Reviews for All Is Mended
Tinalouise88 chapter 25 . 10/19/2022
Married! Married Already...okay I know that is not the entire point of the chapter! So Carl! Carl! waltzing up to his old home in Singapore hoping to find out what happened to his family and the one person who doesn't know about him, or the story is the one home and opens the door!

An eye patch, jungle indeed! what the hell have you been up to in 11 years Carl?! okay...4-6 of them probably were being held by the enemy I am assuming, but the other 6-8! you have massive amounts of explaining to do mister!

okay but back to married!

I know most of this I essentially harrolled you for! So Thank you! I adore it so so much, and it was what they deserved. I love how everyone pretty much tells them that as easy as it might be, a courthouse wedding isn't what she deserves and I agree and I think the small wedding is perfect for them. I am glad she was essentially steamrolled into it by everyone and me haha! The dress, is perfectly Una, a matronly bride. Li and Iris, Robin...it is lovely.

Also the whole proposal scene is lovely as well, I love the cheekiness from both of them and jesting about finding tips about travelling with Kiki from the books as well.

The rest is lovely as well, how Martin is part of her home now and how Faith doesn't wish for her to leave but lets her sister go. It must be terrifying in a way for Faith to see her go back to that place where they all thought she had parished. Of course Jerry's call, I hope they all manage to make it to Singapore to see Carl!
Parnokianlipstic chapter 25 . 10/19/2022
I have goosebumps in my soul, because this chapter is unbelievably wonderful!

Bernice's rivetingly catchy letter, the atmosphere that exudes the busy atmosphere of the Center, and the shortcomings of Australian Kate, Carl, if he was Carl, who has perhaps been in a jungle somewhere for the last 11 years. Description of Unas ie. Cecilia Meredith's eyes, as the main characteristic, almost brought tears to flow.

Aching hope, and faith, and the feeling of love that shines here, like fragrant lilacs on a summer evening, and other flowers in the small garden of Innisfree's house.

And naturally, Li and Iris and the whole gang return to Singapore, looking for answers, because the Kingsport interlude was always just a temporary space in between, giving Una Martin, and Robin a safe place to grow, among other things. Gentle Jazz, Scrabble games, and a coherently built home with a light touch of chaos.

And the fact that you depict their wedding in a mesmerizingily collective way, contrasting the dreams and visions of Rainbow Valley-era Una with the present is extremely moving, because of course the ceremony is held at Bundle Kirk, and of course Jo Blake's spirit lives on in his descendants.

Your prose shimmers, as always, with word forms and different registers, an onslaught of emotions, like a spring whisper, prose poetry at its best.

That ending, here I am humming that hymn, I woke up my dog, who looks at me slightly reproachfully. I adored this, dearest!
kslchen chapter 24 . 10/18/2022
This is going to be a shorter-than-normal review for personal reason, but I wanted to get it out before you post the next chapter this week.

This is a very calm chapter as we accompany these characters as they settle into a new-old daily rhythm now that Li has joined them. She does slip into their lives unobtrusively, as she does, but at the same time, it's obvious how she enriches those lives, too. She and Una are natural companions, of course, and the scene of the two of them teaching Robin and Isobel to cook is quite delightful. Neither of the two girls is naturally gifted when it comes to household matters, I assume, but it makes for a nice and fun bonding moment - with added religious talk to boot!

The Queen's coronation was also interesting and it continues to help settle your story in history. I found it interesting to see everyone dress up to watch it on TV, but it does make perfect sense, because it was a big moment for them and anyway, watching TV itself was something special back then, wasn't it? I enjoyed how this event brought everyone together and showed us more of the family dynamics. And, speaking of family, Una imagining how her non-Canadian family might sit with them, of only they were all together, is very poignant. "Too much and not enough" summarises that moment very well, and also everything it means to Una.
Tinalouise88 chapter 24 . 10/13/2022
You know how much I love this chapter as I told you earlier today. But truly it is a calming lovely piece of writing.

I do love Una's teasing about Martin and what she shares in her letters, and if she might share more in person. It's cheeky and fun. I did have to google slippery pulse, and what an interesting piece of science, but also wasn't that baby just born Iain! Irish twins are not something to be initially proud of Iain and Emily.

The whole coronation is lovely to watch and I love and adore all the little tidbits we get about clothing and colours. Robin needs to stop growing that is for sure if her skirts needed to be lengthened out to a proper length once more for her. But I do adore that the dress is still in use and that Iris and Li are still wearing their colours and cultural fabrics. Green and orange florals and Iris in a Cheongsam as well is a lovely touch.

