Reviewer: Sarah Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 22 May 2017 9:24 pm Title: Chapter 23 - Landmarks Shift

Amazing! Xx

Author's Response: Thank you, Sarah.

Reviewer: Seven Signed [Report This]
Date: 22 May 2017 8:16 pm Title: Chapter 23 - Landmarks Shift

Well that revelation was a surprise!   I didn't think Hilda was ever going to learn the truth until she was in the convent.  I can understand how betrayed she feels because she could have dealt with Kathie quite differently but I also understand why Nancy and Gwynneth did not want to tell her the truth.  Being Hilda, I'm sure she will forgive them both once she gets over the shock.  I'm glad Helen told Hilda about Kathie's repentance and her encounter with God because it will make it easier for Hilda to deal with her.

What an amazing update!  

Looking forward to how Hilda talks to Kathie.  I just hope Kathie can respond.

Author's Response: Oh, gosh, thanks, Seven, because it didn't feel amazing to me at all, but as though I'd got everyone's reactions wrong, and didn't get across Hilda's deep sense of betrayal. But the truth did have to come out, or poor Kathie would never have given up her jealousy.

Reviewer: Elder in Ontario Signed [Report This]
Date: 21 May 2017 10:28 pm Title: Chapter 23 - Landmarks Shift

I'm not sure just what truth I was expecting to be revealed in this chapter, but it certainly wasn't that one!!!  And yet, it had to be told; Hilda had to know just what lies behind Kathie's actions if the latter is to have any chance at all.  


Yes, either Gwynneth or Nancy should have told her long ago, but fifty fifty hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it's easy to see why they both were so reluctant to do so; also why Vivien felt it wasn't her place, as such a newcomer, even though she saw the situation plainly. I'm not sure MA herself thought this was the best time for Hilda to learn, either, but she recognized the need for the truth to come out.  She knew, too, that she herself would be best placed to help Hilda come to terms with the others' acts of omission in due course.  Even she may have her work cut out at first, but I have every faith that her wise counsel will prevail in the end.

I do hope that Hilda will now be able to get through to Kathie and help her understand that her jealousy is needless. The fact that Helen relayed what Vivien had told her about Kathie's encounter with God, and her apologies to those she had hurt, coupled with Hilda's own pride in the way Ellie had treated the mistress must have heartened Hilda enormously, as must Helen's very real and very needed physical support to get up that flight of stairs, and her willingness to be there waiting for her when the meeting with Kathie is over.  I"m sure the others will be waiting with bated breath to learn the outcome, too.

THank you, Mary - you kept me, at least, on the edge of my seat right through that chapter, and I, too, will be waiting with bated breath to disover what happens next.


Author's Response: Thank you so much for another amazing review, Elder. I was on the edge of my own seat as I wrote it, wondering where she was taking me, but I did feel the truth had to come out soon or poor Kathie would never be what she was meant to be. And after all, Ellie had started the ball rolling with her own confrontation with Kathie, hadn't she? Let's all thank goodness for MA.

Reviewer: PaulineS Signed [Report This]
Date: 21 May 2017 10:10 pm Title: Chapter 23 - Landmarks Shift

Well that was not the truth I thought you were going to reveal, but it was much needed. Helen is providing a strong presence and a useful supporter and I suspect a prayer warrior as well. Nancy and Gwynneth certainly need MA and Ian's care and support.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review, Pauline, but now you've got me wondering. What truth were you thinking about? What have I written that I've completely forgotten about? (Hilda would shoot me for that sentence!!)

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed [Report This]
Date: 19 May 2017 10:25 pm Title: Chapter 22 - No Hand Left Unheld

A lovely scene with team Hilda – I enjoyed reading it in Dorset last week, when I managed to get a signal!  Hilda misses nothing of course, and Nancy is taking on the same quality in her concern for Vi. I love the shawl taking centre stage – it almost has life of its own – and to see MA quite discombobulated by it.  Hilda’s brain is still working away, coming up with solutions to problems like the bullying and how she herself can be of best use. ‘Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength.’ Perfect!!


