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4/18/2020 c4 74kslchen
Ah, and here I was, looking forward to that trip to France! I really think Una could benefit from it, but of course, her decision must be respected and it would be harmful if she felt pressured into going when not ready for it. But I hope that she might yet see that there could be comfort to be found from seeing Walter's grave, mourning him and saying goodbye. She needs some form of closure to be able to move on and so far, she doesn't seem to have found it anywhere else, so France might be worth a shot.

Speaking of closure, I found your exploration of Anne's grief very interesting and thoughtful. "Not a widow, just a mother" was a very sad thought, but it rang true. I think people ascribe a widow the loss of a future, but a mother 'just' the loss of a part of her past, but of course it's never that easy. Grief can't be measured or compared, nor should it be. I like the idea that Anne and Jem talk about Walter, to share their grief and remember him. Jem is the only one in the family who knows what Walter lived through in his final months, so while I imagine he holds back a lot of truths from Anne, he might also be able to comfort her in a way that others aren't able to.

Maybe Jem can also find a way to comfort Una? Faith did bungle that talk a little, even though she meant well. Jem recognises that Una isn't well and that her current situation isn't healthy, which makes it sound like he might take it upon himself to do something about that. I'm still rooting for France (which I admit is to a large part because it's so *pretty*), but anything would help at this point. Moving on is scary and so is going to France to see Walter's grave, but maybe Jem, having lost his brother and best friend in Walter, could be the one to get through to Una?
4/11/2020 c2 Irish Princess
Such a sweet story! I love the sisterly bond between Faith and Una. Looking forward to the next chapter.
4/11/2020 c1 Guest
this is great. I love seeing the sisters reassuring each other.
4/12/2020 c3 kslchen
Stories have a habit of doing that, don't they? You think they'll be nice and short, but then they take on a life of their own and you lose all control of them and before you have time to blink, you have a full-blown multi-chapter story on your hands. (I should know. I planned for my current story to clock in around 100.000 words and now I don't expect it to stay under half a million...)

I enjoyed the quiet, loving relationship of Jem and Faith here. It's really a safe, intimate moment they create with their daughter, which lends itseld to some honest talk. Faith walks a fine line, asking for help whithout betraying Una's confidence, and she does it well. This is Una's secret and it's not for Faith to share, even with Jem.

Of course, Jem guessing makes things easier and also shows a sensitive side to him. Having been a soldier for so long, he knows a lot about death and loss and grief, so he brings valuable insight to the table. What he says about Una having to see the grave to properly mourn and move on sounds like it stems from experience (maybe a friend and fellow comrade he lost?) and I hope it offers closure to Una as well. Maybe going to France is really what she needs to start a new life for herself?
4/12/2020 c2 kslchen
Faith speaks many a true word here. With Una, there is always the danger of her losing herself while helping others. It's a lovely trait, that helpfulness and supportiveness, but it's no good if the person doing the helping forgets themselves in the progress. For Una, I think it's easier to just focus on others instead of herself, so it was important for Faith to broach this subject, even if it wasn't an easy one.

You do an excellent job of showing that Una's love for Walter isn't just her worshipping and fancying him from afar, but it's become an integral part of herself. I wonder to what extent it's just her love for him that shapes her and what extent is really her grief. She's spent years quietly longing for him in some way, even after his death, so to give that up with be to lose a large part of what she thinks makes up her identity. That's super scary and it makes "moving on" all that much harder.

At the same time, Faith speaks another truths when she says that Una doesn't owe Walter her grief, nor that he wanted her to continue mourning him. It will be hard, but there has to be another life for Una, something that's more than just living a ghost-like existence in servitude to others. I like that she has her sister with her to walk that tricky path and am looking forward to find out what you envision her life to be.
4/12/2020 c1 kslchen
Hey there! From one non-native speaker to the other, let me assure you that your English reads perfectly fine to me and anyway, I'm glad you didn't write this in French, because my French is so bad like you wouldn't believe ;).

I really enjoy the characterisation of these three characters here. (And of Susan!) Jem's excitement and giddiness at the birth was lovely and absolutely right for him, while him insisting to check up on Faith and noticing Una's paleness was definitely the doctor speaking. It was a lovely touch of him to recognise Una's support and thank her for it.

As for Faith, I think you strike a very good balance between the complete joy and absolute terror that I think is not unusual for a new mother. Of course, it's exacerbated here by the loss of Cecilia, which Faith surely feels most keenly in this moment and which heightens her very understandable vulnerability. Such a relief for her then, to have Una here by her side and support her. I also like that she doesn't take Una for granted, recognising that she asked a lot of her and acknowledging the importance of Una's presence.

Una herself is very much like we've come to know her - a quiet strength. I always thought those words encapsulated Una best of all, because while she may be quiet, she is very strong underneath and it shows in this story as well. I always thought she deserved a better fate than pining after Walter for the rest of her life, so I shall read on immediately and see what you have in store for her.
4/11/2020 c2 14elizasky
Poor Una! You have done a great job of showing that Una's pain is not just losing Walter — she suffers because she lost Walter and cannot express that loss out in the open. She even felt that she had to hide her sorrow from Faith, only crying under the covers. Years later, she still hides her pain by serving others, which is certainly a beautiful thing to do, but if she just does it to bury her grief, she will hold onto that grief forever.

This was a wonderful chapter because you show Faith helping Una as much as Una has helped Faith. Or at least, Faith tries to help. It is believable that Faith might not be very good at expressing such tender worries because she is used to just charging into things at full speed. I'm glad she tried, though. Una's ability to cry with someone was an important moment of catharsis.

Now both sisters have shared their sorrows with one another. I only hope that Una will find the same healing that Faith did. By sharing her sorrow, perhaps she can see that she does not have to be alone.
4/11/2020 c1 elizasky
I'm so glad you posted this! This is such a sweet, intimate little scene with these three characters. You did a good job of focusing on a small but important moment — the action has passed, but they are all still in a mindset of something momentous happening that allows Faith to speak about her fears. Of course she would wonder whether she would be a good mother, especially after having lost her own mother at such a young age. Faith was never very good at domestic things, laughing when she spilled milk or ignoring windowpanes she cracked while washing them, but a baby is not a window pane, even if it is fragile! I'm thinking of some of the scenes where Rilla first brings Jims home and is afraid she'd break him. But, of course, Faith can't speak of these fears to other people who might understand — she can't even really speak to Jem about them. But she loves and trusts Una. You did an excellent job of writing the closeness between the two sisters.

I also enjoyed the way you wrote about Jem and all his anxiety, excitement, and joy. I'm glad that he got to break the news to the family, but also glad that he protected Faith by giving her some time to recover. I also laughed at the thought of Jerry in the delivery room. I suspect you're right that he would not be any help at all.

Though you have left one very important question unanswered: what is the baby's name?

Thanks for writing! I'm going to go on to Part II now.
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