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for All Is Mended

6h c14 1Alicedreamer93
I have been out of the country for sorts, visiting family in Japan now that is it allowable and I have started asking my grandparents what they remember of the war, though they were children at the time they remember parts and war is always sad on either side. Though reading this story brings so much joy and happiness from Una, but at the same time within the last chapters and the recovery of the east pacific countries caused by the destruction of my own heritage is heartbreaking to think of. 'administration error' indeed! That all aside, it is lovely to see Una so clearly slowly falling in love it feels like. Clearly, there is something going on! Innocent as they are.

All the same the various conversations between Faith and Una, the letters, and Jerry as well are beautiful pieces of work of how Una's life is reshaping and healing from the war. Still, she worries about Robin, not wanting to lose her childhood to school, though I believe legally at this point all children over the age of seven(possibly five in nova scotia) to be enrolled in school. Though I am sure after the war and given the exceptional circumstances that it could be put off a year or so and do some light learning at home. I don't see Una slacking in learning how to read or write her own name and whatnot for Robin, and the amount of time spent in that bookstore I am sure even Mr. Swallow has taught her simple math and numbers by now as well.
8/5 c14 47Tinalouise88
I know you say you are rubbish at romance, but I think you do it splendid. It's like reading Austen in a way, that gasp at a handclasp, those searing looks and subtle glances. It's all in there and that is classical romance there and you do it splendidly my dear friend.

It's all a mish-mash of things there walk and talk, little things that build just what it is around them. The shortened days and the harbour walks. The teasing little facts of flowers and details it all truly lovely. And while I chuckle at the inside jokes with has about his absences and what he does or brings back to them on his returns, the way they talk without details is very much part of the essence they have together.

Robin not being allowed to know what he does makes me giggle, but in another time and story we had another little girl who was all too happy to know her father to tell people her father was a spy, and that poor chap really tried to explain that espionage wasn't quite his thing, not in the way she thought anyway. But I do agree of all the things he could be tangled up in, at least he isn't bringing home more animals for them to have!

Poor Elise! I had to google the Magdalene Laundries, and god that sounds horrific in itself, and then the war. The poor woman that is for sure, at least she found friends with the women at the camp, at least there was that for her while she sick and dying.

Though it must be a relief it must be for Una in a way knowing that Robin can never disappear from her life at this point. I mean I would be relieved. Oh and also...to know that she tried to sell Li's Rings and that they somehow bought it back for her. Protection indeed, though I think we know in war itself that even a wedding ring would mean nothing to someone if such intentions. But I am glad that she has got It, because one day she will give it back to its rightful owner.
8/4 c14 7Parnokianlipstic
I adored this!

There is an almost Hardy-esque levity and deep feeling and sensitivity in this chapter all twined in. Superb!

The connection between Una and Martin is extremely lovely, your prose almost seems to shimmer. The narration and description is as powerful as a honey-colored twilight. And that half way of discussing, and speaking in half code, about difficult things, Martin Swallow really understands Una, how she experiences world, as well as he should, there as been few years of friendship between them by now. And that Yates and Una's personal ghosts are present, but not every moment. Wandering and Blyton, and Robin, and inner Cressida.

Extremely beautiful.

And the way you use the quality of ink and handwriting and letter paper to describe the fear of loss, of Robin, which fortunately is unfounded. That Anglican priest seems like a fascinating case. When Una travels to England for Christmas, it is possible that they will meet and discuss Elise's fate, perhaps.

I thought that Elise's story was interesting, and I was right. The usual story, but not, you skillfully draw the whole arc with just a few words, and you hint enough. A girl without a name, just a number among others, the harshness of non-confirmed Magdalene Sisters, or some such place, and things move along as they always have, an ill-fated love affair, and or a possible case of self-defense, evenings at dance halls, and finally little Robin. Elises experiences in a Singapore prison camp, and dying of cerebral malaria, so young, so beautiful, so alone, but not alone, as she had the found family there, with her, and she gave Robin to Una.

There were too many highlights again, the funny thing is when I read this I almost saw certain sentences and scenes in this chapter synestically in the colors described by your floating prose, the pale purple, the heat and darkness of the prison camp, and the brightness of Kingsport's nature, and Una's white poppy, and the flash of the ring, and all mutual, and or hidden secrets of womens hearts, as deep blue as the ocean at midnight, blue-black and gleaming.