Of course, another new brooch for Una from Martin which I always approve of. I do love how he is very much part of the family at this point. Sitting beside her, and stealing small kisses even in front of her extended family and friends. Even Li has let him stay, oh I can hear all the cackling when Li realizes just what Una and Martin are together. For some reason, I see Li switching between rooming with Iris some nights, and also with Una some other nights. All the cheeky comments about kisses and where kisses can lead to, even more so then Faith might haha.

All the other little tidbits, Helen and Ben Carlise, the inner dialogue of the ladies from camp, the men's agreement that all the children have grown too fast.

Another thing of beauty is how Una in all her wishful thinking is happy and content, Li on one side, living their beautiful sistership in the way they do, and Martin on her other kissing her fingers. If nothing else changes and is or found, she at least has these people in her life.

Just the same the ending is loveable for all the chaos and laughter. Teaching how to cook indeed, and not everyday recipes but recipes of the east. I am assuming that vegetarianism is more of an aftereffect of the war and the camp for them? It was just easier to not eat meat?
Parnokianlipstic chapter 24 . 10/13/2022
Oh, oh, oh!

Here again, completely speechless with admiration, the spectrum of years, the sweet jumble of clothes and styles, the relationships between the characters in your verse. Correspondence, playfulness.
And then the thing itself, that is, Elizabeth's coronation. Kitty, and everyone else, too!

And Una's quiet inner monologue with the camp-family, Li's effortless integration into Innisfree's economy, Martin's mysterious excursions, and book finds according to Li's wishes, all extremely heartwarming. And kitchen routines, warmth and love.

I loved this, apologies if reading this review of mine is a mess and music criticism, Bernice and Cressida's strong opinions made me howl with laughter.

Bless, you darling!
kslchen chapter 23 . 10/9/2022
This chapter has a strong thread of things being put right again as we watch Una and Li be reunited. Una herself remembers how close they were before the war ripped them apart and it's no exaggeration. It wasn't just friendship that connected them before but a deep sense of sisterhood and a natural and quiet understanding, all of which played such a large part in the previous story. Li, in some ways, was more Una's sister than Faith was, not (as discussed) because there's less love between Una and Faith, but because there's more understanding between Una and Li. They *knew* each other in a very deep, rare sense that can't often be observed.

As Una herself muses here though, twelve years are a long time (possibly longer than Una and Li knew each other before being separated?) and they have the power to change people and relationships. Therefore, it's only natural that the though is on Una's mind before welcoming Li. Of course, Una herself isn't the same woman she was before 1942, because while she is still *Una*, the twelve years in-between shaped her. We were lucky to get Iris back in a way that is still recognisable Iris - more grown, but not fundamentally changed - but who's to say the same is true for Li after everything she undoubtedly has been through as well?

It is, therefore, a relief to see that the understanding is still there. The love was always assured, I think, but with so much time passed, the understanding wasn't necessarily a given thing. Yet, we see them slip right back into their old closeness. They can speak openly right away and what they don't say is not because they can't share it with each other but because it's too painful to say aloud to anyone still. More importantly, I think, is the silent understanding they still share though. They instinctively know which information need to be shared, which topics can be talked about and which details to let rest for now, because they're still too raw and painful and there's no need to broach everything right at once.

In some ways, I suppose, their natural understanding is enhanced because their experiences weren't so very different. Iris somehow, miraculously, escaped the worst possible fates, but both Una and Li knew camp life and all the suffering and hardships that came with it. What also strikes me is that they both put others before themselves in those camps, trying to protect where they could and comfort where possible. It's that inherent selflessness and the quiet strength that marks them both and it it means that not only the suffering they faced was similar, but their way to overcome it was, too. They're both incredibly strong women to have pulled through to this point and now they can be a comfort to each other, as they can take comfort from the girls, and that's a beautiful thing, despite all the pain that marked the years before this moment.
Tinalouise88 chapter 23 . 10/6/2022
It is lunch and I have to many bubbling thoughts and ideas about this chapter.

One it is Li, finally at long last. Oh Li of all the things that has happened and has come and gone. To be in Kingsport after so many years of unsurity of how they might have reacted to her as Carls wife.

The stories she tells, and how una and li can understand, silently be sympathetic and just listen without out right horror.

I love through everything that Li picks up on the handkerchief. Because of course she does, and slowly gets it out of her as well about Martin. But also the fact that Una somehow has his handkerchiefs. I wonder what Li might say about those collarbone kisses! Lol

I do wonder if Iris knew her mother would be at home that day? I was a touch surprised that she was at school. I see both sides, unsure about Li, and what she may look like or be life and wouldn’t want to frighten her. Or maybe she got there earlier.

I do love how they don’t let Una and Robin leave. Only one left to find and show up.