Thank you, Mary

Author's Response: Thank you for the loving review, Blueskye, from the shawl taking centre stage to Hilda and her plans for the girls, especially Meg and Ellie. She was never going to just sit and twiddle her thumbs!

Reviewer: SueMc Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 18 May 2017 12:59 am Title: Chapter 22 - No Hand Left Unheld

a wonderful gathering of all Hildas friends. What a lovely gesture of Hildas to put the shawl round MA .

     Love the mentoring idea. Iknew Hilda wouldn't be able to do nothing for a week, it's a good idea and I'Mm glad Helen was in agreement as this helped to win Gwynneth over.

      How good that Ian and MA will be able to spend time together  and just like Hilda to suggest a trip for them.

       Can't wait for the next chapter and am wondering what truth is to be finally revealed .

 Thankyou Mary.

Author's Response: Won't be long, now, Sue. Thank you for a lovely review, and for approving of the mentoring scheme Hilda had in mind. As she said, how can she sit and do nothing for a week? Glad you agree!!

Reviewer: Rosemarie Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 16 May 2017 11:41 pm Title: Chapter 22 - No Hand Left Unheld

It was so like Hilda to insist that MA wear the shawl her mother made for comforting it must have been after so many years.     The quote is so appropriate for Hilda, and I'm sure I was not the only reader to gasp at Kathie's temerity in trying to ride roughshod over Hilda.  I loved this chapter, feeling at one with the various characters as they chatted before and during the meal, covering so many so many topics.  The mentor idea is brilliant and should help the school to become much more 'bully free'  Looking forward to the 'Truth being revealed' next time you post Mary !  Thank you.

Author's Response: I'm so glad you liked the quotation, Rosemarie, and yes, the shawl had to figure somehow when MA appeared, didn't it? Thank you for the review.

Reviewer: Linda Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 16 May 2017 1:32 am Title: Chapter 22 - No Hand Left Unheld

A lovely chapter. Mary. A gathering of friends who all care so much about Hilda and are still concerned that she is trying to do to ouch so close to her near death experience. It was lovely of Hilda to realise how little time Kate and Ian spend with each other and to suggest ways they can have time alone together whilst Kate is I staying at the school. I wonder if we will share their trip to

I love the idea of the three girls acting as mentors to other girls. It will be so good all round.

I remember Hilda's bread and butter pudding in Hilda's Revenge. It sounded delicious.

Now wondering what surprise you have in store for us next. Thank you, Mary

Author's Response: Thank you yet again for posting your review twice, Linda. *giggles madly* Although I think it was three times last time. Thank you so much for reviewing and I presume you meant to finish that sentence by wondering will you share their trip to Interlaken? We'll see - my chapters seem to be very long-winded these days, and we seem to get stuck on the same day for ages, which must drive you all dotty when you want to see someone else who hasn't figured for a while.

Reviewer: Seven Signed [Report This]
Date: 15 May 2017 7:21 pm Title: Chapter 22 - No Hand Left Unheld

I love the way Hilda manages to get everyone doing just what she wants without any problems.   Has she any tips for the rest of us?   Sounds like Ellie's party is going to be a riot like the pantomime.  Lovely gentle update and can't wait to see what you have in store for us next.

Perhaps Hilda should have had a lime green bathroom?!

Author's Response: Nooooooo!!!!! How dare you!?! *giggles* As to getting everyone to do as she wants, I wish she would give me some hints and tips, Seven. Then I'd sens them on to you... Thanks for the review.

