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5/27/2020 c3 Andrea1984
Hmm, I don't think it's a good idea from Jem, to Una to visit Walters grave, if he has one.
Una will never be the same before WW I.


5/26/2020 c9 14elizasky
The beginning and ending of this chapter were beautiful. They both show Una finding comfort and safety in a sacred space. She is poised at the edge of some very big changes and challenges, so it was good to see her taking stock. Who will go to France? The old Una? The new Una? Who will return? We shall see.

I am intrigued by the month in Paris. I wonder what Una will do with herself. She doesn't seem like someone who would spend a lot of money shopping, but I suppose she might like to learn about French food. What would she think of the museums and churches? I hope she finds a way to enjoy herself and gains back some weight and energy by eating cartloads of pastry with nobody to ask her for help with anything.

I am also curious to see how her relationship with Shirley will grow. They may not talk very much, but I would imagine that spending several months together would change their friendship in important ways. They might get to know one another in surprising ways and I am looking forward to what you have in store for them!

One of my favorite things in this chapter was your observation that Una and Jem have a lot in common. I think you are quite right about that. They have such different personalities that it is not always easy to see how alike they are, but you are right. Both of those characters are selfless — they will give everything they have to other people even if it means making sacrifices.

The waffle scene was excellent! I am so glad to see Una and Shirley as friends, finding things they have in common. Perhaps they can taste every pastry in Paris together and bring back some recipe books.

Lovely work and I look forward to reading more!
5/26/2020 c8 elizasky
I really enjoyed how everyone treats Jem like an over-eager child who has to be reminded to be on his best behavior. You did a good job of showing that he shows his love through exuberant pranks, but everyone else understood that Jerry and Nan were too stressed out to find his jokes funny. He did very well holding himself back until the very end, when he just couldn't resist any longer. I liked that you kept returning to that theme throughout the chapter.

One thing that you captured very well in this chapter was the slight awkwardness among the family members. Even though Anne says that she is so glad to see everyone happy again, you drew attention to the small difficulties they are having re-adjusting to one another. Things are awkward with Ken (bless Jem and his dishes!), and even between Jem and Shirley. Throughout the chapter, many characters are just a little bit nervous with one another, which you wrote very nicely.

Of course, the main awkwardness is between Una and Shirley. Una's fears were understandable, but she was very brave in conquering them to get what she wanted. I did a little gasp when Shirley blurted out in front of everyone that she was going to France, but I suppose the whole Glen would have known sooner or later what was happening. I am excited to see what happens next!

Also, I am always going to love Carl with mice, so I was glad that one made a brief appearance. Your portrait of Nan lying in the grass after the wedding was also lovely.
5/26/2020 c2 Andrea1984
Poor Una. Walter will never come back.
Una will never forget him.
What had been, if they had talked about their feelings together ... Que sera, sera.


5/26/2020 c1 Andrea1984
Jem and Faith are married and have a daughter.
When take this chapter place ?
What is the name of the baby girl ?
Whats about Jerry/Nan, Di, Shirley, Rilla, Una, Carl and Bruce ?


5/25/2020 c9 74kslchen
I really like the beginning of this. Una is pensive here and needs to be alone with her thoughts, which is understandable, given the big changes ahead. But she doesn't regret her decision, instead showing resolve that this is the right thing to do. The contrast of how she came to the sea to cry in the past, but isn't crying now, is also very powerful. It shows us that she has already taken the first steps towards moving forward with her life. I don't know whether there is an Old Una and a New Una, but the Una we see here is taking her life into her hands - quietly, but she is - which is a lovely thing to see.

Shirley and Jem talking was also very interesting. We don't often see them interact in stories because of the age gap, but they are still brothers and I like how you portrayed that here. I've always felt that their brotherly dynamic must feel weird, with Walter gone from the middle, and that they might have to adjust after the war. They're speaking very honestly and plainly here, with Shirley even revealing that he knows more about Jem's inner feelings than many might give him credit for. I like that they can be honest which each other, questioning and explaining and eventually agreeing how to go forward.

The sentiment of Shirley looking after Una and Faith looking after Jem is a powerful one. I never considered Jem and Una would be similar, because she's so quiet and he is incredibly *not* quiet, but of course, as a doctor, Jem chose a profession focused on caring for others. In that way, he and Una are similar, and while I didn't consider it before, I definitely see this similarity. You did well in portraying this and I like that your chapter made me ponder this fact.

I loved the ending of this and how it harkened back to RV. Beautifully done! And now I'm looking forward to France and what else you have planned for Una!
5/25/2020 c8 kslchen
I like how everyone here is working together to make this wedding happen. It's a real family wedding, which each family member taking on a task to make sure that Nan and Jerry have the nicest possible wedding. There's a lovely sentiment to that and it also nicely shows that everyone considers this wedding to be just as important as the weddings that happened before and don't see this as a repeat of Faith/Jem, despite the same families playing major roles. That's very lovely and well-deserved.

