Reviews for Hard Luck Stories
Feux follet chapter 10 . 4/10
I can't believe it's already the end, but I think it is the best place, the best moment to end it. First of all, let me thank you for this beautiful story. I'm sorry if I am repeating myself, but there are some stories you don't know you need until you read them and they just hit you. This story hit me by its subject, and its powerful and beautiful message of resilience. It also hit me by the characters you so beautifully described, by the scenes you depicted, and by everything really. As always, you took the time to follow your character's journey, and accompanied them in such a supportive and understanding way. Thank you, really, for this story and for your words! And again, I apologize for the messy and chaotic review for the previous chapter!

I was touched by how you described the scenes here, with an attention to the details, like the stuff camel. Ava and Faith's scene moved me, too. We saw them interacting a lot, before, but never with this sense of serious and gravity. If we didn't know it before, Ava just shown that she was quite the girl, and it was interesting to see her character developing through the story.
But the way she said that she wanted to help and was ready to give up everything for me hit me hard. I think it is something a lot of people experiences, in life, when someone they love is threatened, and it just brought me back to this summer, where for 24h hours, I didn't know if someone very close to me would make it or not - he did, but I don't think I will ever forget those 24h hours of pure terror. You wrote this scene in the perfect way, and also, I was touched by Faith's answer, because so often we have people thinking that children can't understand what is happening, thinking they can't talk about death or sickness to them, thinking it's better to lie to them. Faith doesn't, and in my opinion, she's doing the best thing. Children are not stupid, they do understand very well, and they need the truth. You don't say it like you would to an adult, sure, but you can explain what is happening without lying. I'm so glad Faith is doing it.
The way it also takes her back to all the people she couldn't save touched me, and the way you described it - how things interfered, with the door, the frontline, etc - was absolutely amazing. And Ava's trust, her small hug, her tears - the line about her losing her battle against her own tears moved me a lot - the way you wrote her reaction was perfect.

But now, thank you, thank you so much for letting him live! I was touched - sorry, I repeat this, but your chapter was emotional - by the paragraph about Faith fight for Jims and the children side by side with her colleagues. It must have felt like during the war, where they all fought so hard to keep away death, though the equipment must have been better here than there.
The rhythm in it is particularly strong, and it represents well the emergency of the situation and how everyone runs to save them all. It contrasted well with the scene which is coming after - like after the battle, if I may say so, and not in an ironic way -, where death's shadow withdraw from the ward and Faith can say she is "hopeful". I couldn't picture the scene without imagining Ken and Faith whispering.
After the acceleration to fight the sickness, it's like seeing a boat which, after a terrible tempest, finds a safe shore to rest and repair. Like a new breath. We could finally all stop holding it. Jims is safe, and with Ava and Lawrence next to him, he'll be alright.

Faith truly was a gardian angel here, butit is also true that Ken have also been one for Jims. Along this story, I think everyone was everyone's gardian angel, and support. They all grew from these weeks spent together, and it leads Faith to be ready to go home. Im' sorry, I didn't take the time to tell you on the previous review, but I wanted to tell you that the way you described the scene between the girls was great, because you showed both how supportive of each other they could be, but without idealizing it. And here, I'm glad to hear that Faith and Esther will talk again about it.
But I'm mostly glad - though, I don't know why, but also a bit apprehensive, but that's just me - because Faith is finally able to speak about coming home to visit her family. But I also liked how you talked about her relationship to the Glen. Everything changed since she left, she isn't the same anymore, the Glen isn't the same anymore, and you used the word "outgrown". I think you touched the right point.
It reminds me about Rilla in Dark Clouds, where she says she's not sure she can go back to the Glen after everything she lived. But I like the idea of Faith exploring the world - if you ever want to write this part one day (not now of course, and it's really just a thought) I'd love to read it! But really, this end was perfect itself, and if there is never a following, it really doesn't matter (I'm sorry, it was just an idea, but really, it's nothing more!)

Again, thank you so much for this story! It's one of those you wish they would never end! It touched me a lot, and questioned me a lot about things, all in an amazing way. Thank you so much for writing and sharing it with us!
Now, I'm curious to go and read your other story :)
I wish you the best, and take good care of yourself!
Feux follet chapter 9 . 4/10
No no no, you can't do that, you can't make Una and her father die - though thank you for telling us about what happened - and then take Jims too! Tell me he is going to be okay, that they'll find a way, that he won't die, please! We can't let him die, he already survived this, can't he overcome it again? Please don't let him die!

