|Reviews for A Girl You Knew|
| saidso chapter 44 . 9/12
Wow. Just wow. I'm not at all sure if written words have *actually* moved to tears lately, or perhaps ever (?), but so many parts of your beautiful story have. It's okay if you never "finish" it - it's so beautiful. The end of chapter 44 is just fine for an ending. I can feel the rest.
| saidso chapter 19 . 9/10
Gosh, how could anyone make demands on this story? It's perfect the way it is; it's yours. I loved Lavinia bringing out her inner lion, and how her dad saw it in her before she did herself. I gather this story isn't "finished" but I already don't care - it's wonderful, thank you for writing as much as little as you did. You're very talented, and I'll read all of the words youve offered, with gratitude. Thank you.
| sushud82 chapter 44 . 8/23
Ive been nostalgic for DA lately...at least the first few seasons...and found my way back to fanfic. I really didn’t want to risk reading this story. I’ve had my heart broken by unfinished stories before and didn’t love the idea of Mary falling for someone else. But the reviews convinced me otherwise and I’m so glad I took the chance.
This story has the honor of being the first fanfic to make me cry legit tears, the writing is that on point. And to cry legit tears over an OC? Amazing! The writer captures the inner workings of the minds of our beloved Mary and Matthew with raw honesty. I love that you recognize Matthew’s flaws and mistakes and make him atone for them when he was often mistakenly characterized as the romantic hero. I also appreciate your giving Lavinia agency. The lead up to Ireland and all that happened then felt a little rushed (ha) or out of character to me, but the writing was strong enough for me to suspend my disbelief.
Great AU. Would love to see an ending! You write beautifully and with passion. I hope you are well.
| Liv chapter 44 . 7/23
I just reread this story and I just... it's so wonderful. Even if you never finish this, I can still love and appreciate where it ends. I can't begin to explain how real this feels. Yes, it's full of drama, but just like Mary I am able to love both Mack and Matthew in very different ways. She needed both, and to see both Mary and Matthew come out of their choices and what life has thrown at them is cathartic.
Thank you for this story.
| Itz193 chapter 44 . 6/18
I read this story twice because it's such a poignant, heart wrenching, soul baring, honest M/M story. I love it! I cried for them here. You've shown M/M at their lowest. It's a beautiful story and thank you for sharing this. I hope you will make an update of this story.
| Dawns Heart chapter 44 . 2/16
I've just found this story. I noticed it wasn't finished and was hesitant to start it but I'm so glad I did. This story was wonderful. Your characterizations are fantastic and true to the characters. Your Mary characterization in particular is one of the best Mary characterizations I've ever seen. You got her good parts and her bad parts; the best of her and the worst of her. The protective shell, the lashing out, the shutting down, the razor sharp wit, the competence and intelligence, the compassion she tries to hide, the love and the loyalty that no matter how hard she sometimes tries she can never dig out of herself. You captured all of it. Your characterization of Matthew was one of the truest characterizations of Matthew I've seen where he hits a real low point due to his own true-to-canon actions. You brought the worst of Matthew out but it was still Matthew. You redeemed too in a way that was still Matthew. You fit the pieces of Matthew and Mary together perfectly and you let them each have their own stories that was also their story. It was perfect.
Robert's characterization, which I noticed in your authors note you've been criticized over, was unkind but hardly unfair. He was not villainized he was very much himself and true to canon. Robert is not particularly kind to his family and he's very proud. There is no doubt that he loves his family but he often treats servants and strangers and tenants extremely kindly and his family poorly. That's just canon. You captured the difficulties of his relationship with Mary well, and what might come to the surface if Mary had gone her own way and developed stronger ground under her unrelated to Downton. Very well done.
Mack is one the best OC's, if not THE best OC, I've seen in this fandom - one of the best OC's I've seen in fanfiction period, to be honest. He was fully developed and flawed and suited Mary and the storyline and the time period well. He was perfect. When his storyline ended I was crushed. I loved that he was never a stand-in or replacement for Matthew. He was Mary's CHOICE. Not her second choice or a consolation prize but her choice, someone she loved and who loved her. This was excellent.
