Reviews for All Is Mended
kslchen chapter 15 . 8/14/2022
For being person who lacks vainness and for whom expensive baubles have no meaning, important pieces of jewellery have played a pivotal role in Una's life for some time. Not for her the sparkles of a diamond necklace, but she does mark important people by way of the jewellery they gifted her. She has Carl's necklace and the ring Li gave her, both for protection and, I think, as a sort of connection while they're separated. Now, to join them, there's the Ichthys-shaped brooch from Martin and it feels like it will be no less meaningful in time. I really like how it is given and received without fanfare, because it makes the gifting natural and easy and right, just like Una's connection to Martin is. (Also, "leaping like a salmon" is up there as one of my new favourite phrases!)

Just as easily as Martin sends off Una and Robin to England, promising to take care of Kiki and the consulate so that Una can leave without any doubts, Faith is more reluctant, as fitting with her personality. It's interesting because while Faith herself is a bit of a free spirit herself and certainly not a clingy person, there's a distinct feeling that she likes to have everyone she loves very close to her. That's not to say she can't let them go and support their choice of life, as we've seen with Kitty, for example, but at the same time, I think there's a deep-seated desire to gather everyone to herself and hold them close. She wants to hold Una close, too, and that's genuine, even if it's not what Una herself wants or needs.

Seeing the Bernice and Cressida and everyone does feel like this is something Una needs, because they're family to her as much as they're family to Emily. The exuberance of their reunion might seem unusual for Una at first glance, but knowing them and knowing her, it's just right. Not for nothing did life shape her into a woman who appreciates the happiness of them being together again and who can also keep up with them all, even clever Joan. There's always a lot of laughter when this set of family is together and a lot of... a lot of life, I think. Given what brought them together and forged them into a union, that might be a paradox, but it really isn't, because more than anything, it feels like they're celebrating life together and that is exactly right.

Alas, being with them brings the memories of Singapore closer to the surface of Una's mind and it's no wonder. Canada was a far away place that felt very removed from her Singapore life, even with the memory of Carl technically spanning both countries, but Joan et al. bring it back, even if they're now in England. Certainly, the talk with Emily also does its part, because while her uncle suffered and died in a Canadian camp, he was a foreigner in a hostile place and the same was true for Carl, Li and Iris during Japanese occupation. Telling Emily about her uncle can't have been easy for Una, because of course it would bring up memories and, yes, doubt, but I'm glad she did so either way. It's a sign of respect to a friend, to be honest even when it's not easy. It is also, as always, exactly what Una would do.
OriginalMcFishie chapter 15 . 8/12/2022
so much to love here but as always what stands out is the Carl,Li and Firecracker are missing. Will they be found? I fear for them all and hope Una gets answers soon. if only so her budding romance can bloom
Tinalouise88 chapter 15 . 8/11/2022
Oh dearest, such a lovely chapter of Christmas in August. It's warm and welcoming, everything Christmas is. I do love how our Mr. Gnome has presents ready for them, I do wonder what Una had potentially for him. Maybe a scarf or a pair of gloves? I did spot a Kiss on the cheek, a regular occurrence for them at that! Though the Jesus fish, is a lovely brooch lol, very Una.
Bless that man, bless both of them for finding one another. He really has helped Una in his own way to come out of her shell and even potentially heal her once broken saddened heart.

I am with Robin though, what is an airplane ride without smugglers or wrong planes? I can see her wearing her best dress for it as well because one always dresses up to travel back then, just moaning to Una about being uncomfortable.

I did chuckle at Joanie, I had to read it a few times to understand their conversation, I'm still not entirely sure, but I feel as if our Doctor Joan was teasing Una about what happens when you spend to much time alone with men haha. but I do enjoy how Robin just goes around telling people that Una and Martin are courting, to apparently anyone that will listen.

The rest of the gang is lovely and Una telling Emily about her Father is heartbreaking, but a scene that stays in my mind at the same time.

