Reviews for Thoroughly Modern Mary
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 1 . 8/2/2015
This was fun and yet so «Downton», despite Mary, the flapper, because for all the changes you still kept her recognisable.
I particularly liked the bit where Matthew sees Mary for the first time. As said previously, it's almost like watching a film. (I can even picture it in kind of slow motion, with the smoke of her cigarette and a bunch of clichés I enjoy too much).
Tell me that the sequel is the telling of Matthew's trip to Paris! If it weren't, I believe I'd be putting in a request. (that you'd be free to accept writing or not, obviously).
A Bit Closer Johnny chapter 1 . 12/1/2014
Just beautiful :)
Rachel Smith Cobleigh chapter 1 . 11/14/2014
This was fun and different from the usual. You did capture their speaking-without-saying-anything very well. I was both cheering for Mary in her liberation and aching for her all at once. Very nicely done!
PelirrojaBiu chapter 1 . 2/23/2013
Fantastic! There is something so intriguing in your writing, whether it is for modern stories or for "real" DA. Anyway, I don't know if I'm the only one here, but I was sure that Mary and that Cécile girl would announce they are a couple :D
Guest chapter 1 . 7/5/2012
Very sweet story. Your flappermasked, hurting Mary was a treat. Would you not consider writing a sequel about Matthews visit in Paris?

You would be dearly loved...

:-))
pamylz chapter 1 . 7/1/2012
I really liked this! It's so very different from almost anything you read involving Downton but in reality it's not at all implausible. It's also quite fun to pick out the romance hiding between the words and looks and to imagine the future of this story. Besides, Sybil's baby was just adorable. Anyway, here's to hoping we'll see a decent amount of 20's culture and maybe even Paris in the upcoming series.

April
Equilly chapter 1 . 3/26/2012
As you put it, this is a fic of the "unspoken, understated, and oblique" - brilliantly said, by the way- and you pulled it off perfectly. Matthew and Mary were so real, and I loved the undercurrents. A beautiful story!
eridani chapter 1 . 3/4/2012
Great one shot! I really liked that bit where Matthew is thinking he recognises this new Mary and isn't sure he likes her- the idea that a modern Parisian Mary wouldn't come home 'different', but rather more like a reversion of her old haughty, blase self seems right. The way you've written her, she's learned new social tricks and deflections but it's the same old mask in place which is what makes this AU story so believable. Thanks for sharing!
sakurasencha chapter 1 . 2/29/2012
Oh, I really liked this! Although I will admit I'm not sure I ever see Mary breaking off as completely as you have her, but the dialogue is fierce and you've given Mary and Matthew that sizzle that was a bit lacking in Series 2. Great use of all the auxiliary characters as well!
La Donna Ingenua chapter 1 . 2/27/2012
Honestly I hate stories where these two don't end up together in the end but this was just so good! So funny! So sexy!
TheSingingGirl chapter 1 . 2/15/2012
Two days after publication and I've finally found a moment to review. Thank goodness!

Anyway, I'm going to start at the end and say that I love the way you left it relatively open. Well, not that open - it's pretty much a given that one of them is going to come for the other - but it's not explicitly stated that this is what's going to happen. It's teasing rather than spoon feeding. Which is always good in a story. I don't like endings that end at the end. End after the climax, and leave the actual ending to your readers' imaginations (*cough*Deathly Hallows*cough*). So yes, very much like that you've left it open for us to imagine Matthew stumbling around Paris speaking old-fashioned French and learning more of Mary's new life, anticipating that she'll come home now because she's written, but not realising how hard it will be for her to give up this bohemian lifestyle... And so on and so forth!

Nice stroke, putting Edith and Evelyn together. That was blatant fanservice, oui?

Very much a fan of Mademoiselle Aubin - she makes Sybil look very conservative! And her book - I love that she said it was "the usual". Not in the Dowager Countess' library! And Mary as a translator - nice touch. She does like to take classic tales and put her own spin on them.

I'm sure every review has already mentioned 'did you think I was invincible/No, but I think you did once' so I'll just leave a few incoherent exclamation marks: !

Okay, let's move on to the conversation about sex. It's a mark of how much DA I've watched that I felt it was desperately provocative on Mary's part. I felt as if she were trying to punish her family in some way, and perhaps she was. If she's run off to Paris because of the scandal, presumably her family were less than perfectly supportive. And this is how Mary makes them pay for that - she behaves and talks scandalously.

(Side note: Tom Branson, feminist, doesn't want Sybil knowing about contraception. That's a whole fic in itself.)

There are lots of layers to this. I could probably spend a thousand words unpicking them all, but I'm afraid that I'm a bit too tired for that, and I have other essays to be writing, as always! But honestly, I can't imagine how long you spent on this. It's full of irony and detail - absolutely brilliant.

If I could offer any criticism, it would be this: do more with the older characters. Sybil, Tom, Mary, Matthew and Cécile (did you have to name her after my tutor?) all had very complex lives and feelings, but less so with Cora, Robert, Isobel. Violet, I'll let you off because she never has any real emotional storylines, but beyond their shock at Mary, very little came from Cora and Robert, and Isobel didn't react to much. I know you had a hell of a cast to keep track of, but you've written Isobel very insightfully in the past and her feelings got a little bit lost here.

Other than that, though, it was a brilliant piece, and I'm so glad you posted it despite our happy ending in the CS. I don't really like happy endings, as you may have gathered from earlier on in this review. They're never very real, and they're certainly less interesting than a cliffhanger, or a tease. And this was the best type of tease, a single beckoning finger and a raised eyebrow. Come in, come closer, there is still more to see...

TSG
anonnynonny chapter 1 . 2/14/2012
Love! So good. Of course Mary would posture and try to shock her family with implied naughtiness in Paris, but it's always been Matthew for her, hasn't it? Love a good one shot.
AnniellaEyes chapter 1 . 2/13/2012
So much fun! I do hope we get to see the girls live it up in the 20s (although I hope it's Edith who really goes for it- I think she deserves her break-out moment).

Your portrayal of Mary here is fantastic- true to her character, but invigorated by the gregariousness the fabulous 20s would give her. The underlying romance is lovely- so deftly written so that its clear no matter how long they've been apart, or what they're doing now, get them in the same room and all of their awareness is still hijacked by the other. Thank you so much for sharing.
AriadneO chapter 1 . 2/13/2012
Wow, this was definitely the AU I never knew I wanted to read, but so enjoyed when I did. (I did LOL, btw, at your mention of Mary as a "very angry flapper.") I really do enjoy the understated romance, the oblique conversation where they skirt around the subject and yet manage to understand each other fully - because they would! Laura Branson is absolutely a charmer, and a quick learner - papa and mama Branson are going to have their hands full soon. Thanks for this lovely, beautifully constructed story!
Captain Evermind chapter 1 . 2/13/2012
Ah, this is gorgeous! I love the idea of Mary living it up in the 20s! And yes, Matthew with a baby can't fail to be anything but cute! Beautifully nuanced wee character piece. Cheers.
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