This beings me to my next point: the poems. I really enjoy Edna St Vincent Millay's poetry but what struck me the most was how well chosen the poems were. They moved the lot forward or suited the plot to a tee. The poems definitely suit Mary. When Tom read out 'Dirge' I was crying and so moved. When Mary first read the poem from which this story gets its' name and I read what Mack had written under it I felt my heart fill with vibrant emotion - both joy and the bittersweet sadness that aches. You shared these poems in ways that they were meant to be shared and it's been a privilege to read that. Thank you.
Your story is incredibly well written. The writing is tight but poignant. Your writing has some truly phenomenal turns of phrase. The writing brought this story to life. It's well plotted and well characterized and well developed but it's your writing that really lifts the story from the computer screen to touch hearts. It certainly touched mine.
My final writing point has to do with agency. Agency is something so many authors seem to forget when writing a story as they get caught up in their own plots - particularly agency regarding female characters. You never did that. This story is all about agency and choices, which is particularly impressive considering it's set in a time period where women didn't even have the right to vote. Mary makes so many choices and that is continually emphasized. Lavinia, an off forgotten or minimized character, owns up to the choices she's made and that she must make in order to be happy. Lavinia makes choices. Everyone, male or female, in this story makes choices that they must then live with. It's an important, compelling point. It was a pleasure to see it so directly addressed and addressed so well.
I've noticed as I read the story that you've been dealing with a number of real life horrible problems. I'm so sorry. Please don't apologize for not finishing this story or not updating frequently. You don't owe us readers anything. I can only take ownership for my own actions but I'm still sorry for the readers who have pressured you or been insensitive - I am sorry you have had to deal with that. I simply wanted to say that I hope everything is better in your life now, and if not I hope things improve for you soon *hugs* Thank you for writing and thank you for then choosing to share your stories with all of us. We're all very privileged and I am thankful I got to read this story.
| Anon chapter 44 . 2/4
OMG this story is beautiful and painful and perfect
| AmeriGirlTN chapter 44 . 9/17/2017
Sweet LDI, wherever you are and whatever you're doing, I hope life is treating you well
Just reread this beautiful story for the third time, and I've enjoyed it even more this time. You have such a great talent that I hope you are able to write in format in your new life.
I will never tire of canon M/M and thanks so much for bringing them to life in such magnificent way. If you ever have the time...
| Anba chapter 44 . 7/9/2017
The previous reviewer must have something wrong with her/him...This is story you have written out of love for writing, and it shows. I love your complex and very human characters, and have enjoyed every minute of their long and rocky road - although their current happiness feels very fragile to them. Love the scene with Mary on the bench, feeling quiet joy. And Matthew's letter is beautiful. So thanks for sharing this wonderful story, whether life gives you an opportunity to finish it or not.
| Guest chapter 44 . 7/1/2017
Your A/N reflects what a liar you are. Shame on you for not finishing this.
| LaceyakaJewel chapter 44 . 5/31/2017
Oh finish it please! I absolutely adore your writing. The moment Lavinia repeated what Mary was thinking gave me chills. I had a problem with the characters in the beginning and I struggled with Mack at first, but you wrote it so beautifully and woven it into the Matthew and Mary story in the end that I gave up :-). I truly love your characters and the intricacy and all the relationships weaving through and suddenly making sense in the end. Please finish it.
| Guest chapter 44 . 3/13/2017
Pray, you will give us the next chapter.
| Pandorkable chapter 22 . 3/1/2017
I'M TOO SCARED TO READ THE NEXT CHAPTER. I don't know what's worse, Mack dying from the car accident (like Matthew in season 3), or him alive but Mary ending up with Matthew later on. You're killing me. but loving this fic! So glad I found it.
| Pandorkable chapter 12 . 3/1/2017
I don't think I can face Mack getting heartbroken or moving on with another girl. I can't believe you made me ship Mack and Mary more than I ship Mary and matthew.
| Pandorkable chapter 6 . 3/1/2017
omg Matthew was the sea monster, and now Mack is. And Mack is so adorable and ugh...You're literally giving me the materials to build my ship for Mack and Mary.