I also laughed at Bernices, Pagan rubbish. yes, yes indeed most of Christmas is pulled from some sort of pagan holiday or day. Though it is lovely that Una gets to see her friends for Christmas, even if Faith seemed upset or even potentially put out that her sister would rather see her friends then spend Christmas with the family. Though these women are her family as well at this point, they made survival worthwhile, they made survival manageable for Una which runs just as deep as family doesn't it?
Parnokianlipstic chapter 15 . 8/11/2022
This is a total treasure, of a chapter, (an aside, I've had hellish week) so it was/ is a sheer dream to read this.

Una and Martin's conversations, and their own short hand is utterly just them, I, for one utterly adore as that promise that Martin will harangue the Consulate in Unas absence, that says it all, and Kiki gets to cause gentle havock in the bookshop, and the brooch!

Faith's gentle probing questions, and the singing onions, in the pan was a perfect comedic moment that laid ground to Joan and Una's very moving conversation, and teasing, of old RV times, and the fact that Una was able to talk about such direct, scurrilous things, as feelings, as private person, but Joan as all of them are family to her, and they and Martin too, in his way know Una.

And then Cressida's house, and the whole campfamily, exchanging greetings in the drizzle, so beautiful, and living and gleeful image, and naturally Iain is there too, that was unlooked for boon, but a fun one, but naturally he would be where Emily, is.

Joan and Una's monitoring of Cressida's health, naturally better nutrition helps, hair, but years under the Sinapore sun can't be taken away. As for her clothing, I loved that detail, it reminded me of a wizened Katherine Hepburn-style, all efficient, and comfyness, but stylish too.

Well, you may laugh, but I had something of an Evelyn Waugh moment reading that description of the house, with all the wonderful and curious furniture, that are totally out of 1940/1950s sensibilities.

Unas memories and flashbacks are loosely and poetically tied together, a breath, there, and a momentary transition, until the prevailing reality returns again, and the inner agony, of sleepless nights, but then it is always three at somewhere. Emily and Una's conversation, psalms, Everlasting Yates, wonderful, sensitive and gentle.

Perhaps the point I'm trying to make here is that here one can see the campfamily in totally and utterly them, and they just enjoy each other, and the fact that they've survived, and their dynamics, and their playfulness, and the luxury of Cressida's home, is certainly in places as perplexing as Raffles had been.
And naturally, Bernice and Una play carlos, and the first evening ends with laughter and togetherness. Brava, darling, I loved this!
kslchen chapter 14 . 8/8/2022
I truly adore the tenderness between Una and Martin. There's been a deep and almost instinctive understanding between them from the beginning that only grows as we see them together. Perhaps, it's an understanding that reaches even deeper on Martin's side, because of all the people in Canada, I think he does really understand her best (or maybe he and Jerry both). Your Una isn't as timid as she was in canon at times, but she remains a quiet and somewhat guarded person, so to understand her is not an easy thing to achieve. It requires a lot of watching and listening and knowing to read the silences. Martin, we know, is making the effort and this is one of the ways how we know that he cares.

In some ways, I think their silences might be more straight-forward than their conversations, though between the two of them, they understand both words and pauses. As you certainly know, I do heartily approve of speaking in Adventure Code. (In fact, I feel more people should be doing it.) Having a shared code like that is a very visible sign of shared experiences and opinions, plus it serves them well to communicate what should not or cannot be said aloud. It makes what could be a fraught conversation almost easy, though their shared rapport certainly also plays a large part. I mentioned the tenderness between them and also want to mention the warmth. The butterflies might leave Una dizzy (though I don't think the same goes for Martin), but they end this scene with a warm, shared laugh, which is absolutely the best way!

Much colder, of course, is what we learn about Elise's past here. I think everyone - Una, the other women and we readers - knew instinctively that Elise's life wasn't a very happy one, though the details of it remained elusive. The Magdalene Laundries make for a depressing start to her story and it doesn't get much better than that. Considering how tragically she died, I'm not surprised Fr. Sowerby blames himself for sending her to Singapore and yet... is it odd that I'm wondering whether Elise wouldn't view it as black-and-white? Not, of course, that she would ever have willingly left behind her daughter like this, but at least she got those early years with Robin and she got a family in Una and the others, however briefly. I'm not saying Elise wouldn't change a thing if she could, but maybe she wouldn't change *everything* either?

