Reviewer: shesings Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 06 Sep 2016 10:30 pm Title: Chapter 23 - Two Ruptured Souls

Even on second reading this is heartbreaking and, not being as forgiving as Hilda, I really do want to give Kathie, Meg's father and Helen's father a really hard kick up the bahoukie just for starters!

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed [Report This]
Date: 06 Sep 2016 1:57 pm Title: Chapter 22 - Her Father's Hand Holding Her Tight

I wonder if Meg was not ‘planned’ but an ‘accident’ (humanly speaking of course *winks*) there are no siblings. Clearly the marriage is now seen as a convenience by her mother, enabling and funding her social life.  With family life strenuously avoided by her father, poor Meg has been rather stranded in the middle with that dreadful feeling of not being wanted…Gosh MA and Hilda are not sparing him at all…two of a kind! Thank you, Mary.

Author's Response: Oh, I think it was most definitely an accident, Blueskye, since she didn't want children.

Reviewer: ivohenry Signed [Report This]
Date: 06 Sep 2016 11:30 am Title: Chapter 22 - Her Father's Hand Holding Her Tight

Hilda sounds so strong here, even though she's collapsing physically. No wonder Meg's father is struck by all she has to say. Reading this knowing what comes next adds to the intensity of Hilda's conversation here.

Look forward to continuation of Meg's story once you've got past the reposting, thanks for the time you are taking to do this 

Reviewer: shesings Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 06 Sep 2016 12:02 am Title: Chapter 22 - Her Father's Hand Holding Her Tight

Oh Hilda, you've taxed yourself beyond your limits but your wisdom and love shines through! Beautifully written as always, Mary, thank you!

Reviewer: PaulineS Signed [Report This]
Date: 05 Sep 2016 11:25 pm Title: Chapter 22 - Her Father's Hand Holding Her Tight

Robert ..."My wife hates you because you got the better of her. No one’s allowed to do that, you see. She prefers to needle people until they grow angry, then she can take the high moral ground. But you kept that for yourself and got your own way. She and the Coop are still not quite sure how you did it.”

Hilda  ...“She’s been lonely and tortured for years, and hated by Miss Cooper, so she in turn hated everyone else – and tortured my ward.

What a poisonous household Meg was existing in, it could not be called living at Christmas.  Previously she had Nanny to provide some care, but that last holiday must been horrendous.  It is not surprising she was so bitter on return to school to find even the new girl with no family had Hilda's love and care that she became uncontrollably jealous.

Sister Anne and MA could start to prepare her for meeting her father. grandfather and moving to London for her Easter hoildays as a new beginning if Hilda is too unwell to talk to Meg for a few days in view of Hilda's steadily deterriorating health.

Reviewer: Elder in Ontario Signed [Report This]
Date: 05 Sep 2016 10:19 pm Title: Chapter 22 - Her Father's Hand Holding Her Tight

Well, I think I said last time that Hilda, despite her own rapidly deteriorating state, pulled out every stop in her repertoire to protect Meg and persuade Robert not to insist on an isntant meeting with his daughter after all these years of neglect.  Her gentle, yet relentless conversation finally left him in no doubt that "slowly, slowly" was the best way. However frustrating he might personally find it, allowing Meg to return to school, and then allowing Hilda to gradually sow the seeds of her father's change of heart towards her was the best course of action.  It won't be easy for any of them, but if Meg enters this new scenario lovingly prepared by Hilda, it will certainly help.  Once again I find myself hoping that Meg, her father and grandfather will indeed spend part of half term at the Convent where MA's gentle, but firm guidance will help all three of them to an acceptance of the new relationship.  As for Kathie - we can only hope and pray that she isn't truly beyond redemption.  And I sincerely hope that Ian is already well on his way to collect Hilda, whose collapse, as we know, is imminent.  

Thank you, Mary - I still don't know how Hilda retained sufficient control of her fast fading senses to even have that conversation, let alone convince Robert of the best thing to do for Meg.


Reviewer: Clair Anonymous starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 05 Sep 2016 10:07 pm Title: Chapter 22 - Her Father's Hand Holding Her Tight

It shows just how far Kathie has fallen that MA is so angry with her and that Hilda has, for once, lost her mercy. Whether or not Kathie will cope with the convent is something that remains to be seen although Meg might be the one who can really help her - after all, Meg has more insight and understanding of jealousy than most.