The way you rose up the tension is amazing - and frightening. From a talk between them all about Pearl's boyfriend, we passed through the news that the situation is completely moving and that their life here is coming to an end, that Esther is going away too, to end with the news that Jims is having diphtheria and might die. Was the roller-coaster from the previous chapter a clue about what was going to happen? I know I said that it was a reminder that it would be alright, but it's not easy to hold on this while a life is in balance.

Poor Jims, he reminds me about a little bird who would have fallen from his nest. Please, let him live!

A side note, before I stop this chaotic review and run to the next chapter: Can we applause Ava here? The way she reacted to Faith asking her to be brave and go with the nurse for the medication is fantastic.

Sorry for this very chaotic review, I promise the next - and last already? - will be more constructed, whatever the end is. Just know that this chapter was amazingly written, like they always are with you, and I can only thank you for this story!
Feux follet chapter 8 . 4/10
This chapter was great! I loved the way you balanced it between the description of the hospital, the laugh with Ava and the more serious talk with Jims. It was interesting to see Faith having more interactions with them, after having so really emotional ones with Ken.

The hospital scene, even brief, touched me a lot. In a few short sentences, you show both how short the time is to treat and help everyone - something which is quite realistic, I think, and put a lot of pressure on everyone's shoulders - but also how much Faith cares about her work and her patients, doing everything she can to help them and do what's best for them. The fact that this place is dedicated to women and children also shows a medical ward we don't often see in stories or else, the feminine one, surely because of a strong taboo which is still here, even though work is done to diminish it. That's what I truly enjoy in your stories, you don't look away from those subjects, you put them on the table with all the informations we need, and that's amazing, so thank you for doing it!

Now, back to Ken and the children. I think it was indeed quite meaningful to have Jims writing to Faith to invite her to his birthday. We didn't see them having a lot of interactions before, and this chapter answered quite a lot of questions. Though I feel for him and Ken, and I'm a hundred percent with them. I'm scared of roller-coaster, even though I try to force myself doing them, hoping the fear will one day go away, but for now it's just closing my eyes, holding my breath and grabbing hands if I know the person next to me - and strongly grabbing anything else if I don't know them. I was curious to know more about what kind of roller-coasters were available at that time, so I went on wikipedia to read the article, and I didn't know it had started so soon! But it was great to see Faith and Ava enjoying this moment, and having this strong bond of wild and strong girls who are not afraid of anything. From the start of this story to here, you allowed us to follow Faith's reconstruction, in a way, and here, I think we have a good picture of it. It shows that yes, sometimes it's still going to be hard, all griefs are, and have their high and low moments, but it will be alright in the end. I don't know if it is what you intended to put here, but it felt like this to me, and it was quite inspiring!

But what touched me the most was Faith and Jims moment. I was moved by how talking about Ava brought them to Rilla, but I was also marked quite strongly by what followed. That Rilla would be alive if he hadn't been there. I mean, this guilt - is it survivor's guilt? I don't want to do any mistake on this - shouldn't be on his shoulders, shouldn't be on any shoulder! I wonder if he ever told this to anyone, apart to Faith. But he can't stay with this wrong idea, it wasn't his fault! I wonder if he had this idea since the beginning, or if he overheard his grandfather speaking about it, but I'm glad Faith told him it wasn't his fault. I just hope her words will stay in his mind, though I know it takes a lot more than just a sentence to take away things you built up and lived with for years.

Between the scenes with Ava, since the beginning, and the way he talks about how Rilla had been affected by the flu, even before Ava was arriving, you showed how perceptive, and sensitive Jims was. His love for Rilla just transpires every of his words. But if this period wasn't easy for Rilla - and we know how it ended, too - it certainly mustn't have been easy for him either. He was so young, and he practically acted like an adult, taking care of her, thinking about how he could upset her by his acts and modulating them to be sure Rilla would be alright ... It can be seen as a great thing by some adults, but I don't think it is, because for me, it feels that he carried something which was way too heavy for him on his own. Ken was working, so Jims was with Rilla all day long, and he shut himself so everything would be better for her. Also, he was there when she died, and heard and saw everything, without anyone guessing. No wonder he is so quiet, trying to please everyone, trying to make everyone pass in front of him, even if it is his birthday. But I hope someone will tell him that it is alright for him to live too.

