Reviews for The Courtship of Helen Thurlow
Alina Isoldere chapter 9 . 1/12/2006
Oh dear, you do like to leave your chapters hanging so!

Well, I do feel so terribly sorry for William; he is so terribly wonderful and I do hate to see him hurt, but I do believe Helen and Holmes were meant to be together from the very start of things. Ah, what heights of glory do we find as we explore the caverns of love!

Hmm...I'll have to remember that phrase for later use.

Well, I am anxious to see if Watson's waiting will make talking to Holmes null and void because the engagement will already have been sealed or not. I don't know; Helen's character could go either way. She is so terribly sensible, but her passion shows up in so many places. A perfect blend of her mother, the sensible one, and her father, the passionate one. Well, in general, that is.

Well, must be chugging off now! Until another time!

I remain humbly yours,

Alina
Alina Isoldere chapter 8 . 1/12/2006
Well, now; I finally have a chance to leave you a proper review!

As to the last chapter: I am enthralled, simply enthralled by everything you two do! Quite frankly, I am an admirer of love and cannot help my extreme enthusiasm for all you did at the beginning of the chapter. Oh, what thrills ran down my spine as I read and devoured the entire scenario, the emotions storming through her body and Holmes' response. How he took that so easily makes me wonder if he was not desiring something like that subconsciously as well. Hmm? It is a good question to take with me tonight, for sure. Unless of course I have time for the next chapter...

The conclusion was wonderful; I enjoyed it immensely. I wanted to scream so loudly at Lestrade when he called the police too quickly; I was afraid I was about to cry out in anguish right there. But Helen's slap was a wonderful addition. Ah, Helen! What would we do without her? (Be very lacking, but other than that...) I enjoyed it immensely. And I am terribly glad the entire incident about the umm...kissing etc...was nicely brushed over and resolved without any huge confrontations or anything. Ah, how amusing this entire story has been!

As to this chapter: Wonderful as always; but you already knew that. The dynamics were interesting, and I enjoyed the allusion to Helen of Troy and her entourage. Fascinating little story you have going around here. Had you planned using the Helen of Troy parallel for a long time, or was it a quick inspiration?

Oh, what torture Helen must be going through! I do not know which I would choose myself if I were in her shoes. Quite the decision to make.

The moment on the dance floor was captivating to say the least. Oh, to put to canvas what I saw in my mind! If only I could draw...dang! It was a gorgeous scene, Holmes and Helen. They even sound wonderful together... Oh dear; I am going dreamy-eyed. Excuse my lapse of coherence.

Well, I'd better be off and start the next chapter! Cheerio until then!

Always yours with lots of hugs,

Alina
Alina Isoldere chapter 7 . 1/10/2006
Oh, and if I thought those last two chapters were wonderful...

Wonderful conclusion; my mind still reels at all the new information I just absorbed. I shall have to finish this later, however; the hour is late and I wish to get some sleep tonight.

I can hardly wait to find out what the final reactions will be! Yeah!

And I'm being ordered to bed. Dang.

Well, wonderful; I shall have to expound even more later. Tata!

Ever,

Alina
Alina Isoldere chapter 6 . 1/10/2006
You would not believe the sheer extremities of emotion I have just experienced.

From utter disgust to the most laughable mirth, you have taken all of my senses and emotions on a roller coaster ride of the likes I have rarely seen.

But before I enter into any other comments about sensory issues, I shall make one comment I forgot to mention last chapter. This chapter happens to add to it very much, especially at the beginning. Helen, through this story arc, begins to remind me of a Mary Russell figure. I believe it is the whole going against Holmes' words and disguising herself to follow him into danger that is reminiscent of a Russellian character. Not to say that there is too much alike; Helen is extremely different than Russell in many ways and, quite truthfully, I am extremely grateful for the differences. I love the variety and color here unused in the Russell books. But the similarity was striking at moments.

Now, onward with the sensory issues. Wow. Just, wow. I'm not sure if I can even put this into words. Reading these last two chapters was a whirlwind on my senses, emotions, mental pictures, the works. Extremely vivid without being lewd, extremely humorous at times and quite unexpected. Your descriptive transitions are simply perfect; the story is smooth as silk without any wrinkles!