I did spot one little thing though. You have Martin at the shop, but then you say he was away.
OriginalMcFishie chapter 23 . 10/6/2022
So much emotion floods through me as I read this. Tears for what they missed, anger for what they suffered, frustration that life brings such things, the bitter sweet joy of reunion, the deep connection of family, the love you have for a brother who's not their's spouse you've never met, deep loss of Carl. this is a piece of brilliance and shoukd be published beyond the world of ff. it woukd be a crime not too
Parnokianlipstic chapter 23 . 10/6/2022
Ah!

How to write about a burning, evaporating dream that is finally here.

Li!

In this chapter, every word shimmers, minnow-siwft, as Li and Una are together again after all the years and hardships that have passed.

And it's absolutely wonderful that it's the handkerchief Una gave to Martin, which she gives to Li on the platform, when the tears of both of them flow like a stream, years of loneliness, the struggle for survival, of them both.

And that Li and Una's unverbal shorthand is still alive. They now, even more share an understanding that only comes from shared experience, but all circumctances are different.

That bath-scene is gold-standard, truly as Li points out in her fears that did and did not befell on Una or Iris, and the echoes of Unas Kingsport visits 8 years ago. Li is still Li, with flowing air, waterlily-smile and all, despite everything, flexible, even with all the jagged cuts, and old scars, and those fragments that she describes, and is able to verbalize, re-education, her own shadows, of interment story swapping , is infinitely efficient.

Naturally there is tea, and it is drunk on the floor, those stenciled red teabowls, and photographs.

I loved this, almost every sentence had a texture I wanted to hug, the purest Poetry in prose, not to mention the emotional journey, was full of great moments.

And of course the year is 1953, very insightful, because an awful lot happened in that year, and the camps were dismantled, in Shanghai and elsewhere, and the man with the cockroach mustache died in March, but this is not yet March.

And at the end, when Li and Iris just look at each other, and Li hugs Robin, and the love glows in the house of Innisfree as the golden creeping jazz plays on. Utterly sublime!

Bava!
oz diva chapter 22 . 10/5/2022
No doubt you wrote the naming of the Lovall baby ages ago, but it seems apt that you publish it now, just as we are facing the prospect of a new monarch. I wonder if it will see an uptick in children named Charles?

But the main point of this chapter is that Li is alive! Li is alive, Li is alive. Honestly I can't think of another thing to write. But I shall in any case, because of course while Iris sounds like she got off pretty lightly under the circumstances, it appears Li did not. What will she be like when they find her?
oz diva chapter 21 . 10/5/2022
RIP Rosemary. Not quite Una's mother but the next best thing. In this story of children with adoptive mothers, we see how important those relationships are, so I see no point in quibbling over semantics.

Interesting what Una has to say about death in general, whether because she's seen too much or because of Li & Carl being in that liminal space between life and death, who can say, but it makes sense that Rosemary's death isn't sticking in her mind. It takes us all a while to come to terms with loss. You know it in your head but your heart takes a lot longer to catch up, years even. And I loved how Iain put it. He's perhaps a little more removed and a male and I think they see things differently. No wonder Una can't sing about empire. She was brought up to believe in its might and saw first hand its betrayal of all that she held dear. I feel the same way about the second stanza of our national anthem which is all about sharing our land (except if you're brown apparently) I just can't sing it, it's so wrong. But I disagree with her about Church being no place for politics, it's the most political place there is.

That line about Rosemary never asking about Robin was beautiful. Everyone else wanted to know where she fit into the picture, but we see that Rosemary just accepted her on her own merits. If Una brought her to Canada then it was because she needed love, no strings attached. She was a child, she needed love and Rosemary would offer it. Beautiful.
oz diva chapter 20 . 10/5/2022
Interesting to note how Iris has changed, how she resembles her mother (who I note you speak of in the present tense). Must be strange for Iris to find her aunt has a new charge, I wonder if she resents Robin, even just a little bit?

If I were Iris I think losing Puck would be really sad. I imagine she had this image of life back home being almost the same and now to realise that the monkey has died must be emblematic of all that she has lost. In her case her mother and her father are missing still and naturally that's worse than a monkey, but for that little slip of cheeky innocence to be gone must hit hard.

They have so much to share these two (three including Robin) and I imagine that would be a difficult conversation, one that would dribble out in fits and starts rather than all at once for how can you tell the story of those lost 8 years in one fell swoop.

In a way you've done that with this story. The story of the quilt is one such example. So much can be said about these women; their personalities and back stories in the way they approach the quilting project. From Elise who never had the opportunity to develop quilting skills, being somewhat too occupied with surviving; to the more upper class women who had ample time. I love the codes they employ as a sort of rebellion against their oppressors or things that have personal meaning.