Reviewer: ivohenry Signed [Report This]
Date: 14 May 2017 12:59 am Title: Chapter 22 - No Hand Left Unheld

Lovely chapter, so nice to see Ian and Kate together, it's great to know that in the future he'll be moving to a job where he is nearer the convent, Kate must find her position stressful  at times and knowing her twin is near will be a help. It's also good to see how you have developed the character of Helen. Each of those in this little group brings something different in their support of Hilda, good to see them all together, and to see some improvement in Hilda, though she is obviously still very frail. Glad she's recognised her need of rest - but also of some occupation, a bit of teaching will fitthe bill nicely

Thanks for this Mary,  look forward to whatever truth you might revealin the next chapter!

Author's Response: You mean you have no idea, ivohenry? *giggles* Never mind, you won't have to wait too long! Thanks for the lovely review, and yes, MA does find her leadership stressful at times, especially as it wasn't something she ever aspired to, and asked them to choose someone else. Fortunately she has Pauline to go to, and her Prioress is a good support. Plus there's Sister Catherine, mentioned in this chapter, who will also appear soonish, in a very unexpected place.

Reviewer: shesings Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 12 May 2017 11:54 pm Title: Chapter 22 - No Hand Left Unheld

A very satisfying chapter, Mary! And, please, look after yourself - we can wait!

Author's Response: Why satisfying, shesings? I ask because, for me, it wasn't satisfying at all. I couldn't get down on paper what I really wanted to say, and it felt stultifyingly boring. I wanted it to move the story on - but didn't, did I? But thank you for accepting what I offered.

Reviewer: PaulineS Signed [Report This]
Date: 12 May 2017 10:36 pm Title: Chapter 22 - No Hand Left Unheld

Mary thank you. Hilda is right about needing to do things, and not just sit and read, pleased Gywnneth is trying to understand.  Looking forward to finding out which truth you are about to reveal.

Author's Response: Thank you for understanding that Hilda couldn't sit and do nothing, Pauline.

Reviewer: Elder in Ontario Signed [Report This]
Date: 12 May 2017 6:07 pm Title: Chapter 22 - No Hand Left Unheld

OH my word - where to start???  Clearly, Hilda will take longer to recover physically from her brush with death, and everyone knows it, but there's no doubt her brain is already back in full working order - at least for the duration of this meal.  I'm by no means sure, given her 'wobbly' earlier on, that she won't collapse again once she and Mother are alone again, but for the moment....

I love the warmth of the relationship between the group sitting there. It's good to see someone like Helen, who we normally see under at least partial working conditions, relaxing among the group, and clearly enjoying their company, while still keeping an eye on Hilda's well being.  As Hilda outlines her plans, the fact that she, who has been among Hilda's key medical caregivers, is generally approving of them, and emphatic that Hilda needs things to occupy her mind and brain while her body recovers its strength helps Gwynneth to at least partially overcome her own doubts as to their wisdom. I'm sure too, that she'll make sure Jack doesn't interfere.  Good to see how the rest relate to each other too - they must all have found Hilda's placing of the shawl on MA's shoulders very moving, and MA herself must be rejoicing to see all their quiet, but vehement support for Hilda.

It's quite amazing how much Hilda has already planned - her suggestions ring so true for everyone concerned, and we know MA will be keeping a stern watch on her doings.  But if her scheme for having the girls act as mentors to others who may be bullied is an excellent one, not only for those who may be suffering, but for Ellie and Meg's self-confidence, knowing they are helping others.  MA's suggestion of including Jeanne is excellent; I hope Joan Bartram will rise to the occasion too, and agree to help - she might not realise it and may have to be open about her own special knowledge first, but any staff who notice all is not well with a girl might be happy to consult her, too.  And Vivien was quite right to tell her what had transpired once the girls were left alone - Hilda needed to know about it.  I can well see why Nancy is so filled with doubt about her own capacity to step into this woman's shoes!

Hilda's suggestions of how Meg, Marianne and Ellie can all be helped to catch up, and her plan to help by tutoring the first two are all excellent - and MA can be counted on to make sure she doesn't overdo things.  And only Hilda would consider Ian and MA's own needs by making sure the two of them have time to spend together, knowing how rarely it happens.  I strongly believe that MA and Ian will arrange their Interlaken trip so they can be back for the pantomime.  Love the final touch of their reaction to MA's tales of her own exploits during the War - that's surely a side of them none but Hilda and Ian knew about before.

