|Reviews for Thoroughly Modern Mary|
| PelirrojaBiu 2/23/13 . chapter 1
Fantastic! There is something so intriguing in your writing, whether it is for modern stories or for "real" DA. Anyway, I don't know if I'm the only one here, but I was sure that Mary and that Cécile girl would announce they are a couple :D
| Guest 7/5/12 . chapter 1
Very sweet story. Your flappermasked, hurting Mary was a treat. Would you not consider writing a sequel about Matthews visit in Paris?
You would be dearly loved...
| pamylz 7/1/12 . chapter 1
I really liked this! It's so very different from almost anything you read involving Downton but in reality it's not at all implausible. It's also quite fun to pick out the romance hiding between the words and looks and to imagine the future of this story. Besides, Sybil's baby was just adorable. Anyway, here's to hoping we'll see a decent amount of 20's culture and maybe even Paris in the upcoming series.
| Equilly 3/26/12 . chapter 1
As you put it, this is a fic of the "unspoken, understated, and oblique" - brilliantly said, by the way- and you pulled it off perfectly. Matthew and Mary were so real, and I loved the undercurrents. A beautiful story!
| eridani 3/4/12 . chapter 1
Great one shot! I really liked that bit where Matthew is thinking he recognises this new Mary and isn't sure he likes her- the idea that a modern Parisian Mary wouldn't come home 'different', but rather more like a reversion of her old haughty, blase self seems right. The way you've written her, she's learned new social tricks and deflections but it's the same old mask in place which is what makes this AU story so believable. Thanks for sharing!
| sakurasencha 2/29/12 . chapter 1
Oh, I really liked this! Although I will admit I'm not sure I ever see Mary breaking off as completely as you have her, but the dialogue is fierce and you've given Mary and Matthew that sizzle that was a bit lacking in Series 2. Great use of all the auxiliary characters as well!
| La Donna Ingenua 2/27/12 . chapter 1
Honestly I hate stories where these two don't end up together in the end but this was just so good! So funny! So sexy!
| TheSingingGirl 2/15/12 . chapter 1
Two days after publication and I've finally found a moment to review. Thank goodness!
Anyway, I'm going to start at the end and say that I love the way you left it relatively open. Well, not that open - it's pretty much a given that one of them is going to come for the other - but it's not explicitly stated that this is what's going to happen. It's teasing rather than spoon feeding. Which is always good in a story. I don't like endings that end at the end. End after the climax, and leave the actual ending to your readers' imaginations (*cough*Deathly Hallows*cough*). So yes, very much like that you've left it open for us to imagine Matthew stumbling around Paris speaking old-fashioned French and learning more of Mary's new life, anticipating that she'll come home now because she's written, but not realising how hard it will be for her to give up this bohemian lifestyle... And so on and so forth!
Nice stroke, putting Edith and Evelyn together. That was blatant fanservice, oui?
Very much a fan of Mademoiselle Aubin - she makes Sybil look very conservative! And her book - I love that she said it was "the usual". Not in the Dowager Countess' library! And Mary as a translator - nice touch. She does like to take classic tales and put her own spin on them.
I'm sure every review has already mentioned 'did you think I was invincible/No, but I think you did once' so I'll just leave a few incoherent exclamation marks: !
Okay, let's move on to the conversation about sex. It's a mark of how much DA I've watched that I felt it was desperately provocative on Mary's part. I felt as if she were trying to punish her family in some way, and perhaps she was. If she's run off to Paris because of the scandal, presumably her family were less than perfectly supportive. And this is how Mary makes them pay for that - she behaves and talks scandalously.
(Side note: Tom Branson, feminist, doesn't want Sybil knowing about contraception. That's a whole fic in itself.)
There are lots of layers to this. I could probably spend a thousand words unpicking them all, but I'm afraid that I'm a bit too tired for that, and I have other essays to be writing, as always! But honestly, I can't imagine how long you spent on this. It's full of irony and detail - absolutely brilliant.
If I could offer any criticism, it would be this: do more with the older characters. Sybil, Tom, Mary, Matthew and Cécile (did you have to name her after my tutor?) all had very complex lives and feelings, but less so with Cora, Robert, Isobel. Violet, I'll let you off because she never has any real emotional storylines, but beyond their shock at Mary, very little came from Cora and Robert, and Isobel didn't react to much. I know you had a hell of a cast to keep track of, but you've written Isobel very insightfully in the past and her feelings got a little bit lost here.
Other than that, though, it was a brilliant piece, and I'm so glad you posted it despite our happy ending in the CS. I don't really like happy endings, as you may have gathered from earlier on in this review. They're never very real, and they're certainly less interesting than a cliffhanger, or a tease. And this was the best type of tease, a single beckoning finger and a raised eyebrow. Come in, come closer, there is still more to see...
| anonnynonny 2/14/12 . chapter 1
Love! So good. Of course Mary would posture and try to shock her family with implied naughtiness in Paris, but it's always been Matthew for her, hasn't it? Love a good one shot.
| AnniellaEyes 2/13/12 . chapter 1
So much fun! I do hope we get to see the girls live it up in the 20s (although I hope it's Edith who really goes for it- I think she deserves her break-out moment).