I was touched by how Faith reacted. She says that she isn't used to this, and often feels as if she's doing it wrong, but we didn't often saw Jims talking, and here she offers him a kind hear and a safe moment, a safe place where he can slowly express himself, ask his questions and talk about what he experienced. The moment where Faith tells him that you never forget your mother, but you learn to live with loss was quite powerful! I don't think these moments happens often, for Jims. Not because of bad intentions, I'm sure it is not! But Ava is like milk boiling, so everyone will make sure she doesn't break her neck and as Jims is quiet, people will surely assume he is old and wise enough not to do anything stupid, and will overlook him. Again, not with bad intentions, but still. It reminds me a lot about Shirley's situation, in a way, and again, no wonder they have a special bond.

The end started in a funny way, and ended in a heartbreaking one. Of course it is funny for us to have Faith reacting so strongly about becoming their mother, but when Jims says that it is good because all his mothers die and he doesn't want to lose Faith broke me. He seemed so lonely and fragile there. I wonder if Ken suspects this. I wonder what he would think about all the things Jims talked about. I'm glad Faith offered Jims to talk again if he wished, and I hope he will do it, or talk with someone else, I don't know, but talk to someone who will see him for himself, and not for Ava's brother, Rilla's son or Ken's stepson. Just for who he is.
Feux follet chapter 7 . 4/9
Just a side note to say that firstly, I'm glad to hear that Ken and the children will have a home for them, and not just a room in a hotel. Even if it would have secured a group of people ready to help Ava if she fell again in the stairs, it surely wasn't easy to live and be a family there. Only a room where you can retreat, the rest is shared, and anyone can intervene. Now, they'll be able to build something new, and perhaps stronger than before. I'm reassured for them.

But now, you did it again. You wrote an amazing chapter, full of emotions, and now I'm fighting very hard to prevent tears from falling. With all the clues left in the previous chapter, I was waiting for Faith's story, and the way you wrote it was perfect. You couldn't have done it better! I'm just horrified by what happened, and can only understand why it is so painful and difficult to say his name.

So Jem died in the camp, alone and sick. Gosh (sorry), like Faith says, there is nothing worst than thinking that he, from all the others, was the one to die from absence of proper medical care. When reading, I build pictures in my head, I picture the scenes, the characters. Just like a memory from somewhere else. And I can't imagine Jem, being the solid boy he was, dying like this, in this hell on earth. I know many did, and while I'm writing this, many are, in another place of this world, but Jem? Not Jem! And to think that the telegram was sent when he was already dead, I mean ... I know it is chaos, war is chaos, and everybody is doing what they can to give it sense, but this, I can't make sense of this.

I was moved by how you show the difficulties for Faith to speak about it. The attempts to do it, the detours, the thoughts. It is beautifully done. And absolutely honest and realistic. Words are strangers when it comes to talk about things that are so deeply important for us. I don't think Faith got the chance to speak so truthfully and honestly about him since his death, apart with Esther perhaps, but Esther didn't know Jem. She needed someone who had known him, and who would understand her grief without judging it in any way. I was touched by how Ken listened to her, and helped her makings steps forwards in telling the story. I'm glad he was there. It wouldn't have been the same with Jerry, nor Carl, nor Shirley.

Maybe it could have been with Una, or at least she could have helped her sister in a similar way, but she isn't there - and I'm afraid she's not anywhere anymore, apart under a cold stone. Ken isn't part of her family, in a way. He's not her brother, and their relationship isn't like the one with the Blythes at all. And yet he knew Jem enough to listen. Ken have been quite the teaser since we met him in this story, but between the previous chapter where he cracked at Faith's comment, showing his vulnerability and that there was more behind his smile than he was showing, and here, the way he listened at her and allowed her to speak in a safe space was truly amazing.

