Reviews for The Center of My Heart
sanspeur chapter 45 . 9/15
Found this story a little bit ago and have finally managed to catch up! Just wanted to say that this story brings me so much joyI adore Mary and Matthew, of course, and everyone else, and, as a medical professional, I also love Matthew’s rehab journey (it’s never as simple as just standing up!). Can’t wait for more!
Klarinette49 chapter 45 . 8/28
I was so happy to see Sybil back! I love having all the sisters together, they have such a nice dynamic in your story :-) Also, all three of them pregnant, that's for sure all Cora could ever wish for! She's going to have her hands full with all her baby grandchildren!
I really enjoyed Matthew and Tom's interactions, their friendship starts to really grow! I can't wait to see them navigate fatherhood and commiserate together.
And so lovely to read that throwback to your secret santa story! It's so nice to have almost the same scene, except now it's all joy and love and happiness :-)
And now I can't wait to read the next chapter, finally the baby'll be here!
MsMenna chapter 45 . 8/23
Just lovely! How wonderful to have Sybil home and all three Crawley girls pregnant. I can imagine and Robert & Cora would be ecstatic.

Touching conversations between Matthew & Mary, as always. I also love the dynamic between Matthew and Tom. They always had great chemistry and I can see the bromance forming. Lol.

Great reflection on last year compared to this. So much has transpired since then.

I think you’ve laid the perfect foundation for George’s arrival.

Thank you for another wonderful chapter.
Lori chapter 45 . 8/15
This chapter was amazing!
Rachel Smith Cobleigh chapter 45 . 8/13
I loved the moment when you told us Cora sat with Mary and expressed some of her regrets about how she’d navigated motherhood. It gave me hope that Mary would want to do things a little differently. I enjoyed the later reference to Mary wanting a nanny who wouldn’t dictate to the parents, but would instead allow the parents to see the children whenever they wished.

I absolutely loved the scene where the three sisters are all pregnant together, in Mary’s bedroom. LOVED it.

And the scene with Matthew pushing Mary’s wheelchair and they stop before the Christmas tree! Heart-twisty-wonderfulness! Was tempted to tear up a little, myself. I feel like the story of that evening is so much more resonant and lovely when told in retrospect, through the lens of the present, because it’s now sweet melancholy mixed with joy, rather than just melancholy upon ‘unable to speak the whole truth, so encased in lie-induced misery’ melancholy. And it’s a shocker that this whole story takes place over the course of a single year. In real time, it’s taken a little longer to tell/read, so I’ve forgotten the in-story timeline. :)

I liked all the little dialogue touches that feel like period-authentic British slang, like “lolly” and “Jack Johnson”. It takes the story out of a generic time and place (no implied criticism of earlier chapters!) and makes it very specific, with a ring of truth to it.

Yay, Sybil and Tom are back, and I love all the ways Tom and Matthew are rekindling their friendship.

This says more about the gutter that is my mind than it says anything about your story, but when Matthew insisted that Mary keep her eyes open, given the restrictions on their marital relations since the start of her bed rest, I thought his present was that he was going to start stripping. LOL

Yay, baby time! Haha...
Rachel Smith Cobleigh chapter 44 . 8/13
At first, my reaction was, “Oh no—after so long of marinating in Matthew’s physical disabilities, I don’t want to marinate in Mary’s!” There is still a bit of story-fatigue for me with the endless focus on the physical precariousness of it all, but I liked how you used Mary’s situation as a way for her to better understand Matthew’s experience. Setting up a lovely, tender, comforting conversation where their roles are reversed is a nice twist. And I am SO READY for everybody to be in excellent health! :)
Rachel Smith Cobleigh chapter 43 . 8/12
I love the idea of Matthew teaching Mary to skip stones. And this baby is on the way? Finally, I say! :)
alliluna chapter 45 . 8/11
This chapter was, unsurprisingly, fantastic, and so nice and long too! I enjoyed every bit of it, and I loved the call backs to earlier parts of the fic (and also your other one-shot) because everything comes together so coherently.

Every interaction between Mary and Matthew was adorable- especially them together on Christmas! It's so lovely to see how far they've come, and it's so exciting to see Matthew really walking- that scene was absolutely perfect. Also I loved Sybil and Tom coming back, a much better alternative to that plot in the show, and their interactions with MM were so well done.

To no one's shock, I adored this chapter and read it more that a few times... :P Thanks again for this wonderful story, and I look forward to the next chapter (can't wait to see MM with their baby!)
Palindrome310 chapter 45 . 8/10
The topic of your chapter is very timely for my Real Life. My pregnant sister is on absolute bed rest at the hospital. Mary has the advantage of standing for some time and having company, but it must have been much more dangerous and diffcult to monitor the mother and baby's health. The good thing is that Mary seems to be in good spirit, using that refrain to get what she wants and planning Christmas.

It was great that Matthew could make suggestions and take advantage of his experience with physical therapy to help Mary's health. This will definitely bring them closer together.

Funny that the three Crawley sisters are pregnant at the same time and all are dealing with it according to each character.

It was so sweet to see Matthew and Mary remembering and being thankful of the difference a year made.

Hoping everything will be alright with the baby!
RavenclawWeasel531 chapter 45 . 8/9
You aren't going to kill Matthew right? Just thought I should checkCan't wait for you to update!
timeandpixiedust chapter 45 . 8/9
I loved that everyone got together for Christmas! It was wonderful to see the sisters getting along, and Matthew and Tom start their bromance. Can’t wait for the baby! Poor Mary must be so annoyed at being in bed rest for so long.
eyeon chapter 45 . 8/9
Marvelous! So romantic and poignant and all those good things! I am also glad you had Sybil and Tom leave Ireland together; I didn't care for the way JF had Tom leave Sybil behind. All the progress was wonderful too! I can hardly wait for baby time and more of this lovely story!
Guest chapter 45 . 8/9
What a wonderful happy chapter! Enjoyed it so much. Love the way you capture these 2!
Thank you
Dawns Heart chapter 45 . 8/9
How wonderful! Even though it's summer you can real feel the Christmas energy coming through in this chapter. I loved how Matthew is now walking unaided (for short time periods but still!), how Sybil and Tom are there sooner, and how all three sisters are pregnant at the same time. Absolutely wonderful. Thanks for sharing :) And thanks for responding to my previous review!
ameliapemerson chapter 45 . 8/9
Such a lovely chapter. Matthew walking to Mary on Christmas after all they've been through had me almost in tears. And Sybil and Tom are home for good with baby news of their own! The details as usual so meticulously researched and explained. Good on Matthew for using his knowledge of his own condition to help Mary on bed rest. And the baby next chapter! :)
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