Your portrayal of Mary here is fantastic- true to her character, but invigorated by the gregariousness the fabulous 20s would give her. The underlying romance is lovely- so deftly written so that its clear no matter how long they've been apart, or what they're doing now, get them in the same room and all of their awareness is still hijacked by the other. Thank you so much for sharing.
| AriadneO 2/13/12 . chapter 1
Wow, this was definitely the AU I never knew I wanted to read, but so enjoyed when I did. (I did LOL, btw, at your mention of Mary as a "very angry flapper.") I really do enjoy the understated romance, the oblique conversation where they skirt around the subject and yet manage to understand each other fully - because they would! Laura Branson is absolutely a charmer, and a quick learner - papa and mama Branson are going to have their hands full soon. Thanks for this lovely, beautifully constructed story!
| Captain Evermind 2/13/12 . chapter 1
Ah, this is gorgeous! I love the idea of Mary living it up in the 20s! And yes, Matthew with a baby can't fail to be anything but cute! Beautifully nuanced wee character piece. Cheers.
| TrapperII 2/13/12 . chapter 1
This fic was fresh and wonderful. Yes, I love the oblique kind of romance too :)
Some moments/lines I particularly enjoyed:
- The "I cut my hair" conversation
- All of Mary's attempts to be shocking and Violet's responses to them
- ROTFLOL: "It is the usual history of a woman trying to escape the tragic fate of her life. She takes a lover, he treats her badly, so she poisons him and leaves him for dead but he survives and follows her everywhere taking his revenge against her, and never allowing her a moment's happiness for the rest of her life. It is not very original perhaps, but I hope it will be interesting. I wish to experiment with the technique of- how do you call it- the current of consciousness."
- "No, he wanted to reply, but I think you did once. Instead he only shook his head."
- The Charleston. Mary's happy abandon in the dance, Isobel's desire to try it, and Violet's reaction to that :)
- Mary brushing against Matthew as she takes the baby. "Come now, my darling, don't be like that; you can't just go about undressing Uncle Matthew whenever you feel like it without his consent."
- The entire dance scene and his realization that her comments about sleeping with men were all bluff
- How they speak to each others' reflections in the window. That's so perfectly "them"
I would absolutely DIE for you to write a sequel fic where Matthew goes to Paris to pick her up. Oh the possibilities! (And, no, I'm not talking about smut. I'm talking about Paris! And Matthew! Mary!). I think at this point and in this context, Matthew would consider it proof of her value to him to wait until they were married. He's so darn honorable anyway.
| OnlyALouse 2/13/12 . chapter 1
Oh, this is BRILLIANT. You were right, I never knew I wanted to read this but I do! And I am now going to promptly go and read it again.
Ok, back now. That was FAB. Really really fab. I love it. Truly, madly, deeply. Heheh. Your Mary is so beautifully written, with such poise yet excitement, and such modernity yet still stuck in the past somewhat (well, perhaps thats only true when it comes to Matthew, but still) Perfectly balanced and just so, well, perfect. I can just see her in Paris, nursing her broken heart whilst steadily covering it up with layer upon layer, with her novel-writing friend and all the smoking and music and dancing and love. But here it goes downhill for poor Mary because she is lonely and she wants Matthew but she believes she can't have him... *sobs* That was all so perfectly conveyed, it tugged at the heartstrings :(
Cecile was fantastic - I love new characters! - and absolutely wonderful in her match-making. She feels so perceptive in her demeanour and I think she knew at once about the place in Mary's heart for Matthew and set about getting them going again. And it was all so delicately done, so sweet and light and lovely :)
And talking of sweet - Laura! Gorgeous - that is all I have to say :) I loved her scene with Mary and Matthew, just brilliant! And I think they both felt it too! :)
That last scene nearly killed me. It was so delicately written, felt so fragile and yet so powerful. It was the deciding moment that evening and really touched me, it was so beautiful, truly. I am in love with it.
I really really really think that this has the perfect potential for a sequel and it would be so fantastically wonderfully amazing if you were to do so! Please? I would die of happiness if you did - your writing is just amazing and flawless and I think that a sequel would be wonderful... Doesn't matter what it is, even! Just a sequel! :D
On a completely different note, I reviewed the most recent chapter of UC when it was posted and said wouldn't it be wonderful if there was actually a horse trials at Highclere. And subsequently I have found that there is! They hold an affiliated BE horse trials at the end of August :D Imagine my excitement when I found out! Unfortunately they do not do my class (Novice) but they do the ones either side of it, so I will be going whatever! I'll either go up a level or down, depending on how they horse goes at the beginning of the season... I found out, promptly screamed in the computer room at school, and then immediately rang Mama to tell her we would be entering the event at the earliest opportunity! I got so very excited at the prospect! :D Just thought I'd let you know as I mentioned it in my review of UC, sorry if i bored you with my incessant ramblings!
Anyways, I'm going to toddle off now (I think this is the lobgest review I've ever left!) but I will repeat my plea - Sequel? Thanks :D
| CatherineJosephineMarie007 2/13/12 . chapter 1
Reviews might make your day, but I think this fic made mine. I loved this so much, it was so understated, it reminded me of Elinor and Edward in Sense and Sensibility, which is one of my favourite books.