Meg must have so much strength to have put up with such mistreatment from her parents and only the loss of her Nanny pushed her over the edge. She was rude, unkind and horrible to others but the real nastiness came from having no-one who would be hurt or even care if Meg went too far. 

I'm pleased that Robert has taken all Hilda has to say on board and is willing to be guided by her, to have her own family will make such a difference to Meg but it must be at her rate and timing, not her Fathers.

Please let Ian get to Hilda quickly, she needs that hospital bed, care and rest immediately if she's to be able to look after others.   

Thanks Mary

Reviewer: shesings Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 04 Sep 2016 9:55 pm Title: Chapter 21 - Golden Streams

Is there no limit to the selfless courage of this woman? The sooner she is in San and being treated the better.

Reviewer: Elder in Ontario Signed [Report This]
Date: 04 Sep 2016 9:23 pm Title: Chapter 21 - Golden Streams

I'm sure all the senior staff were just as shocked and disgusted by Kathie's latest behaviour as Hilda and Jeanne, who witnessed it, and Nancy, who had heard Kathie's "expurgated" account of it, just as they are all equally shocked by Hilda's present state, and her account of Ellie's condition.  We can rest assured that each of them will do all they can to take control of what's going on, which will also reassure Hilda (who no doubt is right to assume that Jack will admit her to San).  

The last thing Hilda needs is the conundrum which MA unfolds; it's no wonder that in her present state, she wonders just what she can offer.  But it does sound as if some ideas are percolating, which is a good thing.  

Thank you, Mary, I'm seeing fresh things in each chapter as you re-post. 

Reviewer: PaulineS Signed [Report This]
Date: 04 Sep 2016 8:41 pm Title: Chapter 21 - Golden Streams

The following hymn came to mind as I read the last section-


Of the Father’s love begotten  

ere the worlds began to be, 

he is Alpha and Omega —  

he the source, the ending he, 

of the things that are, that have been, 

and that future years shall see 

evermore and evermore.


Author: Aurelius Clemens Prudentius; Translator: H. W. Baker; Translator: J. M. Neale


Meg is starting to learn about a father's love by accepting that the Sisters and Hilda have a living deep love for God which is also available to her and that God loves and cares for her, Meg despite her failings.  Perhaps because of that MA and Hilda can help her to accept her earthly father’s belated concern and they can then learn together how to show love to one another.  Part of Meg’s anger is that she wants her parents love and a father and grandfather who shower her with love and respect will fill a void she has which needs to be filled.  Sister Anne said to her that she might be the one to teach her parents about love, that might be true more quickly than any of us thought.


Thank you Mary.

Reviewer: Clair Anonymous starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 04 Sep 2016 6:32 pm Title: Chapter 21 - Golden Streams

I'm racing ahead a little here but rereading this something just struck me which is to wonder how Tessa will find it slotting back in once she's recovered as the dynamics within the prefects have changed so much and so very many things have happened during her absence already.

Gillian's strength and compassion are rare in so young a girl, I'm sure all concerned will appreciate her presence when she could so easily ahve gone home.

Hilda's mercy towards Kathie is astounding, particularly after Ellie being hurt so badly. The rest of them will follow her course, biting their tongues as she has asked them to do but Kathie will still pick up on their feelings of horror and disgust, will it really sink in though or will it still all be someone else's fault?!

Meg's story has shocked Hilda badly but her sense in needing time to reflect before giving an opinion surely won't let her down. She'll want the best for Meg and if that hurts the father then so be it although I feel that a gradual process towards reuniting them may be on the cards giving Meg a brighter future after all of the pain.

Thanks Mary


Reviewer: Clair Anonymous starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 04 Sep 2016 2:45 pm Title: Chapter 20 - The Good Not Done, the Love Not Given.

Good to see the anger being dispelled both by peace and humour, it's hard to be angry once humour starts to come through. Even if it has hiccups and fleets in and out it's better than continuous anger and will have far greater results.

What a terrible way to be that Mr Lyall doesn't even know what Meg has or hasn't been told about something so important as Nanny's death or even about Meg's operation.

Robert may have been a coward but he's right that it could have made life worse for Meg, she's been through mental abuse but had her mother been pushed further who knows if it would have become physical. After hearing about her throwing things like that at Robert it's possible that Meg could have suffered that way whenever her father wasn't there to protect her.

