliable barometer of how much he means to her.
12/5/2018 c7 10Excel Aunt
I think Ken's behavior is probably typical of men of his station. I do not think he's aware of his games, or, even if he might have an inkling of them, he's not had to deal with being on the other end at all. That said, I trust Mrs. Weisz's advice here. Just be honest. If Rilla was a bit hurt in all this, she needs say so. She can say she's cool with just being his friend, but even friends that you party with and have just met will text or facebook or do something to keep the banter going. Romance is not the question, but just common courtesy. If you're friends with someone, you make an effort to be friendly.

It might be easier make boundaries known. I get that, but it's incredibly hard to do. This guy is probably not to being the one to make concessions for a relationship. She avoided her roommate's Jesus talk by hiding. Did she ever just say how she felt instead? History repeats so I'll have my eye on this.

Nia and Seraphina are two of the most unusual names I've seen. Where did you find them? Do they mean something?

I was hoping that Rilla would confide the identy of her new friend in her sisters, or one of them. I'm not sure who would make the best confidante, but I think Rilla could use one.
12/5/2018 c7 2Kim Blythe
Now you have me completely lost, what does ''Calling dibs'' means ?

I gather it must mean something like ''Are you going out with that guy, or not'' ?!

I understand that a Prince life must be a really busy one, but, not calling, sending a message, emailing or whatever else he did not do for those three weeks, was not really kind...

But, I guess that he too, just like Rilla, must ask himself if he should call her, or text her...

And, come on Rilla, I think that the answer you are looking for is ''Yes'' I want to see him !
12/5/2018 c7 Jxuan
Ahh...transitional chapters like this make me groan. I know its needed but still. Can't help wanting more more more you know.

What I like here though, is the Joy-Joy-ness banter of the sisters and the way they back Rilla up. Makes me wish I had sisters like that. I absolutely love Mrs Weisz's advice, she's darn right. Just see him Rilla, you know you want to. And can I just say its so (canon) Ken to not explain and not apologise? lol.

I also like the little comic reliefs thrown in so casually. George and his tail. Robert and his where-is-his-from-now. Too bad he got rejected after one message. That must be crushing lol.

Now I wonder who's the current King or err Queen? Owen or his granddad/mum? Ken seems kind of young to be a king anytime soon, probably not until he's like 50ish? haha.

Next chapter please! I'm in full anticipation of their next date!
12/5/2018 c7 38oz diva
Mrs Weisz is wise, stop pussy footing around, Rilla and act if you really want to see Prince Ken again.

Now I’m trying to imagine the conversation where Ken tells the secret service agents they have to dress up for the party and the agent says he’ll go as a bee, or better yet is told he’s going as a bee. I imagine him as Barry the Bee’s mate in the Bee Movie.

I enjoy all the gossiping about Rilla’s mystery mean from her sisters and friends, it’s all completely believable. You can imagine Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle And even our own Mary Donaldson, the Aussie who married Prince Frederik of Denmark. Way before it became public, your friends would be doing this. Especially before they meet him.

The sisters are worried because of Rillas ‘out of my league’ comment, though, of course Rilla is kind of right, still for the reasons mentioned above her having a relationship with Ken is not completely impossible.
12/5/2018 c6 AnneShirley
Forgive my tardiness - it's been a long week, and even as I sit here, I'm not even sure whether to take a rain check and promise a great review for the next chapter or try to puzzle out a half-baked review. I'll try the first, but forgive me if this review ends abruptly. I'm in a race against bedtime here.

First, replies to your reply. I did actually glance at this on Thursday, and noted your comment on Dylan and the symbolism of playing cards, which in turn gave me a pretty good chance to chat up a cute girl in class. I don't do normal pickup lines. And that's so cool that you got to see Joan Baez live in concert! The closest I've ever come to my sixties music idols was my guitarist cousin playing 'El Condor Pasa' in my honour when I was five years old.

And my story was definitely not Anne fanfic, just the sort of thing you'd write for a school essay with a really abstract topic, best day of your life or some related trash. So one character in the story I was writing was a boy whose father was a writer and who'd traveled the world with his parents, which naturally reminded me of Kenneth Ford. Only... the Ken thing. Hence the choice of Liam.

And Barbie dolls still do have molded plastic underwear or a variation on that, but that wasn't enough for my cousin, who (logically) stated that the plastic dents could hardly be underwear, as it wasn't removable, and everyone knows... I'm sure you can guess the rest of the sentence.

And yes, nobody wants Uncle Al!

I swear I'll review the actual chapter tomorrow, and until then, a Restless Farewell, and goodbye Uncle Al.
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