I'm so sorry for Rilla. I can imagine how distressing it must have been for her, to think that she was leaving the ones she loved. But I'm glad she felt at peace with death. And I'm glad Ken could see her being at peace. I remember, in Dark Clouds, when Rilla was writing letters to the families of dead soldiers, writing that they had died peacefully, not because it was true, it often wasn't, but because we all need to know that they were at peace, that they didn't suffer. I think that it is also one of the reasons why Ken is coming to term with Rilla's death more easily than Faith. I don't mean that he is living it well, we saw what happened in the previous chapter, and it is completely understandable, but he says her name. I know it is also because of the children, but still, I think there is also the fact that he saw Rilla leaving peacefully, after having seen so many soldiers leaving in suffering. On another hand, Faith didn't get that chance. She was soldiers dying in suffering, and she knows Jem died that way, suffering, far from the ones he loved, alone, and was buried who knows where - is there even a cross or something to mark his grave? Does he have one, or does he share a trench with other deads? There is no comfort, nothing to hold at for Faith. No wonder she shut herself up in England, refusing to go back home, where everything would have bring her back to him. But I can't imagine how much pain she endured, is still enduring now.

The talk about regretting about the past, what would anyone do if one knew what would happen in the future, finished to move me. You wrote an amazing chapter here. You always do, but there are always some which marks us more than the others. This one marked me, and touched me a lot. You wrote Faith's grief in the most vivid and honest way, showing how much she still struggles with it, I couldn't help but feel her pain deeply, as if it was my own. As for Ken's grief, but moreover the way he seriously listens at Faith, it moved me a lot, too. You have a way to write dialogues scenes, and they are always precise, and beautiful. The sadness doesn't take away the beauty, here, they just complete each other.

I can only thank you for this - and apologize for the long review, and for the hiatus between this one and the previous ones! Thank you for sharing your stories with us!
Feux follet chapter 6 . 4/6
I enjoyed the atmosphere in the first part, with the girls helping Faith and commenting about Ken. It's strange because, even though the war is over since a few years, its shadow is still here. Perhaps not in the places, but in the people. Something which surely was true to all the people who went through this. Something your writing brings beautifully, too. And here, in this scene, this weight is a bit shaken from everyone's shoulder. Something we could call "pre-war", but which is in fact the picture of a generation who's rising up from the trauma. Perhaps it is just me and totally absurd, but that's the feeling I got, reading about the comments, the teasing and the support which came in this scene. I'm rather fond of Esther's character - perhaps because she reminds me about Una, but most surely by the way you describe her and her support to Faith - and I was glad to hear her voice here. I enjoyed discovering a bit more of Pearl and Mabel, too!

The scene at the house was both funny and moving. Funny because of Mrs Grisham, who seems to be a lovely person, with a lot of enthusiasm. I'm sorry, but I can only picture her being smaller than Faith and Ken, with white hair, a wool cardigan, a flower dress (little flowers, not big ones) and a spark in her eyes. The fact that she doesn't even take time to ask Faith if she is Mrs Ford (I know many would have done the same) and just assume it and carry on with her enthusiasm - would Mrs Ford see the kitchen? (it's funny here, but what struck my mind while reading is that it is still something we can hear today, I remember visiting places and having the right to hear a "but the most important part for the young lady is the kitchen/cupboards (always hated that one)") - is lovely to witness. On another hand, I easily understand how Faith can feel. No one would feel very easy in this kind of situation.

But what touched me the most is the talk Faith and Ken had after it. I never imagined Ken would listen to Faith like this, and understand her like he does there. I knew he was a good listener, and that his grief had allow him to be more perceptive - we see it a lot with Jims - but it was a great surprise to see him talking about Jem, and how he was living his own grief for Rilla. What touched me the most is the line where he says something like "I can't tell you how to do your grief, but I can tell you how I live mine if it can help". Because indeed, no grief is ever the same, and the fact that he acknowledged it shows, in my mind, his respect towards Faith. I don't pretend it was always the case, especially on that now famous summer, but right here, right now, there is something serious about him, and reliable. That's it, I think. In the books, there was something light about him, but not here, surely because of the war, of Rilla, of everything, but it's great to discover him through this angle, and I'm glad Faith could open up to him, even a bit. Because it's the first step, I think. To talk to someone who is from home, but without being there yet. Someone who can understand, who knew the people in question, who's also touched, but in a place which remained untouched by those ghosts (sorry, I don't know if it is very clear).

