Reviews for The Center of My Heart
cowherderess chapter 41 . 2h
Their conversation about France was really lovely and sweet. If I haven't said before- I always appreciate when fanfic writers delve into Matthew's feelings about the war, and Mary trying to support him as best she can despite not having been there herself... That would have been a more natural and interesting story for them in s3 than what Fellowes came up with. Alas.

I also loved the scene of them listening to the baby's heartbeat! I've sort of lost track of how far along Mary is supposed to be- but I hope we'll meet the baby soon.
DAGuest chapter 41 . 2/19
Great chapter! Loved that you continued where you left from the last chapter with Matthew adjusting to being back at Downton. It's so beautiful the way you write Matthew and Mary being together. Glad that Robert is opening up to Anthony now since Edith is pregnant. The ending with Mary being a little upset with Matthew was interesting. I can see how she'd feel that way since Matthew and Mary are usually honest with each other. I'm glad she didn't hold a grudge and Matthew continued to open up more about war with her.
Sugie chapter 41 . 2/18
It was so emotional at the beginning of the chapter, seeing Matthew walk into the house where the family were gathered. Isobel's reaction was really touching, and I couldn't help but be reminded of her circumstances in canon. When Matthew died, apart from the tragic ramifications to Mary and the whole future they were supposed to have together, the person I always felt sorriest for was Isobel. She'd lost her husband, but she still had her beloved boy, and for years it was just her and Matthew. Then when he died... I can't imagine the devastation, and how all alone she must have truly felt; the only real relative she had left in the world was baby George. That made me so sad! That's why it was so gratifying to see her find love and happiness with Lord Merton in the end. Sorry! waaay off topic :P Suffice it to say, Matthew's recovery I think is a triumph not only for him and Mary as a couple, but also for Isobel as a mother as well.

The way you played with the dream motif was interesting too. When Matthew wakes from his dreams, he is assured of his reality by the very presence of his wife. Mary on the other hand is wide awake, and yet quite unable to fully grasp that their wonderful new existence will be permanent and uninterrupted, that it's NOT a dream. And when Isobel brought Dr. Crawley's stethoscope so that Matthew might hear the baby's heartbeat... that was just so, so lovely.

I loved the ending, and M/M coming together, with Mary having a better understanding of Matthew's feelings and experiences in France. It would be wonderful if they were to someday take that trip *sighs*. Brilliant update lily, thank you!
Rachel Smith Cobleigh chapter 41 . 2/16
I loved the scene with Isobel and the stethescope. Yay Edith and Anthony! And a sweet, happy, lovely ending to this chapter. Well done.
Klarinette49 chapter 41 . 2/13
I read this chapter right when it was published and didn't have the time to re-read again and post a proper review before now.
There are so many things I loved about it: the throwback to the dream he had right at the beginning of their honeymoon, Mary pulling off her nightgown and Matthew watching her from afar just like in their honeymoon, Mary asking Alice while Matthew wanted to ask Jack (really their kids will thick as thieves when they grow up), Matthew listening to the baby’s heartbeat using his father’s stethoscope (that was such a great scene), I loved the Anthony/Edith/Robert scene (and it's really nice to see Edith happy) and of course Mary beeing upset at Matthew and the two of them discussing going back to France. As always, your fic brightens my day :-)
Palindrome310 chapter 41 . 2/10
I' m glad Matthew and Mary are at home!

Lol, each asked about sex!

Oh, so sweet they listening to the baby's heart!

Violet and her own stick joke was fun!

So good that Edith and Anthony are expecting an Robert tried to make amenss!

I didn't expect their talk about returning to France, but it was good they expressed it.

Loved Mary's contrary logic about brushing hair!
stacey caitlin chapter 41 . 2/5
Chapter 41:
My favorite part is the last scene, in which Mary was struggling with her feelings about Matthew’s revelation after dinner. I found that scene to be so realistic, nuanced, and incredibly poignant. You were able to capture the complexities of Mary’s emotions (the leaving her hair down and brushing her hair forcefully was such a stroke haha pun intended of genius), and highlighted Matthew’s utter devotion and helplessness (his confusion regarding Mary’s reaction and his preemptive apologies just made me fall in love even deeper). I absolutely love their dynamic, and how they are so attuned to each other.
There were sooooo many good things going on in this chapter. Listening to the baby’s heartbeat using Matthew’s father’s stethoscope was such a lovely touch. I could go on and on... beautiful work, as always!
stacey caitlin chapter 40 . 2/5
Chapter 40: What a great chapter!