Robert certainly should have done more for his daughetr but at least he has come to his senses now, I just hope it's not too late - not only for Robert and Meg but for Robert's father as well as the relationship with grandparents is so very special. Even Hilda and Ian don't have the blood tie despite being the best adoptive grandparents Meg could hope to have.

MA is quite right to see what Hilda thinks and insist on taking things slowly. Meg has changed and learned so much in a short time that this could be overwhelming.

Thanks Mary 


Reviewer: Blueskye Signed [Report This]
Date: 03 Sep 2016 6:42 pm Title: Chapter 20 - The Good Not Done, the Love Not Given.

Oh yay! Back to MA (does Kathie stand much of a chance?)  I think l described Robert Lyall as flabby the first time round and would again, but I defer to “big wet blouse.”!! (*picks self up off floor) In fact he is as bad as his wife in that he does anything for an easy life and is not prepared to put himself out one jot for his only child.


I love this line, “I adored that little baby! She was so beautiful, so helpless, so thoroughly captivating,” as it sums up so perfectly why we lose our hearts to tiny babies. I think someone last time surmised a relationship between Miss Cooper and Meg’s mother –or did that emerge later? I Wouldn’t be surprised anyway. Fingers crossed for Meg then, if her father (having made the pivotal decision to leave his wife) actually listens to other people (Hilda, MA and his own father) then there is indeed some hope. Thank you, Mary.

Author's Response: No, that relationship was suggested in the original, Blueskye! All my own invention - or rather MA's! *rolls eyes* It just seemed... logical, given what had gone before. And I, too, am fond of shesings' expression, only I know it as *a big girl's blouse*. Clearly, locality has a lot to do with how it's worded. Thank you.

Reviewer: SueMc Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 03 Sep 2016 12:58 am Title: Chapter 10 - A Time to Heal Others

What a grasp for detail Hilda has, even though she is feeling so exhaiusted she is making sure all her charges staff aswell as pupils are  going to be supported should tney need it through the night. Even finding time to reassure Ian of his special gifts. So good that Mirreille is  helping as well and proving what a wonderful headgirl she is turning out tobe. Thankyou Mary.

Author's Response: Thank you for all the reviews, Sue. It's very kind of you when I know how busy you are. I sometimes wish I had Hilda's eye for detail, don't you?

Reviewer: shesings Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 03 Sep 2016 12:29 am Title: Chapter 20 - The Good Not Done, the Love Not Given.

Mother was very wise here! That poor child Meg needs time, support and good counsel before she can build a relationship with a father who has so far been a big wet blouse in her life. Get a backbone, man!

Author's Response: Love the expression, shesings, as does Blueskye above. My own version is slightly different. *grins* He does indeed need to get a backbone, but maybe working behind the scenes in the war, instead of joining the troops, softened said backbone.

Reviewer: SueMc Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 03 Sep 2016 12:19 am Title: Chapter 9 - Hilda Speaks From A Full Heart

I [ove this chapter, it's wonderful how all of those gathered in Hildas sitting room  give such a peaceful interlude to the most stressful of days. It's good that Hilda sees what new memories she can start to gather with all the friends she has. How hard Hilda must have found it ti give  some of Nells clothes to Nancy . It's good that Ellie seems to have found such a good friend in Jeanne.

Reviewer: Celia Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 03 Sep 2016 12:09 am Title: Chapter 20 - The Good Not Done, the Love Not Given.

Thank you for all the time it is taking to re-type this Mary. The new bits you are adding are really enhancing the original and making the problems with which Hilda has to cope so much more poignant.

Author's Response: Thank you, Celia, especially for liking the new bits, what there are of them.

Reviewer: PaulineS Signed [Report This]
Date: 02 Sep 2016 8:55 pm Title: Chapter 20 - The Good Not Done, the Love Not Given.

If only Robert had listened to his father.  I think he is now realising just how much he has failed his daughter and also his father by keeping them apart.  He was certainly the mouse of his and MA estimation.   At least by the end of the conversation he is willing to listen to advise.  I hope that MA and Hilda can help him and his father work out a positive relationship with Meg.

Author's Response: Thanks for reading and reviewing a second time, Pauline. He is a mouse, isn't he? But he finally seems to have roared, and taken the bit between his teeth. Sorry for the mixed metaphors there!