Certainly, because her life took the path it did, she could be sure of leaving Robin with someone who loved her and who would do anything for her. In her last moment, I'm certain it was a relief that at least Robin had Una to be mother, protector and family to her, no questions asked (well, not by Una, anyway). I'm with Cressida in thinking that Elise chose Una for Robin and wouldn't want her to end up with anyone else. Therefore, this search for Robin's family does hold dangers, as Una is becoming aware of now. It seems that she never truly believed in finding anyone, so the prospect of Robin having biological family understandably floors her. This, after all, is her child as much as it was Elise's and just because there might be someone out there with Robin's genes doesn't make them family in the way Una is. I suppose that one good thing about Elise's despondent beginnings is that it's unlikely anyone will come forward to claim Robin?
Alicedreamer93 chapter 14 . 8/7/2022
I have been out of the country for sorts, visiting family in Japan now that is it allowable and I have started asking my grandparents what they remember of the war, though they were children at the time they remember parts and war is always sad on either side. Though reading this story brings so much joy and happiness from Una, but at the same time within the last chapters and the recovery of the east pacific countries caused by the destruction of my own heritage is heartbreaking to think of. 'administration error' indeed! That all aside, it is lovely to see Una so clearly slowly falling in love it feels like. Clearly, there is something going on! Innocent as they are.

All the same the various conversations between Faith and Una, the letters, and Jerry as well are beautiful pieces of work of how Una's life is reshaping and healing from the war. Still, she worries about Robin, not wanting to lose her childhood to school, though I believe legally at this point all children over the age of seven(possibly five in nova scotia) to be enrolled in school. Though I am sure after the war and given the exceptional circumstances that it could be put off a year or so and do some light learning at home. I don't see Una slacking in learning how to read or write her own name and whatnot for Robin, and the amount of time spent in that bookstore I am sure even Mr. Swallow has taught her simple math and numbers by now as well.
Tinalouise88 chapter 14 . 8/5/2022
I know you say you are rubbish at romance, but I think you do it splendid. It's like reading Austen in a way, that gasp at a handclasp, those searing looks and subtle glances. It's all in there and that is classical romance there and you do it splendidly my dear friend.

It's all a mish-mash of things there walk and talk, little things that build just what it is around them. The shortened days and the harbour walks. The teasing little facts of flowers and details it all truly lovely. And while I chuckle at the inside jokes with has about his absences and what he does or brings back to them on his returns, the way they talk without details is very much part of the essence they have together.

Robin not being allowed to know what he does makes me giggle, but in another time and story we had another little girl who was all too happy to know her father to tell people her father was a spy, and that poor chap really tried to explain that espionage wasn't quite his thing, not in the way she thought anyway. But I do agree of all the things he could be tangled up in, at least he isn't bringing home more animals for them to have!

Poor Elise! I had to google the Magdalene Laundries, and god that sounds horrific in itself, and then the war. The poor woman that is for sure, at least she found friends with the women at the camp, at least there was that for her while she sick and dying.

Though it must be a relief it must be for Una in a way knowing that Robin can never disappear from her life at this point. I mean I would be relieved. Oh and know that she tried to sell Li's Rings and that they somehow bought it back for her. Protection indeed, though I think we know in war itself that even a wedding ring would mean nothing to someone if such intentions. But I am glad that she has got It, because one day she will give it back to its rightful owner.
Parnokianlipstic chapter 14 . 8/4/2022
I adored this!

There is an almost Hardy-esque levity and deep feeling and sensitivity in this chapter all twined in. Superb!

The connection between Una and Martin is extremely lovely, your prose almost seems to shimmer. The narration and description is as powerful as a honey-colored twilight. And that half way of discussing, and speaking in half code, about difficult things, Martin Swallow really understands Una, how she experiences world, as well as he should, there as been few years of friendship between them by now. And that Yates and Una's personal ghosts are present, but not every moment. Wandering and Blyton, and Robin, and inner Cressida.

Extremely beautiful.

And the way you use the quality of ink and handwriting and letter paper to describe the fear of loss, of Robin, which fortunately is unfounded. That Anglican priest seems like a fascinating case. When Una travels to England for Christmas, it is possible that they will meet and discuss Elise's fate, perhaps.

