Reviews for Consolation Prize
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 8 . 9/20
The paragraph about Mary and her current suitors was very interesting. I found it kind of Austen-ish as well, which is a plus, I think. (I hope my reference isn't misplaced).
«... looking awkward and not talking to anyone...» Matthew in a nutshell, no?
As you know, I write my comment as I read, so imagine my reaction upon encountering an Austen mention, even considering the light under which it was made. haha.
I can understand why Mary might not be a fan of Austen or Gaskell though.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 7 . 9/20
I share Mary's disappointement in the Mona Lisa. I don't mean to take away its merits but there were other paintings I enjoyed much more.
I liked the paragraph describing what Mary sees when she wakes up in the middle of the night as the train makes its way. The whole bit about their arrival in Venice was lovely, in fact, in my opinion.
And I'm here for more Isobel and Sybil interactions.
Thank you for taking us alongside Mary,Violet, and Gwen in their trip.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 6 . 9/20
I love the first paragraph. I would pay good money to see Violet at Moulin Rouge.
Wonderful rendering of Mary's introspection by the sea. I also enjoyed the moment between Mary and Gwen. They hardly interacted in the show, if memory serves me, but you made it come across very natually, even considering the new circumstances.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 5 . 8/31
I loved the initial paragraphs. I think they put us in Matthew's shoes very successfully.
«... it was a very good thing he was not in love with her.» *laughs in the distance* he may not be yet, but soon, dear naïf Matthew.
Isobel's enthusiasm about how Violet being away will allow for changes at the hospital made me smile.
Sybil *-*
As I read, I could see dinner develop as if I were watching the show. No theme is foul-proof. haha.
When The Decameron was mentioned I found it a rather daring thing for Mary to acknowledge at the dinner table - its classic status nevertheless - but I guess I can see why you picked that reference.
The evening went on in a lovely way and Mary and Matthew's interactions put me back in a very intense shippin place again.
On to Italy now, I gather?
Thank you for sharing this with us.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 4 . 8/31
I loved the bit about how Mary conceals that she's actually getting excited about the trip when she's in public. So in canon.
As I read, your writing makes me miss Sybil and Gwen so much, not only because you mention them, that is, but also because you are able to convey them so well.
And, no offence, but how Edith was that first remark she makes about that if Gwen can replace Anna, she can replace Mary? And the latter's reply is one of those burns she can deliver so well.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 3 . 8/30
What a lovely installment. I have always enjoyed reading 'your' Mary and this wasn't an exception. I think you have a strong hold on the character that comes across your stories.
I also think you brought forward that Cora may seem kind of meek and soft-spoken but can turn a bit manipulative when she finds it needed.
I can't hit 'next' fast enough. :D
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 2 . 8/2
I love 'your' Violet. She's still in line with the one we know and love and I'm sure that's not an easy task.
The first line uttered by Mrs. Hughes is so her I 'read' it mentally in her voice.
William. It wasn't in vogue back then but he was a true cinnamon roll, wasn't he? ;_;
To hell with O'Brien, honestly. I hadn't thought about her in so long, her appearance in your story is reminding me of why I didn't like her so much.
Poor Edith though. There should be t-shirts or something.
I'd say that these first chapters are doing their introductory job very well. :)
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 1 . 8/2
I've started reading this at last!
I enjoyed your first sentence right off the bat and I hope you don't find it in poor form that I say it brought the famous «Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself» line and it's not even because of the flower show Matthew had attended.
Bless Violet's thought process regarding holidays.
And once again you gift us all with excellent Mary x Matthew scenes, perfectly in tone in the show yet very 'you', if it makes any sense.