Meanwhile Iris's story initially reminds me of Tenko, with the sinking of her boat and fetching up on a beach waiting to be 'rescued' but of course they didn't have this nun to save them. Thank goodness for her.
kslchen chapter 22 . 10/1/2022
The connection to the late Queen via Teddy's daughter is an interesting one, given recent happenings. Of course, it succeeds in tying your story even closer to reality, but Una's little comment about the 'great imperial family' also reminds me of the previous chapter. Una has a much more nuanced understanding of colonialism, in ways the Canadian family members probably don't. The British Empire declined during the Queen's reign, but especially in the beginning, she was very much its figurehead. I've been musing a bit recently about how unpolitical her role truly was, so while the tribute makes perfect sense of Teddy as a man of his time, place and standing, it did make me think a bit about matters that can maybe only be grasped in hindsight.

But I don't want to turn this review into something too historical, political or controversial, so let me focus on something else instead. I felt that in this chapter, there was a strong theme of moving forward and new hope. There are the two babies (strange to think of Mara and Shirley as grandparents!), of course, timely addition to this ever-growing family clan, and then there are Isobel and Iris going for their night out. It's lovely to see them connecting, especially after Isobel already struck up a close relationship with Robin, and it seems like they had a magical time that is almost reminiscent of that pre-WW1 Lighthouse Dance before everything turned more than pear-shaped. Since no war started while they were out, it definitely counts as even more successful.

Seeing Iris bright and laughing once more reinforces the notion that despite being separated from her family during the war and despite the hardships she's undoubtedly been through, she's mostly alright. That's not to say she doesn't remember her past or misses Carl and Li, as evidenced by her decision to wear the jade heart, but she was able to retain her bright personality and the spark she had pre-war, while also being able to look forward in a hopeful way. We talked about this, of course, and as noted then, things could have been so different so easily, so it remains a marvel to see this unbroken Iris who still lives life fully, just as she did when she was a child whose life was filled with a abundance of unconditional love.

That Iris escaped the worst possible fates that could have been hers, doesn't, of course, mean that the same is true for her parents, or at least her mother. Li being alive is beyond words and must seem like a miracle, seven years after the war ended! With Una blanking our during Kitty's explanations, we don't yet know whether Li truly suffered the horrors Una thinks up, so there's hope yet, but the very real danger of "Shanghai" meaning exactly what Una fears it to mean remains. We got Iris back relatively unscathed, so perhaps it was too much to hope for that the same would be true for Li (and, maybe, one day, Carl, too?), but I'm holding out hope that these particular horrors might have passed her by, too.
Tinalouise88 chapter 22 . 9/30/2022
Li is alive! what a miracle that is in it self. I can only imagine how long it would take to that sorta back then, without easy access to long distance and email, forms...anything it would all be letters. though I suppose it still be lawyers and paperwork back then as well.

There is so many little things that I adore about this chapter. Of course the Iris's gown which I had with, so happy to see that here as well. Green velvet and sequins. I forget if that was a Pinterest find or instagram but so happy it gave you this moment.

I do laugh at faith not liking sewing. You would think she would be decent at it given she would have to be for stitches and sutures.

Oddly enough, the 1950's had quite a thing for mandarin/cheongsam silhouettes for women. I'm not entirely sure when they popped up but Iris's dress while clearly part of her heritage might not that strange. Though it might be in the later 50's then the earlier.

I cannot Imagine Iris headspace though, to know that her mother is alive and having to just wait for her.

Of course I have to be like...Collarbone kisses! My my my, what do they end up doing after bedtime for robin, and Iris tactfully goes up stairs to read or listen to music in her room. Or is some class necking in the car lol. I can only imagine the teasing that would ensure if Faith knew what sort of Kissing Una has been doing and receiving!

All the baby talk is so sweet as well, and the photos, and the comparison to Iris back in the day.
Una's memories of the Goslings, which is heartbreaking in it self and the babies at the camp that did not survive. But I love all the reflection of the next generation. Christopher is already a parent, but Iris and Isobel, too old for Dolls, but to young to appreciate little babies as the adults do. Though I am sure at school and inside their rooms, there is large amounts of giggling about certain boys. It will come quick for those two and Una and Mara will not be ready for it I think. Li will not be ready for it when she does arrive.

Over all, so many little things and lovely tidbits of this universe live in this chapter which I adore.
OriginalMcFishie chapter 22 . 9/29/2022
Li is Alive. I never thought she would be. I'm still worried about whar she has experienced and how she is as a result, but she lives.
loved so much about this chapter, How Una reached for the phone to call Rosmary when she got the news, the family haggling over the piano (I've seen this happen!), to life going on and the dance which Li missed, hopefully the last thing that will be missed. I'm now hopefully that we can end with the free women rebuilding their lives in Singapore. its too much to hope for Carl to join them. so much loss from this war
149 | « Prev Page 1 .. 2 3 4 5 6 .. Last Next »