I'm not 100% sure I understood what you meant with regards to Ken, so let me check if I got it right. He and Rilla are already married, yes? But he isn't close to her siblings anymore, despite everyone being childhood friends? Is that accurate? If so, I'd be interested in what happened there. Do you plan on exploring this further? (I know this is Una's story, but in my experience, if a writer introduces such a change, they usually mean to go somewhere with it and I'm interested in what is your thinking behind it.)

I enjoyed the conversation between Una and Shirley. She is understandably very nervous and unsure whether her it's okay to ask this favour of him. For Una, that's a huge step, because it goes against her nature to "impose" herself on someone, especially someone she's not very close to. On the other hand, Shirley approaches this very matter-of-factly as is his nature. He looks at the logistics and how to make this work, which also explains him announcing the news just like that. Una would probably have liked to keep this quiet for longer, but Shirley doesn't see reason to. It's not unkindness from him, just a different approach to matters, but of course it does create a bit of an uncomfortable situation. I'm interested to see how everyone will react to it when not holding back for the sake of Nan and Jerry's wedding.
5/11/2020 c7 kslchen
It's a little thing, but I loved the idea of letting Nan and Jerry honeymoon at the House of Dreams. It is a very Nan thing to want to have her honeymoon in the same place as her parents did and I imagine over the years the Blythe children heard a lot about their parents' early years at that house, making it extra special. So, that was a lovely touch.

I also liked that you addressed Una's concerns about going to Europe with Shirley. I thought about how she'd feel doing this, given that they're not married and that Una is rather old-fashioned in her thinking (not in a bad way), so I enjoyed that you picked up that and allowed her to voice these thoughts. Factually, I'm with Jem (it's the 1920s, Una is a grown woman and Shirley is her brother-in-law), but I totally see this being an issue for Una that she'd need to work though.

The talk with Rosemary was something else I enjoyed. Of the four elder Merediths children, I always pictured Una as being the one closest to Rosemary, so it makes sense for her to confide in her stepmother. It's also totally understandable that, though she made this decision and stands by it, Una is a little scared of her own courage and a little fearful of what she might find in France. I still think she made the right decision, but it isn't an easy one and it's natural to need some friendly reassurances about something so big and potentially life-changing.
5/10/2020 c7 14elizasky
The part where Una and Nan pass on "different paths" without stopping was lovely. They are really on different paths in life, and even if they love one another, they don't have very much to say to one another at this point in time. That was lovely, to have them pass one another with greetings on their ways to new beginnings.

Rosemary is such a good friend to Una here. Of course, her own youthful grief helps her understand what Una is going through. I'm just so glad that Una told her!

One thing I am wondering about is whether Una will get self-conscious when other people start to wonder why she is going to France. Not the family, but other people in the twon who might gossip about her. Perhaps Miss Cornelia can tell the whole town to mind their own business. I enjoyed the part where Una was worried about traveling with an unmarried man. I mean *technically* Shirley is her brother-in-law at least twice over, so perhaps they can get away with "we're siblings"? Does that work? I'm not sure, given the rate that these Blythes and Merediths marry one another.

I can't tell you how excited I am about the possibility of Una and Shirley going to France together. They are such an awkward, odd couple, but at the same time, they could really work together. It's hard to imagine Shirley helping Una to express her deepest feelings in the way Jem did, but at the same time, Una and Shirley have a sort of quiet understanding. I am interested to see where you will go with this story. Will Shirley agree to accompany Una? Will they get along? Do they even speak French? This could go a lot of different directions and I am interested to see where you take it.

(Also, if you ever need resources about British cemeteries in France in the 1920s, just let me know!)
5/10/2020 c6 elizasky
I really liked the part about Una building her whole adult self around her secret grief and feeling afraid when it was exposed. That seemed like a really important observation and I thank you for sharing it. The way LMMontgomery left Una's story — with Walter's death setting a course for her whole life — made it seem like her whole existence would be defined by that grief forever. You are giving her a path forward instead. But I am glad that you paused to remark on how scary that can be — confronting a fundamental and painful part of your history. It might be necessary, but it takes courage!

I was glad to see that Una can talk to John as well. he may not notice everything, but he does know both grief and second chances. He might be a more useful counselor than Faith and Jem — after all, Faith and Jem got the life they wanted, whereas John has an experience that is more relevant to Una's.