It is fascinating to hear everything from Helen's point of view. I was so excited when I realized Helen would be telling the story; her personality simply leaps off the pages in the narrative. Beautifully done with all her understatements and everything else in her personality.

I am extremely excited about all her comments on her...ahem...close encounters with Holmes. Especially that last bit. Oh, that was the icing and candles on the cake! I just burst out laughing when I read that part, and I think my sister believes me to be quite insane now. But oh, was it worth the strange looks! I am in awe of your talents, and I shall continue with the story before my curiosity gets the better of me!

Ever truly your humble and rather ravenous reader,

Alina
Alina Isoldere chapter 5 . 1/10/2006
Yes! I knew she'd get in the act! It was just bound to happen!

Oh, this is so terribly exciting that I must move onward!

Until next chapter or so,

Alina
Alina Isoldere chapter 4 . 1/10/2006
Yes, and now it is time for yet another long review by yours truly, the ever-verbose Alina.

Oh, what a delight this has been! A trying delight I will admit, but a delight nonetheless! Last chapter was well done; the tension was palpable but not overpowering, Holmes keeping quite enigmatic as per character. Wonderfully done. It was a pleasure to see Mrs. Thurlow again, and I cannot wait to see what she has to say about this entire affair! Her opinion would be greatly appreciated by myself right now, let alone Helen. I wonder, has Helen told her mother about everything already, or has she left her feelings for Holmes undivulged?

I love getting to know the boys. The parallels are quite apparent but subtle enough to be appreciated. Of course, my thoughts wander to which man would make the better father...and I think though William would be good for Andrew, Matthew needs a Holmes figure. Dang. Makes it all the harder.

This chapter, though, was a beautiful incorporation of the canon in fanfiction, though I dare say the fanfiction is more enjoyable to me than the original! Sacrilege against the Holmes canon, I know, but I can't help it really! Just all the nuances and the tone and the witty style of writing...absolutely enthralling.

But I've said this all before. Maybe not so well, but still all the same... Anyway, I'm supposed to be telling you about my opinion of this chapter. Wonderfully done, and I do love the tension you add to your stories by simple phrases and an understood knowledge of the characters and their temperaments. Holmes was perfectly portrayed as honor injured to the point of bleeding, and I do love his reaction even if I pity poor William all the more.

I do wonder at William. He is the sweetest of men, and certainly more agreeable than Holmes at, well, most times. I will always hold Holmes in my heart, but quite frankly I would never marry him. William, on the other hand... But then again, I completely compare myself with Helen, and we are definitely not the same people. I just fear that Helen finds happiness in only his niceness; what kind of conversations do they have? Will she ever be able to tell him about her past? How will he react?

But arguments could be made of Holmes as well. Will he ever show his affection for her? He can give conversation, some comfort...but can he be the man we've all dreamed of inside? I doubt it really. Or if he can be, it will take a long time, longer than the four months you have planned for this story.

I'm terribly excited about all that's happened so far, and I anticipate an interesting ending, if nothing else.

Wishing all the best,

Alina
Alina Isoldere chapter 2 . 1/10/2006
Must leave a short comment on the ending: What a clever use of wording! "Have you made your choice?" Not "Are you ready to order?" or "And what will it be, madam?" but "Have you made your choice?"

I have never heard that phrase in conjunction with ordering food before; the entire sentence connotates a little more intimacy and a different subject altogether. Splendid use of double meaning! I absolutely love it!

Just had to point that out!

Love,

Alina
Alina Isoldere chapter 1 . 1/10/2006
Oh, squee! What loveliness, to see your writing once more before my eyes! I do love the short intro anecdote of '84; it sets the stage so wonderfully, and its meanings are multifold. Well done, indeed. I suppose we shall find out who Paul was? I do hope so; he sounds like a fascinating person I would have enjoyed meeting. Passionate men are fascinating.

