Reviews for A Conspiracy of Concern
BellatrixCoraCrawley303 chapter 41 . 2/26
I have just reread this, id forgotten how good it was! I just wish you had continued the story. Im dying to know what happened next. I realise its difficult to be inspired, as a fellow writer i know how it feels, but do revisit this story and see what you come up with, what are their fates? This story is incredible, and a joy to read :D
OfCorset chapter 41 . 12/18/2014
Hi KDN, I really enjoy your Carter/Laurentia characters and hope you will continue their story soon.
sunshine and lollipops chapter 1 . 7/9/2014
Eeeeek! So lovely! Such detail! And so much more for me to read. YAY. Oh, this will be an absolute delight - I can tell from the first chapter! I'll check back in when I've finished reading the rest. Cheers! :)
ElvishKiwis Venerated Ancestor chapter 41 . 6/7/2014
Well, I have reached the end of your chapters although not the end of your story.
I must say I have enjoyed the journey immensely and hope that God might grant you opportunity to continue writing in the near future.
I am no stranger to slow updates, having about three stories on the go myself, which have suffered from lack of attention. It is hard with a large family and creative husband, as well as a home business to get the necessary time to write.
I am sorry for being too lazy/impatient to review as I went along. There are several moments where I would have enjoyed interacting with you about certain references which delighted or passages which confused me, but alas they are lost now in the overall pleasure and joy your story has given me.
I am very glad to discover another favourite author on , and in a genre I have not had the pleasure of many updates from.
I found this story out through your community. I was actually looking for fics about Gaskell's 'Ruth' but the search didn't turn up with any. It did however suggest Cranford, and particularly your community of stories from this genre.
I would love to PM you about the whole 'inclusion of scripture and Christianity in our novels' issue. I have had much discussion with other Christian authors on this site about how to bring God glory in our writing, and have been disappointed by the general consensus that writing stories which are inoffensive and demonstrate personalities of Good character, as well as themes of redemption (in a reforming of bad character by their own will or the loving influence of some lady) is all that is required.
Not having read Cranford yet, nor any of the other novels you are basing this story on, I am able to treat this story like an original fiction, which is actually a very nice position to be in.
My favourite minor female character is probably Lady Ludlow. She is very complex and seemingly contradictory, which is exactly what one would expect of an aristocrat of her age and disposition. I dearly love her many flaws, which are like a shabby faded mask of generational prejudice covering the face of a woman who, though plain and unremarkable, has eyes which reveal a sincere, genuine and kindly (if not a little tormented), soul. I have no patience whatsoever with her son Septimus. He may be a thoughtless rouge for all I know and care, and doesn't seem to deserve so much faithfulness from his lonely mother. Carter is more of a son to her that he.
I also like Captain Brown immensely, especially at the beginning of your novel when he tries his hand at matchmaking. I have read enough of Cranford now (about 3 chapters), to know that he is one of Gaskell's delightfully complex characters and you have preserved his life to good effect. I was very sorry when she killed him of so early in the story.
Your miriads of spinsters and widows however could use a little more character distinction. I know this must be hard with such a multitudinous cast, but I find it helpful in such situations to allocate each one a real life alter ego so that I can keep them very separate in my mind. Please don't get me wrong, I think you do a fabulous job on the whole Miss Pole is quite distinct, and I love it that she was so indespensible to Mrs Gordon at the time of her confinement. It shows a side of her personality which I like, and is quite compatible with the slanderous critic she is on other occasions to those she think beneath her or fallen from her standards of right and wrong.
I am very fond of Dr Jack Marshland. He is a very complex minor character, especially when he botches his diner date with Mary Smith's relatives. I so relate to that sort of 'nerves' as her Aunt was so gracious to call them the next day. I like it that you have written him with an Irish accent without trying to transcribe the words: simply through the variation in sentence structure.
The chapter I am presently working on in Aff 'n Aff has a character who I am attempting to write with a cockney accent. I have tried the transliteration method, rejected it and put it all back into plain English with the addition of a few cant words, and have been presently putting it all back into transliterated words again. His voice will be quite important to be recognisable later in the third novel of my trilogy so I don't want to make a mistake about it. But I am not sure what to do. It doesn't help that I have no friend who uses this accent available to study here on the other side of the world from 'Mother England'. I am inclined to use Dickens approach, but it can be rather tedious to silent readers, which I imagine most patrons of this site to be. Of course Dicken's books (IMO), are made to be read aloud, so the transliterations are invaluable.
Now you even have Austen novels! You may get your literary club into Walter Scott and the Bronte sisters as well, I hope, with no offense to their Christian sensibilities, or of the late Miss Deborah Jenkyns's rest in her oft recalled grave.
Anyway, I hope this review makes up for the fact that I have neglected the rest of the chapters, and I also hope that it inspires you to take up the tools of your trade again (I would have written 'pen', but 'keyboard', while being more accurate, does not have the same ring to it).
Yours gratefully
ElvishKiwis Venerated Ancestor chapter 23 . 6/7/2014
I have been selfishly reading your story all evening without leaving even a hint of how pleased I am with it. I will confess I am new to the delights of Mrs Gaskell's writings. I found her after reading Charlotte Bronte's biography and on her recommendation, and until now, was resignedly disappointed that none of the fanfictions I have read of North and South, or Wives and Daughters, seem to have retained her ability to weave deep spiritual lessons into her stories and characters lives, giving them a depth which modern characters rarely have without it.
So far you have taught your minor characters powerful, and apparently life changing, lessons about the sinfulness and harm of gossip and slander; You have given your hero and his beloved patient faith despite the many frustrations God has placed in their path, and now you are quoting scripture, with skill, wit and an appropriateness which reveals that you are familiar with it and dedicated to using it for the benefit of your readers.
You are a woman after my own heart!
Add to that a love for Dickens, Shakespeare and history (Eleanor of Aquitaine's biography was one of my more enjoyable reads too!), and I fully suspect we might be soul mates... or at least soul siblings.
I am glad I am having the day off mothering tomorrow because it is 3:30 am, and there will be no devastating consequences ( other than using up my morning of writing time to sleep off the all-nighter) to my indulgence. I now must consider whether to continue reading until dawn or snatch a bit of sleep and use the incentive of the second half of this story to drive me to complete the editing which I had sought this retreat to accomplish.
It is actually very good for my vocabulary to immerce myself in well written 19th century literature as it helps me to write my own story in more of a period style.
Anyway, I just wanted to pause and say thank you.
Sincerely from
TheLesserOfTwoWeevils chapter 31 . 5/30/2014
Thanks so much for re-introducing me to Cranford - it's been years! Really convincing style.
evitamockingbird chapter 34 . 3/18/2014
I love the image of Captain Brown with Flora, and Martha's observation about "great hulking fellows" and how they turn so gentle with babies. I can so imagine Captain Brown as being very good at doting on children. He may be a great hulking fellow, but he's always been a kind and caring man, so he would naturally be that way, but even softer, with his daughter's newborn child. Great work here, and in the rest of the chapter.
evitamockingbird chapter 20 . 2/12/2014
This is one of my favorite chapters. Miss Galindo receiving the flowers and then at last the letter meant to accompany them. They are close now to understanding each other and it is wonderful to see. You write her emotions so well when she receives the flowers and his letter is beautiful and sweet. It just jumps right off the page and takes my breath away. Lovely chapter.
evitamockingbird chapter 17 . 2/12/2014
I love that part of Henry V - the wooing of Katherine. It's perfect for Mr. Carter's situation, perfect for his doubts and fears.
evitamockingbird chapter 13 . 2/12/2014
Wow, that conversation between Miss Galindo and Mr. Carter was quite intense and emotional. Very well done. He doesn't understand why she is weeping, but at least they have come to an understanding that she will come back to Hanbury to help him.