This is free-fall rambling again.
8/3 c13 Dragon4928
I've spent the better part of the past couple of months reading all your work and I just want to thank you for the wonderful experience this has been. I finished the Centre Cannot Hold while sitting in a court room today and the night Carl went missing, I had to leave so I could have a small weep in the bathroom. I've also been regularly sending my friend little excerpts so I can keep the lines that touched me the most (especially when you write about grief) somewhere I can hold on to them and the screenshots might just convert him into reading fanfiction. This might be the first time I've craved hard copies of fanfic so hard and I really hope that happens someday. Till then, I am so absolutely in love with how you're writing Una's story and I'm thrilled (and sad) that I've caught up. Keep writing!
8/2 c13 38oz diva
What’s saddest here is Una’s response to commitment. So many of the people she has loved previously have left her. Not on purpose, but she was dreadfully alone when she went to the camp, having lost Carl, Li and Iris plus, Papatee, Adela, Nenni and those chooks. And latterly she’s lost Puck. So it makes her reluctance to form a new attachment understandable. However, if you find a man prepared to welcome your daughter into his heart, I’m with Faith, that man might hang around. And Martin even knows his poetry, he’s a keeper for sure.
8/1 c12 oz diva
Hi Kiki. You are just what this family needs. Your talk of Murrderrr is strangely perfect for the wider family, and it's totally my fault that I say it in the manner of Taggart of Glasgow fame. No wonder everyone's a tad unsettled. Anyway I think it's right that Una moves out. These two need their own space. They need to bathe without fear of horrified questions if nothing else.

Her relationship with her family is still intriguing me. Of course they might feel slightly put out that she lived in Singapore and never returned 'home', totally missing that Singapore was her home, at least for the pre-war years. I wonder if she will return there one day? They had a great life there which the Canadian family has totally missed and after all there was nothing to stop Jerry from visiting (unless he did and I've forgotten).

Una's PTSD hits at interesting moments, like the church bells for instance. No wonder of course, but it must confuse those around her.
7/29 c13 7Parnokianlipstic
Xenophobia and casual racism were terrible at that time, and the consular officer's "admirstrative error" regarding the fate of poor Emily's family/relatives, that finger of fate, and the possibility of people being lost, was depicted in a stunning way. And against this, all the time, the silent horror of the fate of Carl, Li and Iris, and Yates, and even the verses of the Bible, which hardly help Una when she tries to calm her mind and find out who it is.

Extremely chilling and beautifully described Una, that when she gets angry she becomes frozen cold, which was reinforced by flashbacks of discipline during ACS, as a parable of Andersen's fairy tale, and Mary Vance and the muff.

I can't believe that the new generation of children are already adults, aaww, and for some reason I'm moved to know that it is Emma Blake who is Christopher Blythe's bride-to-be. Again another link between the Blake family and the Blythies.

There were many highlights in this chapter, Faith fishing for information, and teasing, waste not want not regarding used childrens clothes, Mr. Swallow and Robin, at the bookshop, the two pairs of eyes, brown and heartstopping green, the name of Innisfree, and a Hardy poem quote that set a great tone for the whole thing, a Coleridge quote, lovely more Mannerling adventures, and more pets.

I adored this!
7/29 c13 74kslchen
The sheer arrogance, the revolting xenophobia and the utter carelessness inherent in those two words, "administrative error", are as breath-taking as they are gut-wrenching. Horrifyingly realistic, of course, because back then, what difference did it really make to the British whether someone was Japanese or Chinese or Thai, because to someone like the consul, they all look Asian and it's too much of an effort to understand that no, it's not the same at all. It's that kind of thinking that the entire colonial period was based on and sadly, is still too prevalent today. Therefore, the consul's reaction here is very much based in reality, but that doesn't make it any less disgusting and horrifying.

I think Una is making the right choice to give this information to Emily, despite how endlessly painful it must be. Yes, some might argue that it would be kind to spare her the details that make this death even crueller and more senseless than many others, but Emily is a grown woman and she and Una are too close and have suffered too much together for there not to be honesty between them. Emily deserves not to be babied and not to have anyone, even a friend, make decisions for her. Therefore, I agree with Una's decision to tell her and to do it herself instead of going through an intermediate. Letters are tricky things, but these women have a deep level of understanding and know which words to chose. Besides, all the others, including Iain, will certainly be right there to support her anyhow.

