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8/24/2021 c1 Guest
Love this...definitely made me teary-eyed
7/5/2021 c1 26Mauryn
I can't resist any Matthew story. There aren't enough of them to read, after all. But OMG. I see I'm going to need a lot more tissue if I keep reading your fic.

This was so heart breaking and beautiful! I think my favorite part, other than Matthew becoming a marbles shark at school LOL (go Matthew!), was seeing old Mr. Cuthbert soften a little towards Matthew at last.

Thanks so much for posting this story.
3/13/2021 c1 61LavernaG
Why do you insist on breaking my heart? Seriously though, this was such a touching story. There are very few ones about Matthew and his kind heart, so thank you for writing such a beautiful piece about him.
This look into the Cuthberts' family was quite distressing to read, although I think you've managed to capture it extremely well. Even back in their happy days, it was so evident how little their mother thought of Matthew and Marilla. I think that was partly the reason they understood each other and worked so well together, living together all their lives. I was delighted to discover Matthew had inherited his own father's quiet demeanour. And it was lovely to see some of the other characters mentioned, too, especially John Blythe and Toby Gillis supporting Matthew.
Thank you for a wonderful reading experience! :)
2/28/2021 c1 54Wildebunny the Eternal
Fandom blind disclaimer.
This story does a good deal of exploring Matthew's innocence. I think this exchange is my favorite part of the story:
["What are you doing boy?" his father interrupted. "Don't annoy her, let her rest," he said gruffly.

"I got her marbles back, the ones they say she lost," Matthew said disconsolately.]

Matthew thought the meaning was literal instead of figurative, it speaks to how young he is. (Which at this point, I'm thinking between six to ten.)

The ending bit made me think that the event was traumatizing to him.
[he never played marbles again.]
Outside of attaching a traumatic event to the marbles themselves, I don't see why he would stop playing with the marbles. It's unclear how much time passed between each segment. It also makes me question if it was suicide due to grief (dying by not wanting to eat) since I don't think much time passed. It also makes me question why the family couldn't keep her alive by looking after her.

The most confusing part of the story is this:
[ Your son Michael Cuthbert has died Stop Effects to follow Stop.]
Part telegram, part representation of a telegram in textual format (which I don't think is done well.) If that was the actual telegram message, that would be extremely weird. It reminds me of those fanfics where authors suddenly insert the game interface into text format. Had to reread it a few times to understand that part.

Enjoyment:
I enjoyed how this story dealt with the theme of death. The characters coped in different ways. It can be quite an unexpected event that life throws your way and the ones left behind need to pick up the pieces. The interactions between the characters felt realistic.
12/8/2020 c1 4OriginalMcFishie
it's hard to think o Matthew and Marilla who though emotionally repressed are kind and loving coming from a Mother who showed them no love it seems all her love was for Michael. its fascinating how one can will oneself to death which she does. Matthew shows so much loves for his mum in his determination to save her by winning all the marbles, his shyness making this such an effort. a brave and heroic deed
11/15/2020 c1 18Alinyaalethia
Right, I have to ask; what has lamb ever done to you? Murder weapon in one universe, symbol of disintegrating family in another...but that’s actually the perfect symbol since Michael becomes an accidental sacrificial lamb go economic growth, and then Marilla and Matthew’s childhoods are likewise sacrificed st thevaltar If maternal grief.

There’s an animated Anne over here that I doubt you know but for which I can still sing the theme song. And it had a whole episode about marbles Matthew gifted Anne, so I had that in the back of my mind and that just added an extra layer of sadness to this.

But first and foremost this is about Matthew, who is far too young to understand what is happening around him and who takes the church gossip in typical literal fashion for a child. His marble playing view from fond brotherly remembrance yo deeply poignant as he tries to bring his mother back. And his frustration when it doesn’t work rings do true. Children in caregiver roles have so much to deal with, and Marilla might be the more active carer, but you feel Matthew is a kind of emotional lynchpin for the family here, especially as it’s comforting him that really causes his father to break down.

That final image is one I’ll carry with me. I can just picture the marbles gathering dust until other young people find them.
10/21/2020 c1 8Chicken Whisper
Aww poor poor Matthew. This remind me, my grandfathers mother died when he was a little boy. They laid her body in the living room (as was the custom back in that day) and when everyone had left my grandfather tried to wake her up, as he thought she was just asleep.

This story is so very heartbreaking. I wish there were more stories about their childhood :(. Well done (as usual :) )
10/21/2020 c1 3Lavinia Maxwell
Matthew has always been such a sweet guy X
10/21/2020 c1 12MrsVonTrapp
What lovely and heartrendering writing; I'm so glad you shared it here!

One of the more interesting ways AwaE tackled the sacrifice, loneliness and obligation that tied Matthew and Marilla to the farm and to one another in their lonely before-Anne existence was the advent of older brother Michael, who was charmingly played in flashback in the series and beautifully portrayed here. There is an easy confidence and charm with others and the world that their mother is drawn to and Matthew can't help but admire; that it is used to help bring his siblings to the notice of their mother is a lovely, delicate touch.

Those footsteps sinking into the mud, leaving their impression behind, is both wonderful imagery and wonderful foreshadowing, and their mother returning to the earth in her shock and grief - "the red dirt staining her apron" - is a great echo here.

I do adore the various plays on "marbles" you employ, as figurative language, metaphor and as real game, and the way it follows and emphasises Matthew's difficulty and misinterpretations, with both language and with people. "If he wanted his mother back, he needed those marbles" was both a perfect child's literal interpretation and soul destroying for an adult to read, knowing it can only end in the most acute heartbreak and disappointment. And the lone marble found afterwards, and kept - but never touched again - by Matthew as a sad talisman, just about finished me off :(

You write these devastating moments with such beauty, oz diva, and such an eye in creating a rich background canvas; the welcome figures of John Blythe and an obliging Gillis into the bargain coming to Matthew's schoolyard rescue, even as Pyes are ever Pyes forever and ever; the fact that Rachel sounds just like her mother did; and some gorgeous descriptions. In particular I loved "without the space to acknowledge their grief until it became a habit" (an excellent summation of how their characters developed); the evocative "watching the candle in its noiseless flighty dance" and the really terrific "the look of exasperation that was worse than any beating." Argh, my heart!

Sad and stunning x
10/18/2020 c1 DrinkThemIn
A tragedy in every aspect. Thanks for writing it.

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