Anthony's letter was so sweet. :-)

Great chapter.
evitamockingbird chapter 12 . 2/12/2014
Aaaaand the gossip begins, just as Miss Galindo predicted. It's nice to see that some of the gossips are at least defending her. Way to go, Miss Pole! That Mrs. Johnson is a nasty piece of work.

Mr. Carter is going to have his work cut out for him to convince Miss Galindo that he was not really trying to get rid of her.
evitamockingbird chapter 10 . 2/12/2014
I love this chapter, too. Miss Galindo is so articulate. What a wonderful character and how well you have written her. I especially liked the moment when she was speaking to Mr. Carter about her trip to the continent and she spoke "softly but clearly. 'We did not realize Father was entirely correct. There was not time enough.'" Mr. Carter's earlier observation (I think in an earlier chapter) about how she truly belonged neither to Cranford nor Hanbury, but she always knew what to say in any situation is very true.

I am glad Mr. Carter decided to end the party, and it was neat when he mentioned polygamy and the whole party started laughing. He has a certain wit in his own right, but he doesn't often show it, since he works almost all the time. It's also funny how he somewhat jealously watches Captain Brown flirting with Miss Galindo. Captain Brown is quite a clever man, and now that he has resolved to change his ways, he is determined to bring them together, by whatever means is necessary, though of course only means available to a respectable man. He can flirt with Miss Galindo and speak to and cajole Mr. Carter and then see how things go. They are not two people easily manipulated, but a little nudging on his part certainly won't hurt.

Great chapter.
evitamockingbird chapter 9 . 2/11/2014
I like how Miss Galindo keeps popping up in this chapter, even though she's not present. Mr. Carter sees a young woman sketching in the museum and he thinks of her. Then he dreams of her drawing his portrait. Then he thinks of her when Anthony is talking about how Cranford will be growing in the next five years. And of course, Mr. Carter being Mr. Carter, he then starts feeling guilty about the burden she is bearing back at Hanbury in his absence. I do like this chapter a lot for Mr. Carter's sake, though, because he has put the worst period of despair behind him and is looking forward again.

Great work!
evitamockingbird chapter 6 . 2/11/2014
I am a big fan of Captain Brown, in part because I am a big fan of Jim Carter, but also because he is such a funny and interesting character. This is really an excellent and funny chapter. I love Captain Brown's resolution and his observations of both Mr. Carter and Miss Galindo as individuals and also his thoughts on what he saw in Dr. Harrison's surgery right before the amputation. I especially liked how he likened Miss Galindo to a Shakespearean heroine. Thanks for this!
Guest chapter 41 . 2/6/2014
I'd just like to say that this is a fantastic treatment of this world and it's characters! While I love the BBC adaptation, I'm thrilled to see the Carter/Galindo relationship have a chance to grow. Love, love, love this fanfic and look forward to seeing updates as soon as can be!
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