I'm glad to see that the bond between Faith and Ava is getting stronger, too. It's interesting to see it grows, and see its consequences. But the final moment was quite powerful. It was quite heartbreaking - because there is a feeling of something being broken here. What I love in your writing is how careful you are with the mind and emotions of your character - I know you studied and are currently working in this area, but there is something more, which doesn't come with the job, but from the person, from you, I think, if you allow me to say so. There is such attention, comprehension and compassion here, in your writing, that it only makes the scene both more realistic and human. And I can only thank you for it!

Thank you for this chapter :) I can't believe I'm already getting close to the end! Thank you so much for this story! It's one of those you didn't know you needed before it comes in your hand and you can't let go of it after that!
Feux follet chapter 5 . 4/6
This chapter was great, mixing laugh and emotions in a perfect balance! Even though there is a gravity due to what they are talking about sometimes, I have a feeling that Ken is finding this day hilarious, while Faith is slowly coming back. I don't know how to say this, but like Esther said, she ran away by avoiding anything that could bring back the pain (not coming back home, trying to stay deaf to Jem's name, etc). And here, she have no choice but to be confronted to all of this, all in a short but intense amount of time. At first she pushes Ken away, shutting herself behind a wall of coldness and bluntness, but even though at the end of the chapter she's furious about the comments and doesn't say yes at first to Ken's proposition (I'll come back to it later), she doesn't push away as she did in the previous chapters. It is very small, but quite significative!

I can't help but become more and more attached to Ava and laughing with her - though perhaps it is because she's in your writing and not in face of me, I don't know how we would all react facing her - and I enjoyed the links you showed between Faith and her, and I liked the fact that Faith thought that sometimes, she is still questioning the rules. I think that Ken sees that too, a bit, and that's why he talks about the pigs - though he also wants to tease her. Ava saying matter-of-factly that you can't ride pigs, with Faith being just there was hilarious.

Now, Ava speaking about all the dead people around her was quite telling. The fact that she doesn't know her mother and speak about her like she speaks about Walter, whom she didn't know, is quite powerful, in your writing. But it's only the truth. She can't miss her like Jims or Ken because she never get to know her - I mean, she knew her but in a time she can't recall. This idea is quite moving, that the first year - at least - doesn't really belong to the person, but to all the others who took care of them. Maybe some of the most important moments of your life, and they doesn't belong to you because you can't remember, while on the other side, all the people who took care and helped will cherish those memories.

Also, I was particularly touched by the lines where Ava says Jem's name and Faith reacts to it. You shown their different perspective on this in the perfect way. Also, I remember in the first chapters that Faith didn't pronounce his name, nor thought about it - calling him "someone" though the way she thought about it made it even more important - but now that you say it, even Esther didn't say it. It must indeed feel like a shock to hear Ava saying it like she would say "potatoe" (sorry for the comparison). It's also moving to see how names and people behing them can have different importance and meaning depending on the person. I mean, I knew it already, we all build relationships that are uniques, but reading it allows to pause and reflect on that, and question it.

Ava does have a way to put things, doesn't she? Saying that they all live around Gilbert and Anne. Though it makes me wonder. I know she's a Gilbert-Ford, but she doesn't speak about John and Rosemary. She says "Jerry's family", and we know he is the oldest, but still, I can't help overthink since you said that the flu came to the Manse - and the silence left after those words by Faith is worrying. Where does Jerry live, then? And Una? And Carl? And Bruce? Because "Jerry's family can be heard in so many ways! On another hand, it doesn't surprise me that Jims is close to Shirley. I wonder if they saw each other a lot before the Ford came here in London. As Ken is working in politics, I suppose they were living in Toronto?

Now, about the lady's comment. Honestly, I would have reacted like Faith, here. I know it was easier to say that they were all family, and I know he didn't meant to hurt Faith, but I had the feeling that Jem's shadow was very close in her mind. Ava just had say his name, and then there's Ken who say "Oh yes, we are a family". I'm exaggerating a bit here, I know, but it must have felt like it for Faith. On another hand, I hadn't thought that it would be complicated for Ken to find a place, but yes, I can imagine the sexist thoughts of the landlords. No lady alone, no man with children alone, because it's not how things should be. But they are, and they should come around with it, instead telling people how they should live!