So much action and energy, but at the same time, so much quiet enjoyment of time spent together.  Thank you, Mary.



Author's Response: Where do I start, Elder? That was a massive undertaking, to write so much in your review. I think you covered just about every turn of the conversation, but yes, the warmth round that table seemed to be life-enhancing, though goodness knows how I succeeded in creating it. I'm so pleased you liked the mentor idea, and it should prove helpful for both sides, I think, or rather Hilda thinks!! *grins* Thank you so much.

Reviewer: SueMc Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 29 Apr 2017 12:52 am Title: Chapter 21 - What Is Life Without A Friend?

Poor Gwynneth she wants to keep Hilda safe lets hope what MA said to her has made her realise  she must let Hilda do what is needed. Jacck seems to have realised that . Loved Hildas bathroom nice to know she has something that isn't school regulation. looking forward to the supper party. Thankyou Mary. Get well soon.

Reviewer: AnneM Signed [Report This]
Date: 24 Apr 2017 3:35 pm Title: Chapter 21 - What Is Life Without A Friend?

Sorry to be so late reviewing, Mary. My mother had a fall and crushed some vertebrae . . .

Poor Matey - I thought she was getting used to the idea that it was counter-productive to try and thwart Hilda's plans, but I guess it takes time really to take it on board, especially when your patient looks so frail. I did enjoy Hilda's astonishment at Jack not complaining but actually telling her to enjoy her supper party! And as for the bathroom - magnificent!

Reviewer: Clair Anonymous starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 23 Apr 2017 8:38 pm Title: Chapter 21 - What Is Life Without A Friend?

The sure yet gentle way that MA manages to persuade Gwynneth and Jack to step back and allow Hilda to do as she needs to with the dinner party is lovely - and a mirroring of her own way of thinking where she plans on stepping back to allow Hilda to absorb her thoughts and choices re Ellie and the convent. That's exactly what will help Hilda at the moment, someone who is there for her, cares for her and wants the best for ehr but acknowledges that the one person who really knows what's best is Hilda herself.

What a bathroom - the contrast between that and the softer colours in the other rooms shows the real Hilda, a lady of depth, warmth and passion. It's so telling that Hilda keeps that passionate love of colour, glitter and sparkle hidden just as she keeps her true self hidden from all but those who creep into her heart. She's kept that inner part of herself hidden for so long it's not surprising that letting down the walls and allowing a number of people in within such a short time has left her bewildered.

I hope that Nell's diaries will help, even if they are hard to read at first. Their friendship was one of love but also of laughter and Hilda will remember that and hold on to it once she is able to move past the great grief enveloping her at the moment.

Thanks Mary 

Reviewer: Linda Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 21 Apr 2017 6:14 pm Title: Chapter 21 - What Is Life Without A Friend?

I loved the description of Hilda's room, it sounded very sunny and comfortable but the bathroom!!!... Stunning! I want one just like it! I can understand Hilda's need to have a huge photo of her and Nell together, a reminder of all they meant to each other and that Nell is still there watching over her. And the bathroom is the ideal place as it is so very private.

I don't wonder Matey is struggling. Her nurse's instincts tell her that Hilda needs to rest but this conflicts with God!s plan. She is also struggling with her relationship with Hilda, fearing that these new friends, MA, Ian and Vivien have taken her place, even though she has been assured that Hilda and Ellie want her as part of their family. MA dealt firmly with both Matey and Jack, without being dictatorial and I think she has helped them both to see that they need to let a God work out his plan through Hilda. Interesting that Hilda's pulse is completely normal despite everything.

I am looking forward to the supper party. Thank you Mary for this very interesting chapter which demonstrates yet another side to Hilda's character.