The conversation of Una and Faith over patched and worn children's clothes feels lighter and more harmless than recent talks. Yes, Faith lacks some tact in the way she keeps fishing for information, but when has Faith ever been tactful? They're still not *entirely* on the same wavelength here, but since Una knows her sister well (even if Faith at times struggles to recognise Una), she knows not to equate nosy questions with rudeness. Thus, with her making allowances for Faith's questioning, this talk might not be a deep one, but it does give it a sisterly feel, right down to Una's long-suffering-ness (yes, that's a word). I enjoyed it as another puzzle piece to their relationship, because it shows us another, lighter level of their interaction.
7/28 c13 47Tinalouise88
Oh Una, it tears into my soul that she is afraid of people disappearing and tells Faith so when Faith teases her about Mr. Gnome. How gutting it is that she's lost so much and is still unsure of what happened to them. I do truly hope that something turns up sooner than later for her. Some piece of evidence that they are alive or were alive at some point in time. not mention that talks about riots and food worries in Singapore, it's too soon for her to think of such things...too soon but sadly that is the reality of Singapore right now.

As you know I did enjoy the talk about it all with the clothes in the background. Mended upon mended, stained clothing. I think at this point as well that ready-to-wear clothing was beginning to be even more accessible for Una to get for Robin

It is slightly mind-bending that the older-younger generation is now all getting married and dancing. While Junior Birdmen is an adorable title for Kiki. Robin dancing is lovely.

I do feel like there is a touch of...I can't think of the world but Una seems to make a choice at the later end of the chapter. Puffins indeed, one for the shop and the other of home, and way like mischievous that Puck, but in a way, I feel it's almost a subtle nod to the changing thoughts of Mr. Gnome and all the teasing that happens. Making subtle decisions, but I do enjoy how he is just along for the ride, making tea when she needs it.

Anyway lovely chapter for what is my birthday. even if a parcel wasn't in the mail This still would have made my day, because it did.
7/24 c12 Tinalouise88
As some who grew up around a talking cockatiel at my grand mothers house, whose name was Benji. I adore Kiki, even if her favourite word is Murder lol. Benji was much of a Polly want a cracker, whats up Doc and Where's Andrew( for my brother haha)

I do enjoy that Una finally moves out on her own with Robin as much as her family is lovely, it has to be good to have a place this is hers again and to decorate or just relax in that is her and robin. Without every coming and going and animals. I did spy Yesterday and of course Tuesday which I do adore!

Of course, there is out . I do love his nonchalant ways and teasing about Keys and Una teasing him back at the same time. Their friendship is really blossoming and I do love it. Just all the same Robin's own relationship with him is adorable, and oh my god how subtle is she haha! Come listen...it's okay I can hear from here...no come sit. Oh bless her little self.

Then of course there is Jerry who is lovely, and I get the small piece that Robin has trouble with other kids and name calling. i do feel like I missed why Jerry had a fall out of with cities from previous stories but I do get the sombre tone and it must have been hard for him or something tragic had happened. Just the same the thought of him going through the past, catching up with Una while sketching is just a lovely thought in itself, though I do pity Nan who has to wash the charcoal off his shirts haha!
7/24 c12 74kslchen
Kiki the parrot! Of course, it could only be named Kiki and of course it shouts bloody murder. I mean, it technically belongs to Robin who is part of Una's branch of the family, which isn't closely tied to murder, but it did start out live in the extended family clan in Larkrise, so even if Isobel wasn't the one to teach it to cry *Murrrderrr!*, it probably would have picked it up anyhow, no matter how soon Una moved it to a less murder mystery-prone place. As pointed out in the story, at least it's a parrot with good connections to the local police force, so it can cry bloody murder all it wants. (Poor Constable Benwick probably disagrees, but history has shown us that no-one listens to him much anyway, which I do approve of in the case of pets at least.)

Of course, it doesn't surprise you that I'm thoroughly delighted by Kiki, name and vocabulary included. I'm also delighted by the choice of name for Robin's lizard! It did remind me that I never got around to suggesting a proper name for it, but I definitely approve of Nils, for obvious and known reasons. Much better than Sirocco, certainly. I'm equally pleased by Tuesday continuing to be the oldest dog alive imaginable. I do not care about the biology of it and how old he technically is, I'm just delighted by him being still around, joined by his partner in crime Yesterday. You're tortured us enough by having us say goodbye to so many animals in this story, so here's to decades-old and immortal dogs, I say!