I was also glad to see Mary Vance here. Even though she can be annoying, she and Una did have a special friendship. Besides, she's so delightfully tactless! It's always wonderful as an author to have a character who will just blurt out important information. LMM used Davy to do that — just give away crucial information that adults would not talk about. Mary Vance is very useful in that way. It's uncomfortable for Una, but lots of fun to read.
5/10/2020 c5 elizasky
This is delicious! I love the way you set up Una and Shirley as the godparents, participating in this ritual that is an honor but makes them both fairly uncomfortable because they don't like being the center of attention. That was a good way to remind us of the ways they've been paired in the past — not because they were necessarily the best of friends, but just because they didn't make one another feel uncomfortable. Now we're faced with the prospect of them being travel companions — intriguing!

Jem taking care of Una was very interesting here. In part, he is being a doctor by looking out for her welfare, but he also treats her like an adult by answering her question more honestly than expected. Hopefully, Jem sharing a little bit of his own grief with Una will inspire her to be more open about her own feelings (or at least let her know that she has someone she can talk to).

This chapter feels like you are getting more confident in your writing. You're going into more detail and writing more robust scenes than in the earlier chapters. I'm so glad to see you expanding this story!
5/10/2020 c4 elizasky
The lines about the burning cakes were very funny. I love the way you are writing Faith, which is half tender/loving and half scatter-brained/impulsive. It is a wonderful way to interpret her. It's as if she has a thin layer of adulthood on the surface, but is still a slightly wild child underneath.

I think you are right that Una would refuse at first and downplay her own grief or right to mourn. I will confess that I am cheering for her to go to France, but only for my own selfish reasons because I'd like to see what you would tell us about it.

Your Jem and Faith are lovely, though. They are trying so hard to help, even when they are not completely successful.

The lace curtains that they did not use as play veils were very sad indeed.
5/10/2020 c3 elizasky
I am so intrigued by this development. Walter's grave! I'm very excited to hear more about this. I was so disappointed that I had to cancel my own trip to France this summer - I was supposed to go to all the cemeteries again - so I am really looking forward to seeing where this plot line goes!

I loved the way you wrote this chapter. It was so quiet and intimate. Faith and Jem are usually such boisterous, exuberant characters that it was really lovely to see them in quiet moments — Jem with his patient, Faith with their daughter, and the two of them whispering together. There are the hints of the fun they have (you did a good job of giving just enough detail on the egg story but not too much), but not in this quiet, serious moment.

I also enjoyed the way that you made Jem so kind and observant. It's true that he stuck up for Una in canon and also that he noticed lots of little things about every bird and flower all around Ingleside. He had a special relationship with Walter, so it makes sense that he would notice things about him as well. This whole chapter is an excellent reversal of the ending of Rilla of Ingleside, where Jem says that he only really realized that Walter was dead once he came home. Now Una had to make that same realization by going to the place where he died. I am extremely excited for this (and sorry I did not get to it earlier)!
5/1/2020 c6 74kslchen
Nice work of contrasts there with Mary Vance and John Meredith. Each in their own way, they bring Una closer to her revelation, but they're doing it as differently as their individual characters dictate.

I don't believe Mary meant to hurt Una, especially because Una was the one person who cared most about her back in the Rainbow Valley days and I'm sure Mary remembers that, but Mary can be rather sharp-tongues and too direct. Those character traits are on show here, and while Mary is not intentionally malicious, she's unthinking in her questions and ends up hurting Una. She feels remorseful and apologises, but what she says must sting and Una's feelings of anger are justified.

For a while, I thought John's words would be in a similar vein, when he emphasised how much of a support Una was through the war and how she organised everything and held it together. It could be constructed to mean that her place was at home, in support of her family, but luckily, John didn't end there. As someone who lost one love and later found another, he's very well qualified to talk to Una and assure her that there's happiness after grief and that, more importantly, it's okay to move on and *be* happy again. Coupled with the dissatisfaction raised by Mary's words, John's assurances propel Una to make a decision and I have a feeling it will be a good one.
4/24/2020 c5 kslchen
Ah, you're sweet! Thank you for the dedication!

I love the new story title and I love the poem you took it from. Very Brittain gave voice to a generation of young women who lost their brothers, friends and lovers, so it is very apt. The poem is even more fitting and could really have been written for Una. I find it intriguing how you shorted the first line here, taking out the "perhaps" and leaving us with the definite assurance that one day the sun *will* shine again. For Vera, there was a question mark to it, but for Una, you gave it certainty, which makes me hopeful that we're heading for a happy end after all.

Jem is very sweet with Una. I like how he cares about her and for her, but without being condescending or forcing her into something she feels uncomfortable with. Their talk about loss of loved ones, and Walter in particular, was very heartfelt and honest. It's not an easy subject to talk about, but it showed their trust in each other, which is very sibling-y, despite them being "just" in-laws. I also enjoyed getting to know Shirley a little better and to hear Anne talk about his birth and what it meant to his parents was very emotional. I didn't consider Shirley would be the one to accompany Una to France, but it's a very interesting idea!
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