I'm glad it's done and I don't have to wait anymore to read the whole story. :)
PaperbackWriter chapter 23 . 3/15/2014
Well, that was excellent. You've painted a richly detailed world that lends itself to character and plot. This is a tricky point for me to explain, especially because I've been reading for hours and it's very late, but basically: the things that Mary reads not only make her more interesting and lovable (like, honestly, she's kind of a bitch on the show, but if she were a well-read bitch, like, you could understand all the interest in her-she's fascinating). I love your take on Mary's feelings of worthlessness post-Pamuk. Quite a good explanation, and also more historically accurate, I feel, than in the show. What else? The sequence with the ghosts in the water-again, you've filled in where DA failed to show me any emotional or psychological consequences of the loss of the Crawley cousins.

This was a rollicking high-seas swashbuckling adventure and I loved it. If only there had been filthy, filthy smut. But you can't have everything. ;)
PelirrojaBiu chapter 23 . 3/9/2014
University Challenge is still my favourite story of yours, but this one was such a fantastic read! I have no idea why it took me so long to start it, but when I did, I was done in a (busy) week! The last few chapters were trully brilliant. I'm not a big S/B fan (I mean, I loved them, but it wasn't my focus while watching the series/finding new fics to read) but your Sybil was spot on and so adorable!
Anyway, I'm so glad to finally have read it! Great job!
arethosedustyjumpwings chapter 23 . 10/27/2013
I read this entire fic in one day because I simply could not stop! Right from the start, I found myself just falling in love with everything. The whole premise is such a good one, and completely believable; I often think that the scandal plot in DA should have been allowed to actually go somewhere - but that is a conversation for another day! I found the characterisation of each character spot-on, too, which just helped it seem more real. Final note on the technical stuff: your writing is just wonderful. It's descriptive where it needs to be, to the point where it needs to be, and has such an element of personality to it (does that make sense?) - as in, the places that demand a slightly sarcastic or humorous tone have it!
Now, on to the best stuff. My little shipper heart was beating frantically through most of this - and when Matthew burst through that door with the umbrella (genius!) I was grinning so much my cheeks were aching. I had to do a little dance in my chair before resuming the story. I could see it coming, but the actual action itself was so much more than I was expecting. I think the flashback to the costume ball deserves a mention too, if only for the line, "Matthew looked distinctly smug. “Perseus.”" I laughed. Segue-ing on from that, I loved all the classical references, and allusions to wider literature. I know it's not for everyone, but I actually found it really refreshing. I love it when fanfic goes into the kind of detail novels would. Being a Classics student myself, I felt so proud of myself for picking up on some of the references ;)
I won't tell you all the things I loved, because it would basically be me quoting everything back at you. So I think I'll sign off here, with another "I LOVED IT" and a thank you for writing it!
Lala Kate chapter 23 . 7/19/2013
Ok...I loved this story, and I am sorry to see it end. But what a holiday it has given me, for I feel as thought I have traversed cobblestone paths, seen the stars beside an Italian moon, sipped wine while listening to the trio of a violin, mandolin and accordion, and witness Matthew and Mary come together in a beautiful new way! Bravo, my dear. Thanks for taking a year of your life to share this story with us.
Lala Kate chapter 20 . 7/19/2013
Forgive me, I have been devouring this so quickly this evening with my kiddos out of the house that I have failed to review each chapter. Let me just say. .this is outstanding! But that argument with Robert...Matthew realizing his feelings for Mary and standing up for her like that...BRAVO! I nearly applauded out loud while alone in my house. :)
Lala Kate chapter 8 . 7/17/2013
I actually adored this chapter and loved the literary sparring! Of course when you throw in a few waltzes and some handsome Italian men on a moonlit night in Venice...what's not to like? ;) Very well written and oh so much fun to read!
Lala Kate chapter 7 . 7/16/2013
I have so adored the past two chapters! I am visiting Italy vicariously through this story, soaking in all of the sights and sounds with Violet and Mary. How I adore that you included some Americans! If they turn out to be Southerners, I might whoop and holler for joy! ;) I am so curious as to how all of this will pan out for everyone-and I love that Sybil is trying to attend a university. Great story-great writing.
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