On a more serious and less animal-focused note, I felt this chapter offered an interesting continuation of the last one with regards to the relationship of Una and Faith. Once more, we see the way they don't quite fit anymore, but there are also still moments when they do connect on a deep level, which I think is a realistic balance. Despite deciding to be supportive, I don't think Faith quite understand why Una needs to move out and make her own home, at least inasmuch as any place not Singapore can be home. However, when she stresses that she *will* love Iris, not *would*, I really think that's a moment of a real sisterly connection. She never met Iris, I don't think, but she knows Una loves her and Faith, for her faults, is someone who's also capable of a lot of love, so this feels utterly sincere from her - and Una, I think, knows it, too.

Compared to the interaction she has with Faith, Una's conversation with Jerry is quite different. It's not necessarily easier because Jerry puts thoughts into words that are very complex emotionally, but he's showing himself to be a siblings who understands where Faith doesn't, despite her efforts. It allows Una to open up to him in a way she hasn't to anyone else in the family, I think. She doesn't do it with many words and long-winded explanations, but she does it silently and on an emotional level. Jerry doesn't need many words to understand either, so I really think we're seeing but part of their conversation here. The rest of it is happening on a level inaccessible to words, but it's even more effective for it. His promise there at the end certainly has a weight to it that can't be underestimated.
7/22 c12 4OriginalMcFishie
I get a real sense if time moving and simultaneously time standing still. Una is moving on with her kife a family is forming, a child is growing, life goes on...and yet all is on hold until we face Li and Carl and Firecracker. They too are simultaneously dead and not dead. Will normal ever be the same for our Una?
7/22 c12 7Parnokianlipstic
Oh! Infinitely touching, amazing.

I'm almost out of words again, but I do try. The Homage to Blyton, is moving, and naturally a parrot arrives at Larkrise, wreking havoc with the nerves of other residents of that street, and poor Benwick. It is wonderful to know that dacshunds of Larkrise, Tuesday and Yesterday, are still there.

Una's realization about Isobel was a moving, she truly is otherworldly combination of half-fae, and the first glimpses of future adulthood, and even that showed the passing of the Singapore years, because little Isobel is already about 15 or more. How time flies. Naturally any daugthers of Mara are captivating.

The conversations and camariende between Martin Swallow and Una are not exactly flirting, but a deep and warm friendship with many levels.

Una and Faith's conversations after the move, and looking at the photos, and the discovery that Iris has Cecilia's eyes, was moving. As well as the conversations between Una and Jerry, by the way those Challow twins, Mandy's children?

Especially Jerry's references to Walter, and Una's unspoken, still unarticulated grief, and how Jerry observed it from afar. Jerry has always been attentive, to those he loves and Una and Jerry's relationship has always been strong. Full of moving highlights, especially Jerry's statement, "Some things are inedible, like Walter or Singapore" was pure gold.

Here with just a few words you describe so many things, quiet anxiety, love, and the will to survive, Very insightful I think it was Jerry's observation that church bells make Una shiver, and that Una could even mention Tenko a little. And the promise at the end, that when Carl and Li and Iris have been found, Jerry will personally help them back home, crowned everything.

Your sentences glow, and your prose is like a graceful dance. Interior shots, emotional states between your characters, playful references to literature and church attendance, intergenerational friendships, and families of this verse, of campfamily, and everyone, just so marvelous!
7/21 c12 Guest
('She has Mummy's eyes,' says Faith to no one particular. 'Your eyes.'

'And so much of Carl, Faith. You'd love her.'

'I will,' says Faith. )

This bit made me cry. Also I love Jerry and Faith doing their best to be the oldest siblings, and acknowledging that Una's grown up- a hard thing, even when you see it happening.
Also Jerry knowing Una loved Walter and wasn't allowed to grieve the way she might have chosen was very...I love that.
7/15 c11 4OriginalMcFishie
Love a story told by letters. What an interesting glimpse into post war singapore, una sounds safer in Canada much as I know shes aching to return. Really enjoyingthis story
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