Reviewer: Elder in Ontario Signed [Report This]
Date: 02 Sep 2016 7:02 pm Title: Chapter 20 - The Good Not Done, the Love Not Given.

It's easy to see why Mother Abbess is torn between sympathy for Meg's father, who has clearly been caught between a rock and a hard place for almost his entire married life, and exasperation at what she (and he himself for that matter) clearly sees as his weakness in not standing up to his wife long before now. He really has been a somewhat pathetic excuse for a father, hasn't he, although at some level we can understand it.  

But Meg is her first priority, and quite rightly, she's not prepared to risk the girl's new-found happiness and self-awareness simply to satisfy her father's whim.  Yes, they may well be able to establish a far better relationship than they have had in the past, but not if Robert insists on simply barging in and "claiming" her at this juncture - that would almost certainly alienate and frighten Meg.  MA is very wise to insist that she can make no decisions without putting the facts before Hilda - and Robert is sensible enough to understand and accept that.  

Thank you, Mary

Author's Response: Thanks for the loving "essay", Elder - even if it is the second you've written on this piece. You've put it all neatly in a nutshell. MA may feel sorry for Robert, but she's not lacking in courage herself, has seen what her poor brother had to go through, watches Hilda struggling so bravely, and so wonders why this man couldn't find some of that same courage to help his daughter.

Reviewer: SueMc Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 02 Sep 2016 12:47 am Title: Chapter 6 - A Time to Speak

Even second time around this is a powerful chapter. Hilda even though she was at the end of her tether gave the assembly a true account  and didn't underestimate the damage which had been caused. Ian, Nancy and Jack all gave great support. Mireille was brilliant standing up and   saying what she did in support of Hiloa. Ian sent everyone off with his gentle blessing, a true rock. Thankyou Mary.

Reviewer: Linda Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 01 Sep 2016 2:05 am Title: Chapter 19 - Accountable

Kathie still cannot really accept that she is to blame for all of this. Her attitude since the beginning of term has just gone from bad to worse. I wonder that Hilda is still considering that she may be the right person to lead St Mildred's once she enters the convent. Can she really swallow her pride and beg (and mean it) for forgiveness of all those who she has hurt so badly? I'm not sure.

Thank you Mary, I've finally caught up!! 😉

Author's Response: Thank you, Linda, for all your hard work - but, alas, I've added another since this one. *rolls eyes* I'm afraid when I'm posting them so frequently it's hard to keep up, I know.

Reviewer: Linda Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 01 Sep 2016 1:00 am Title: Chapter 17 - From Caring Comes Courage

I'm so pleased that Hilda didn't take Helen back herself. She would have been even more distressed if she had had to face the onslaught of this outrageous man. It is very obvious where Helen has hit her ideas from. Her mother has never stood a chance to give her the boundaries which every child needs. At least, with The Inspectir and Mr Slater in support, Jack and
Matey have been able to get through to him a little and have given Mrs Cassidy a little hope that, with professional help, Helen can be saved.

Reviewer: Linda Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 01 Sep 2016 12:07 am Title: Chapter 16 - A Touch of Rosy Sunset

Another lovely chapter! Helen and Ian are so understanding and supportive of Hilda and understand that, whilst she really should be resting and endeavouring to recover from the recent calamities they know that she must return to school.

The afternoon with Isobel proved to be a real eye opener for Hilda. From a shared love of books the friendship quickly grew and somehow Hilda found herself opening up and confiding her grief over the loss of her mother, James and Nell. Some lovely excerpts from Hilda's books of quotations too.

Then to finish, the conversation with Ellie and Jeanne which showed how their friendship is developing and how much they are helping each other. Thank you Mary.

Reviewer: Seven Signed [Report This]
Date: 31 Aug 2016 3:29 pm Title: Chapter 19 - Accountable

Kathie does seem to be hell bent on her  own destruction even while she knows what she is doing and is unable to stop herself.  Or so it seems.  Like the additions to the text.

Amazing how Hilda still wants Kathie as head after all her  nastiness.  I hope that all Hilda's faith in her will be repaid 100 fold.

Reviewer: Linda Signed [Report This]
Date: 30 Aug 2016 11:55 pm Title: Chapter 15 - Sweet Encouragement

That little interlude with Marianne and Isobel will have helped Hilda to relax a little although nothing can really take all the problems away. I wonder if Isobel and Hilda will discover that they both share the trauma of losing a FiancÚ.

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