But this chapter did add so many feelings and made me pause to think. Wonderfully written, by the way. Now you've made me enjoy William so much; he's actually quite more suited to any young lady opposed to Holmes (and I in fact find him more suitable and wonderfully complementary to my own personality). And Helen could very easily be quite content with this man...but for some reason I feel it shall not be, could never be. She still pines for Holmes, and I am not far from suspecting he could feel for her as well.

So I am in a dilemma; I love both Holmes and William. But it is unfair of me to not choose William for Helen when I secretly carry a nice large torch for Holmes myself. But to hurt dear William's feelings would simply cut me to the quick; he is too wonderfully pleasant to chuck in such a way. But Holmes and Helen were meant for each other; you don't get feelings like Helen gets unless there's something incredible there, and Holmes just has problems from the past that subconsciously ice them over.

Therefore I am bound to admit my wavering from one camp to another, thanks to your wonderful writing and absolutely worship-worthy character development. You have a way with words that some published writers cannot even copy!

My greatest thanks for your lovely prose,

Alina
mugglemin chapter 11 . 1/3/2006
Congratulations on such a fine story. "Super-polished chapters" is the very term. I'm amazed at how much I enjoyed it - especially how much I like Helen. You made her a credible and likeable original character, realistic and a real match for your Holmes. I love the way each chapter is drawn out along with their gradually cementing relationship - you made me ache along with her (and him) - and I feel that you really reflected the probably thought process of a Holmes in this situation. Subtlety is the key to effective angst, I think, and you have it in bucket-loads. The way you use the language is also very effective and very pleasing to one who is a strict canonnist, but who adores the idea of Sherlock Holmes in love. Well done. Brilliant.

Off to tell you to hurry up with your next installment of The Rules of Engagement now!
Susana chapter 11 . 10/11/2005
Imposing end for an imposing and insurmountable work. They do not see me, but I have been applauding of foot for four days, in serious.
Susana chapter 11 . 10/11/2005
On my Friday happiness, today it is a Saturday

(but they are excused) a memorable, and promising chapter.
Anna McNarin chapter 11 . 10/9/2005
Ladies, take a bow for this one. ~Anna
Lady Razorsharp chapter 11 . 10/9/2005
In-fsking-credible.

It takes my breath away how self-assured Holmes is in the face of William's rage: Logic says that Helen does not love William, and she has admitted that she loves Holmes. End of story, in Holmes' mind. He's sorry for William's hurt-again, logic says that when someone is denied the chance to have something they want very badly, pain follows.

I'm absolutely stunned. Bravo.
Lady Razorsharp chapter 10 . 10/9/2005
Oh, heavens.

This was a rollercoaster ride to end all rollercoaster rides. Watson risked much, and I applaud how well he waxed eloquent. No wonder he writes such convincing stories; he is a master of expression, though that has, historically, been a source of irritation for Holmes (though I don't believe Holmes ever discounted W.'s talent at the written word).

That being said, My God, he risked everything. Of course, the price was high if he did not. Bravo, Watson, Bravo.

I loved the way Holmes' mind worked on the problem of his attraction to Helen-logically, thoroughly, seen through the lens of "Well, if I'm distracted by her anyway it's just the same as if I was in love with her as Watson suggests." It'd be the only way, the ONLY way that Sherlock Holmes could ever fall in love. This was done with all the fangirl touches we all long for, and yet very deftly.

"Holmes cared for her - beyond benefactor, acquaintance, or friend. As a man."

I let out a long sigh when I read this. Very nice.

I just don't know how you two did it-that is, managed to keep Holmes himself and yet have him admit that he loves a woman. I like the hint of uncertainty underneath his calm exterior, a charming shyness overlaid with his intimate knowledge of human nature. I always considered a Holmes in love was a conflicted person, a person who thought his heart was betraying him, someone utterly bewildered and disarmed by love (and, in the one attempt I've made at having Holmes fall in love, that's what happens). You haven't let him do that, and for that, I applaud you both.

And there's MORE. Incredible.
Lady Razorsharp chapter 9 . 10/9/2005
Ah! This is nerve-wracking. It's going to end badly for all concerned. *sigh*

These are pretty high stakes, indeed. Good job on building the tension to this point, until it's near breaking.

Now to see what happens...
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