I can't wait to read the next chapter, and see how this will go! As always, thank you for your chapter!
Feux follet chapter 4 . 4/5
Even if the zoo made the atmosphere a bit lighter than in the previous chapter, I still ended reading this chapter with emotions ready to flow down. The tension rose slowly, and from an ice cream we go to Jims situation in the family, and the way you wrote it was just perfect.

But let's start with Ava. Ava who seems to know quite well what she wants and doesn't want, and who seems to expect the world doing as she orders. But in the same time, you can't completely push her away, because behind it, there is this feeling that she's quite alive, and is perhaps looking for limits. I wonder if Ken and Jims talks about Rilla in front of her. If they are able to talk at her at all. Ken seems to be able to do it, but I'm not sure about Jims, though I think he tol sees Rilla's ghost in Ava's eyes. Ken do too, but it seems harder for Faith and Jims, though it is not shown the same way - Jims protects Ava at all cost, and stands near her as a guardian, to be sure she doesn't go away like Rilla, while Faith is fleeing the sight of her eyes. This situation certainly mustn't be easy with what happened, but I find it interesting to see how you depict Ken's situation as a solo-father - something I never imagined before your story - and I'm looking forward to see how it evolves.

But what touched me the most was how you brought Jims situation. It was funny to see Faith letting the question out, just like she would have done it before the war. And in the same time, it shows a bit of her nervousness, the need to say something now because otherwise she don't know what will happen. I'm glad Ken didn't took it badly, on the reverse he seemed surprised but agreeably. I liked how honest he was, too, about the time it took him to get close to Jims.

I was curious to know more about it (I always felt it a bit unfair that Jims would go away from Rilla, though of course there was his father) and was moved by this idea of Jims parents dying of the flu, Jims himself being in a bad condition and Rilla not hesitating one second to go to him. Also, I had never really thought about it, but indeed, in the books we never see a real interaction between Jims and Anne and Gilbert, even though they are living under the same roof. I liked the story behind the changing of Jims name, though, from Kitchener to Anderson. And the scene Ken described, about Jims sleeping next to Rilla, moved me a lot. I'm glad he stayed with Ken and Ava. I'm glad they all stayed together.

But now you got me worried - and I can't read the next chapter to find an answer because I'm expected for a class -, but you said the Manse had been badly touched by the flu, and in the previous chapter Faith talked about Una using the past. At first I thought it was because she hadn't seen her since a long time, but now I am having doubts. Is Una dead? How are the others?

I can't wait to read the next chapter, but thank you for this one, which was brilliant!
Take care!
Feux follet chapter 3 . 4/5
I loved this chapter! Just like in your previous story, you have a way to write scenes like this one, between two characters talking, and helping each other, and they always touch me a lot! There is so much kindness and delicacy here, and an attention to small details bringing new stories - Mabel's biscuits for example - that you can feel how warm it is, contrasting with the rain outside (I love the way you picture the scene around them), even though it is painful, at least for Faith. But you manage to show it in both a true and poetic way - and not romanticizing it at all, which is greater than everything and I can only thank you for this (I think about the books where a character is apparently having anxiety or something and it always feels wrong because their are romanticizing it while it's a true battle everyday). Thank you for this reading moment!

I was glad to read about Esther! I'm always curious about the other characters, and as you presented them earlier, I was waiting to meet them, and again, you wrote her character beautifully. Indeed, there are some similarities with Una, but like Faith says, Esther is a bit more blunt, but that's perfect, because someone needed to sit in front of her and allow her to speak and help untangle this. Esther was just perfect for this talk. I loved how she came with the tea and biscuits, and how she gently she moved the talking towards Faith's situation. She's quite perceptive too, and I really enjoyed how she spoke to Faith. I liked how you painted their relationship here, the trust between them, and how Faith acknowledge how it evolved since the day they meet.

I thought Faith would talk about a confirmation that the army would have sent after the war, but is the fact that she speaks about the soldier who told her a good or a bad sign? Because of course, a human word, the testimony if someone who witnessed the action can feel more reliable than a piece of cold paper, but in the same time war means chaos and confusion, can we be sure the soldier saw Jem, or could it be a mistake? Sorry, it is surely silly, of course he would have come back if he was alive, unless he lost his memory due to the shock and the torture he may have received in the camp, but again you said he never escaped, so surely it is silly. It just struck me that Faith spoke about this soldier who told her, but perhaps it is because the only proof I have about the death of a member of my family in this war (he disappeared, and was declared dead in the 1920's, long after the moment his mother and his brother stopped waiting for him) is a piece of paper, and I clung to it... Sorry, I got a bit transported by my thoughts!