I thought that Elise's story was interesting, and I was right. The usual story, but not, you skillfully draw the whole arc with just a few words, and you hint enough. A girl without a name, just a number among others, the harshness of non-confirmed Magdalene Sisters, or some such place, and things move along as they always have, an ill-fated love affair, and or a possible case of self-defense, evenings at dance halls, and finally little Robin. Elises experiences in a Singapore prison camp, and dying of cerebral malaria, so young, so beautiful, so alone, but not alone, as she had the found family there, with her, and she gave Robin to Una.

There were too many highlights again, the funny thing is when I read this I almost saw certain sentences and scenes in this chapter synestically in the colors described by your floating prose, the pale purple, the heat and darkness of the prison camp, and the brightness of Kingsport's nature, and Una's white poppy, and the flash of the ring, and all mutual, and or hidden secrets of womens hearts, as deep blue as the ocean at midnight, blue-black and gleaming.

This is free-fall rambling again.
Dragon4928 chapter 13 . 8/3/2022
I've spent the better part of the past couple of months reading all your work and I just want to thank you for the wonderful experience this has been. I finished the Centre Cannot Hold while sitting in a court room today and the night Carl went missing, I had to leave so I could have a small weep in the bathroom. I've also been regularly sending my friend little excerpts so I can keep the lines that touched me the most (especially when you write about grief) somewhere I can hold on to them and the screenshots might just convert him into reading fanfiction. This might be the first time I've craved hard copies of fanfic so hard and I really hope that happens someday. Till then, I am so absolutely in love with how you're writing Una's story and I'm thrilled (and sad) that I've caught up. Keep writing!
oz diva chapter 13 . 8/2/2022
What’s saddest here is Una’s response to commitment. So many of the people she has loved previously have left her. Not on purpose, but she was dreadfully alone when she went to the camp, having lost Carl, Li and Iris plus, Papatee, Adela, Nenni and those chooks. And latterly she’s lost Puck. So it makes her reluctance to form a new attachment understandable. However, if you find a man prepared to welcome your daughter into his heart, I’m with Faith, that man might hang around. And Martin even knows his poetry, he’s a keeper for sure.
oz diva chapter 12 . 8/1/2022
Hi Kiki. You are just what this family needs. Your talk of Murrderrr is strangely perfect for the wider family, and it's totally my fault that I say it in the manner of Taggart of Glasgow fame. No wonder everyone's a tad unsettled. Anyway I think it's right that Una moves out. These two need their own space. They need to bathe without fear of horrified questions if nothing else.

Her relationship with her family is still intriguing me. Of course they might feel slightly put out that she lived in Singapore and never returned 'home', totally missing that Singapore was her home, at least for the pre-war years. I wonder if she will return there one day? They had a great life there which the Canadian family has totally missed and after all there was nothing to stop Jerry from visiting (unless he did and I've forgotten).

Una's PTSD hits at interesting moments, like the church bells for instance. No wonder of course, but it must confuse those around her.
Parnokianlipstic chapter 13 . 7/29/2022
Xenophobia and casual racism were terrible at that time, and the consular officer's "admirstrative error" regarding the fate of poor Emily's family/relatives, that finger of fate, and the possibility of people being lost, was depicted in a stunning way. And against this, all the time, the silent horror of the fate of Carl, Li and Iris, and Yates, and even the verses of the Bible, which hardly help Una when she tries to calm her mind and find out who it is.

Extremely chilling and beautifully described Una, that when she gets angry she becomes frozen cold, which was reinforced by flashbacks of discipline during ACS, as a parable of Andersen's fairy tale, and Mary Vance and the muff.

I can't believe that the new generation of children are already adults, aaww, and for some reason I'm moved to know that it is Emma Blake who is Christopher Blythe's bride-to-be. Again another link between the Blake family and the Blythies.

There were many highlights in this chapter, Faith fishing for information, and teasing, waste not want not regarding used childrens clothes, Mr. Swallow and Robin, at the bookshop, the two pairs of eyes, brown and heartstopping green, the name of Innisfree, and a Hardy poem quote that set a great tone for the whole thing, a Coleridge quote, lovely more Mannerling adventures, and more pets.

