Reviews for The Holly and the Ivy
ElvishKiwis Venerated Ancestor chapter 5 . 6/15/2014
Oh I DO like this story!
I am adding it to my favourites.
You use traditional carols, scripture and the original canon stories so beautifully and skilfully to create a story which is really thought provoking and sweet.
I REALLY admire your gifts and how you are using them.
Thank you for sharing this.
ElvishKiwis Venerated Ancestor chapter 3 . 6/15/2014
Since I read your last fic I have acquainted myself with Lady Ludlow and Cranford, but not with Mr Harrisons' Confessions. I can see why Milady is such a well developed character now, knowing a lot of her background. I love this chapter where you let us see into her thoughts and motivations.
She may have all the aristocratic snobbery of her class, but there is something about grief and tragedy which forces one to recognise a kinsmanship with others who are facing the same, no matter what their class (or race, economic status etc). Couple that with a sincere, albeit traditional, faith in a holy but compassionate saviour who set us a radical example of equality in justice and mercy, and we have ample material for a very complex and admirable female heroine.
The only thing against her is her age and faded beauty. She may be the heroine in the eyes of more than one character in her novel, but the reader must have someone young pretty and eligible so your Laurentia must enter and fulfil the position *rolls eyes at the BBC screenwriters*
I also like poor Harry's misery over his Father's shopping spree; guilt over his need to admit poaching with his father; and conviction that he must give up his good character in Mr Carters eyes because of his support of his father. I am sure he was compelled to assist Job Gregson against his better judgement, but what can a ten year old do? He cannot stand by and see his family starve, and he must also obey his Father, must he not? The poor wee lad.
Then he stood with such courtesy and integrity when Lady Ludlow came to visit: No shame or guilt at all just simple respect. It proves to me that he is innocent of even the poaching and has a clear conscience.
I read on...
talk-ape chapter 5 . 2/21/2012
so good! lovely retelling
sash queen of the jungle chapter 5 . 1/4/2011
Thank you for completing this series. It was a really nice series I really liked the coupling of mr carter and miss gillsope.
Siggy chapter 5 . 1/3/2011
A lovely and fitting end to this seasonal tale of Cranford. A nice reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.
Solo Lady chapter 5 . 1/2/2011
What a lovely way to conclude this story and to close out our own holidays. I like that you focused on the character of Maulver, since we really didn't see much of him in the series. I like his observations of Lady Ludlow and Mr. Carter. And then you move on to young Harry and his mother, showing how much Job's release from jail meant to them. And finally to the constable, who is pleased by the acts of kindness (charity?) extended to the Gregson family by Lady Ludlow and Sir Charles.

Of course, my favorite scene was between Lady Ludlow and Mr. Carter, acknowledging the season and their relationship - and a kind of friendship. I especially loved the line "however impassive her steward's countenance, however brusque his words, she might read his heart as easily as her own prayer-book." That made me smile.

One act of kindness, so many reactions, so many moved by it. Just a lovely story all around.
theHuntgoeson chapter 5 . 1/2/2011
What a wonderful concluding chapter. As always, the way the viewpoint shifts from one character to another, with their different preoccupations and views of the situation, is masterly. To the irritable Sir Charles, the dispatch of a poacher is a minor matter, but to Lady Ludlow, Mr Carter, and above all to Job and his family, it is a matter of life and death. The shifts in the relationships between Mr Carter and Harry ("Mr. Carter didn't smile at that, but he didn't seem cross anymore either."), and above all between Mr Carter and Lady Ludlow, are so sensitively drawn. You have the way of showing the importance of small things to the people whom they affect. And the concluding vignette of Graves at his fireside is a perfect way of rounding off the story. Thank you for finishing this before the end of the festive season!
Xiilnek chapter 4 . 11/28/2010
Given the last update was months ago, I take it this isn't going to be continued. That is the only bad thing about this story - it's well written, in character, and interesting. Wonderful. I've enjoyed it a lot, even though I might never see the conclusion. Thank you.
Symphony In Blue chapter 4 . 8/23/2010
You have such a beautiful style of writing, and you stay true to the actual story and to the series. I really hope you'll update this story soon!
Symphony In Blue chapter 1 . 8/23/2010
I love Cranford, and I love well written fics about it. This one's off to a very good start, very well written, and I'm looking forward to the next chapters!
talk-ape chapter 4 . 7/7/2010
yayyy interesting
Solo Lady chapter 4 . 6/13/2010
How wonderful of you to provide us with a return trip to Cranford! I've missed these good people - especially Mr. Carter. I liked seeing the events of that Christmas from his point of view: his disappointment in Harry, even while defending the boy; his prospect of a quiet (lonely?) Christmas Eve; his curiosity about Lady Ludlow's summoning him. And I laughed at Mr. Carter's memory of the first time Harry entered the office. Thank you for updating - and, as you said, it's nice to think about Christmas in the middle of this heat.
Siggy chapter 4 . 6/13/2010
No heatwave here alas, but I still enjoyed this unseasonal visit to Cranford. Some lovely touches and insights - am especially fond of visits to Mr Carter as you will know so this hit the spot.
theHuntgoeson chapter 4 . 6/13/2010
Thank you for updating this! I was so afraid that it would be laid aside until next Christmas. Mr Carter's sense of betrayal is brought out very strongly, but so too is his sense of being a second father to Harry, most especialy as he has no children of his own. At the end of the chapter, you give us a poigant image of two childless people, destined to spend a lonely Christmas, unite to bring a happier Christmas to a despairing family. Even though we know that there will be a happy ending, it does not lessen the feeling of urgency that you have created, so please write more soon!
Thenidiel chapter 3 . 2/11/2010
Nice story - I love reading about all of the different points of view
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