I liked how Esther said to Faith that staying here was her way of running away. And I liked how she explained that maybe the ghost wasn't Ken, but Ava, and that maybe the fact that she is angry with him is because he symbolize home, the place she is running away from. I apologize, because I thought it was something else, something that had happen between her, Jem and Ken back before the war, but the way Esther presents the elements makes much more sense. And it shows it again in a very moving way! I was particularly hit by Esther's words : "I can't promise it won't hurt, but I can promise you've hurt worse before". It's both true and encouraging.

As for the zoo, I can't wait to discover how things will go!
Thank you for this chapter, as always!
Feux follet chapter 2 . 4/4
I enjoy the way you write Faith, here. There is still the strong-headed little girl under her, but you added the war experience to her, and this feeling of having seen enough of it, in a way. They all did, with the war, but it keeps going with the diphtheria and the abortion cases. I hope the little boy will be alright. As for the woman who came, I think you did a great job in describing the scene, with her not wanting to say the truth, but in the same time being in so desperate need of help that she asked for it - and like you said, because of the law, so many didn't, so it's 'good' that she could come and ask for it!

So, it was Kenneth. I wasn't expecting this! I thought about him, but in my mind it couldn't be because of Rilla. I never thought she would die, especially here, what happened? It makes me wonder about the years between here and the war, too. Did Faith remained there after the war, she never came back home? I have so many questions, but in the same time I don't want to know, I just want to wait and discover through your chapters - it's a bit the same feeling when you see the Christmas presents, and you want to know what it is, but at the same time don't want to open them yet because it keeps the magic (sorry for this).

Ava is Rilla's daughter, no doubt about it. Not only the name - Faith's mental comment about it made me laugh - but also the same temper - at least in the beginning of Rilla's life in the books. It made me laugh to see how she tried to do what she liked. But it is visible that there is more to it than this. Ken not really knowing / wanting to handle the situation, because as he says to Faith later, they only have her left. Ava is many things, but she's not stupid, and I think that she doesn't act like this only because she wants to do what she wants. She knows her mother is dead, she surely knows she looks like her, and this legacy mustn't be easy to bear. Your Jims reminds me a lot about Jack, in "By a simple twist of fate", though there seem to be a lot more melancholy in him. I wonder what is his story, after the end of the war, what happened to his father, and how he stayed with Rilla and Ken.

I can't help feeling that something is terribly wrong, here. I'm not speaking about Rilla's death, though of course it is terrible, but there is something we don't know yet that happened before and I'm curious to know what it is, because it brings quite a tension here. I wonder if it have something to do with Jem. It made me smile when Faith called him a clueless idiot, but I remarked that she doesn't say his name, not even in thoughts, and it makes me think that he is indeed dead and Faith is still grieving. She certainly seems to hold an anger towards Ken, and some other people. I'm not sure if it is because of the war, or Jem not being there and grief, or about what happened during that summer or something completely different, but I am looking forward to know more about it!

Just a small note to say that I loved the mention of Winnie the Bear here!

But again, there is this feeling that something happened, something terrible. The way Faith reacted when Ken asked her if she wanted to go to the Zoo with them was quite eloquent about it. But what? It's true that in the books the Meredith never really befriended with the Fords, but you wrote about this summer and I'm seriously wondering what happened.

I can't wait to read the next chapter!
Thank you for this chapter, as always :)
Feux follet chapter 1 . 4/4
Hello!

I finally made it here, I'm so sorry it took this long! To think that you wrote it before Christmas, and now we're in April, there's a war on, things are speeding up... Again, I'm truly sorry!

Now, I truly enjoyed this first chapter! As always, your writing is amazing, I really like the way you present your characters and the situation! And as always, I learnt a lot! I looked for the hospital and it was quite interesting, I didn't know such a place had existed! But it truly correspond with Faith's character, especially with the elements you added for her. Also, I find it interesting that you place this story after the war, it's not often we hear about reconstruction, both of places and people, after a conflict, and it particularly - and painfully - echoes with the current situation.