I adored this!
kslchen chapter 13 . 7/29/2022
The sheer arrogance, the revolting xenophobia and the utter carelessness inherent in those two words, "administrative error", are as breath-taking as they are gut-wrenching. Horrifyingly realistic, of course, because back then, what difference did it really make to the British whether someone was Japanese or Chinese or Thai, because to someone like the consul, they all look Asian and it's too much of an effort to understand that no, it's not the same at all. It's that kind of thinking that the entire colonial period was based on and sadly, is still too prevalent today. Therefore, the consul's reaction here is very much based in reality, but that doesn't make it any less disgusting and horrifying.

I think Una is making the right choice to give this information to Emily, despite how endlessly painful it must be. Yes, some might argue that it would be kind to spare her the details that make this death even crueller and more senseless than many others, but Emily is a grown woman and she and Una are too close and have suffered too much together for there not to be honesty between them. Emily deserves not to be babied and not to have anyone, even a friend, make decisions for her. Therefore, I agree with Una's decision to tell her and to do it herself instead of going through an intermediate. Letters are tricky things, but these women have a deep level of understanding and know which words to chose. Besides, all the others, including Iain, will certainly be right there to support her anyhow.

The conversation of Una and Faith over patched and worn children's clothes feels lighter and more harmless than recent talks. Yes, Faith lacks some tact in the way she keeps fishing for information, but when has Faith ever been tactful? They're still not *entirely* on the same wavelength here, but since Una knows her sister well (even if Faith at times struggles to recognise Una), she knows not to equate nosy questions with rudeness. Thus, with her making allowances for Faith's questioning, this talk might not be a deep one, but it does give it a sisterly feel, right down to Una's long-suffering-ness (yes, that's a word). I enjoyed it as another puzzle piece to their relationship, because it shows us another, lighter level of their interaction.
Tinalouise88 chapter 13 . 7/28/2022
Oh Una, it tears into my soul that she is afraid of people disappearing and tells Faith so when Faith teases her about Mr. Gnome. How gutting it is that she's lost so much and is still unsure of what happened to them. I do truly hope that something turns up sooner than later for her. Some piece of evidence that they are alive or were alive at some point in time. not mention that talks about riots and food worries in Singapore, it's too soon for her to think of such things...too soon but sadly that is the reality of Singapore right now.

As you know I did enjoy the talk about it all with the clothes in the background. Mended upon mended, stained clothing. I think at this point as well that ready-to-wear clothing was beginning to be even more accessible for Una to get for Robin

It is slightly mind-bending that the older-younger generation is now all getting married and dancing. While Junior Birdmen is an adorable title for Kiki. Robin dancing is lovely.

I do feel like there is a touch of...I can't think of the world but Una seems to make a choice at the later end of the chapter. Puffins indeed, one for the shop and the other of home, and way like mischievous that Puck, but in a way, I feel it's almost a subtle nod to the changing thoughts of Mr. Gnome and all the teasing that happens. Making subtle decisions, but I do enjoy how he is just along for the ride, making tea when she needs it.

Anyway lovely chapter for what is my birthday. even if a parcel wasn't in the mail This still would have made my day, because it did.
Tinalouise88 chapter 12 . 7/24/2022
As some who grew up around a talking cockatiel at my grand mothers house, whose name was Benji. I adore Kiki, even if her favourite word is Murder lol. Benji was much of a Polly want a cracker, whats up Doc and Where's Andrew( for my brother haha)

I do enjoy that Una finally moves out on her own with Robin as much as her family is lovely, it has to be good to have a place this is hers again and to decorate or just relax in that is her and robin. Without every coming and going and animals. I did spy Yesterday and of course Tuesday which I do adore!

Of course, there is out . I do love his nonchalant ways and teasing about Keys and Una teasing him back at the same time. Their friendship is really blossoming and I do love it. Just all the same Robin's own relationship with him is adorable, and oh my god how subtle is she haha! Come's okay I can hear from come sit. Oh bless her little self.

Then of course there is Jerry who is lovely, and I get the small piece that Robin has trouble with other kids and name calling. i do feel like I missed why Jerry had a fall out of with cities from previous stories but I do get the sombre tone and it must have been hard for him or something tragic had happened. Just the same the thought of him going through the past, catching up with Una while sketching is just a lovely thought in itself, though I do pity Nan who has to wash the charcoal off his shirts haha!
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