I am so excited for Matthew! He has come a long way with his physiotherapy. It amazes me how realistic you have made his progress to be. You have done excellent research and truly understand the nuances that come with this type of rehab. I was so excited to find out that he is finally home, FOR GOOD! What a sweet, sweet surprise! I was so happy, especially after what Mary had to go through. She was so cute as she argued her way into letting Dr. Clarkson allow her to travel to London, only to have her plans thwarted by the quarantine. Great plot twist, by the way... but the ending was just sooooo sweet! I love it!
Also, I fell in love reading the letters that they wrote to each other. What a great touch! I especially enjoyed the parallelisms with the TV show (Martha!, lol).
Once again, an excellent chapter. It only took me over a month before finally reading it, but it was truly worth the wait.
MsMenna chapter 41 . 2/5
Absolutely loved this chapter from start to finish. Matthew'sdream was a perfect way to begin his return home and he & Mary in each other's arms, a perfect way to end it.

It was gratifying to see Edith so happy, too. How wonderful that there is another Crawley baby on the way! Also made me happy to see Robert accepting Anthony Strallan. IMO, there was no reason for his suddenly finding Anthony too old and having an injured arm didn't make him a cripple. Just rubbish. In any event, Edith never would have been a nursemaid, even though she clearly wouldn't have minded. She truly loved him!

Scenes painted beautifully. So much description, that I felt I was in rooms you described.

Last, but not least, the love between Matthew and Mary jumped off the page.

Very well done.

Can't wait for George's arrival!
MMarieRose chapter 41 . 2/4
catching up on the last two chapters of this.. really liked your letters between Mary and Matthew and his break through with finally 'getting' walking.

Also this chapter with Robert having to make it up with Anthony... good to see the bumptious old thing eating some humble pie! And nicely written interplay between Mary and Matthew over him wanting to visit France. Been good how you have filled in some canon 'gaps' with these sorts of conversations.
alliluna chapter 41 . 2/3
This was such a treat to read after a very long week, a lovely start to the weekend! (I know... what is a weekend?). I was absolutely delighted to see the update and naturally I've read it like five times already. And of course I love it so much, as I love every little detail of this fic!

I was wondering where you were going to take them after the changes the last chapter brought and I'm still curious where you'll take them as the baby's birth approaches, but this chapter was so sweet and I loved all the little things you brought into it. I loved how real and unreal everything felt at the same time; there was so much bliss between them but also their struggles were still very real and the issues they have to deal with don't just go away. In general actually, that's one of my favorite things about this fic. It's so clear how much they love each other, and yet that doesn't diminish the struggles they're going through. You write everything in such great detail which really adds so many layers to everything.

I loved that you brought up the war and Matthew's memories (or lack of). I really like the idea that he wanted to go back to France because of all that, I think it's something the show really let slide when it shouldn't have (like when MM had their honeymoon in France and then nothing relevant to the war was ever mentioned like... what was that about? One of the many things that makes me bitter about season 3) so anyway I'm so glad you brought that up. Now I really want to see their eventual trip to France! I also liked that Mary felt hurt by that because it was understandable- you've shown that she really wants to know about it because it's sort of the one thing Matthew won't share with her, so it makes sense that she would feel that way. And the resolution of that was so nice, Matthew finally sharing with her and then of course, they're very happy together. But now I really want to read about them going to France eventually (I hope someday that can be a fic? I will be very patient)

I loved a whole bunch of other stuff too, like Matthew hearing the baby's heartbeat was so adorable! Basically, I loved everything about this chapter and this fic in general. Whew, that ended up being long. But suffice to say, I'm absolutely looking forward to the next chapter, as always!
timeandpixiedust chapter 41 . 2/3
I’m so happy that Matthew’s back home! I loved seeing them going back to their normal lives. It was great to get a bit of insight of how Matthew is doing mentally when it comes to the war. Great chapter!
eyeon chapter 41 . 2/3
You have really described the post trauma of a Veteran well. I also like the relationship between Isobel and Mary. That was so sweet to use Reggie Crawley's stethoscope. I hope you take this story all the way back to France and Matthew seeing things right in his mind there!
Dawns Heart chapter 41 . 2/3
This chapter made my heart full! Matthew is home, things are going well for everybody... It was lovely and sweet and I really needed lovely and sweet this week. This chapter was just as wonderful as the rest of the story. Thanks for sharing :)
Naniee chapter 41 . 2/3
I wonder what you're planning next for those two now that Mathew is back and healing...(aside for the child of course!). As always the way you write them is very lovely :))
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