I loved how you presented her, being a doctor at this time is wonderful - when you think about all the things which are almost natural now (being a doctor and a woman for example) and weren't then it's nightmarish! - and I loved the fact that she's living there with other girls. It reminded me a bit of Anne's time in Patty's house, but more realistic, I think. She was already a strong character in the books, but here you really give her space to be more than a character needed for the plot. Which leads me to the first sentence. Faith Meredith is scared. It certainly isn't something we often hear about her.

But she was genuinely scared when she saw the little girl, and recognize the boy and their father. At first, I thought it was Jem, but you said in your presentation that Jem hadn't escaped, so I presume that, even though she doesn't answer when asked about her feelings towards the children's father, it isn't him and he is dead, right? Shirley hadn't hazel eyes, if I remember correctly (I can't remember it he had his hair or his eyes or both brown now), so perhaps Ken? But that would mean Rilla too is dead ... I can't wait to discover who they are!

In the meantime, Faith's fear was truly moving, it made me think about those moments where you want to escape, and you go back, only to find a wall behind you, forcing you to face whatever is in front of you. And the fact that after that everything just piles up, between the bus who doesn't wait, the wait under the rain, the cold because they ran out of coal, could only add to her fear and tiredness. She seems exhausted, you can clearly see she's already faced a lot. The war, death around her, etc. And there is this line where you say that she could live alone, but can't face the silence. I think it was the most speaking element, and I stayed struck with that sentence, for it really echoes with a lot!

To come back to the fact that she lives with other girls, again I liked the atmosphere in the house. It reminded me a chapter of "An Old Fashioned Girl" by Louisa May Alcott - if you're curious, it's only one chapter (the second half of 'Sunny Side' or something like it) which you can read without reading the whole story, because it's just Polly who presents her neighbors to Fanny, and we have a scene with artistic girls living together and thinking about women's place in society (sorry for that, even after two years, I can't shut up about her work sorry). Again, you really build all your characters with the same attention, giving them each a different temper, but more than just two words, which is something I love in your stories, though, I feel for who have to sleep in the kitchen! I can't wait to learn more about them, and I truly loved Aunt Florentine's description! I hope we'll meet her, because she seems to be quite the character! the other girls seems great too, and quite supportive and attentive to each other.

Sorry, I hope my review isn't too much of a mess! I can't wait to read the next chapter, thank you as always for your writing!
I hope you're well :)
Denie1943 chapter 10 . 3/8
Not the ending I was wanting. Yep! I'm an old A&G romantic and I always want the happy ever after. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those folks being bombed out of house and home by Putin the barbarian. Thanks for sharing. Stay well!
piccolabimba chapter 10 . 2/19
I thought this story to have an odd premise, but you executed it very nicely. Thanks for writing!
Alicedreamer93 chapter 10 . 12/29/2021
I enjoyed this more than I thought I might, especially since it was about Faith. Though I had some time off from the holidays I decided to give it a try since the kids were watching movies in their forts they made. I do think that Ken and Faith had some interesting dynamics between them and feel for both having lost something. I did find it horribly sad that Rilla essentially died from being weakened from the flu. Reminded me how things could have been so vastly different for my own great-grandmother had survived the Spanish flu while newlywed and pregnant at the time, the baby had been born a few weeks early but somehow everyone had survived and she went on to have plenty more children. The children are lovely as well, even if Eva is spoiled but sometimes little girls are headstrong and stubborn but her inner light shines through as she gets to know Faith. In all, it was an interesting read for today, not my usual but still wonderful.
Mammu chapter 10 . 12/16/2021
I finally find time to review again.. I found the story very enjoyable. Glad I gave it a chance. Still don't like Faith but story was very good :D I'm also glad that Jims didn't die, him I've always liked.

We are doing good, still healthy. Thanks for asking! It's getting worse here too, waiting for the third vaccine.

I hope you are doing good too! Have a nice christmas and enjoy your well earned holiday!
IrishPrincess chapter 10 . 12/5/2021
I have just discovered this story and thoroughly enjoyed reading it! You have characterized Faith perfectly - I believe she might have remained in England and become a doctor if she had lost Jem. Your characterization of Ken Ford is splendid as well. I love the interactions between Faith and Ken and between Faith and the children. I'm looking forward to the next chapter.
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