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed [Report This]
Date: 12 Apr 2017 7:50 pm Title: Chapter 21 - What Is Life Without A Friend?

Lovely instalment – I  can just imaging MA hauling God over the coals!  Poor old Matey, though; it’s tough trying to break the habits of a lifetime as a nurse and to watch the dynamics of Hilda’s relationship with herself and others changing. Lols to the bathroom though – fabulous! Jack is on a similar learning trajectory to Matey and also making heavy weather of it…hopefully now MA is on the case they will both back off! And what is in Nell’s diaries?

Thank you, Mary.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review, blueskye, and yes, I feel for Matey, but Hilda has a whole other life now outside the school, and other people are becoming important. But at least Matey knows she's loved, having been asked to be part of that new family. Glad you liked the bathroom! We know Hilda likes red, as she often wears it in the books. As to the diaries, she wants them, remember, to find out how Nell coped when Hilda seemed to be on the point of dying, in the hope Nell's strength might help her. She also wanted to read what Nell thought about the fun time Hilda organised for her 50th birthday, in *Hilda's Revenge*.

Reviewer: Seven Signed [Report This]
Date: 11 Apr 2017 5:40 pm Title: Chapter 21 - What Is Life Without A Friend?

I'm so glad MA has talked to Gwynneth and helped her to understand that she is loved by Hilda even when she pushes Hilda too hard.  MA has put Jack straight - again! - about not pushing Hilda to rest.  

In Hilda's earlier dream when she swam with dolphins, Nell said she had refused God something.  Are the diaries Hilda asked for going to reveal to her what that was?

Love the red bathroom!

Author's Response: No, not the diaries, Seven. Matey will be the inadvertent cause of Hilda revealing Nell's words, and also giving her the answer to the conundrum, much to Hilda's distress. Thank you for reviewing and commenting, and glad you liked the bathroom!! *grins*

Reviewer: SueMc Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 10 Apr 2017 1:07 am Title: Chapter 20 - Even Darkness Must Pass

Meg did so well  in not respoinding to the taunts, the nuns have taught her welll. Jeanne is proving to be a proper friend and showing calm common sense.

Vivien has again been a great support both to the girls and to Nancy. Ihope Gwyneth remembers  the advice she had about Hilda in the past and doesn't try to limit HildaI hate to think that such good friends would fall out.

   Thankyou Mary Ilove this story please carry on as long as you can.

Reviewer: PaulineS Signed [Report This]
Date: 09 Apr 2017 11:56 pm Title: Chapter 21 - What Is Life Without A Friend?

Thank you Mary.  Loved Jack's reaction to Hilda's pulse being normal despite all she insisted on doing.  Jack will soon learn about Hilda's plans for the future after he and Jo receive the parents letter saying she is retiring in eighteen months.  

MA talks with Gwynneth and Jack should help them trust Hilda more.

Author's Response: Hopefully, he and Jo will indeed soon find out, but Hilda has to tell the school first: one of her plans while she's copped up in the Annexe. Thank you for reviewing, Pauline.

Reviewer: Elder in Ontario Signed [Report This]
Date: 09 Apr 2017 11:37 pm Title: Chapter 21 - What Is Life Without A Friend?

I love Mother's declaration that "[Hilds] and the Lord together make a formidable team."  But how true it is.  Even though Hilda is completely bewildered by all that has happened in the last 48 hours or so (is it really such a short time?) she still knows in her heart that her Lord is with her every step of the way.  And Mother, too is with her every step of the way, working in every way she can to help her daughter come to terms with things, soothing her, resassuring her.  It's certainly not surprising that Hilda's so-close brush with death and her equally rapid recovery to this point has left her so uncertain about the future; there's no doubt that she will rely even more heavily on her Mother as well as her Lord to help restore her equilibrium.  

Bless MA too, she is probably the only person to whom Gwynneth would have listened at this point - her maternal and nursing instincts to cosset Hilda are totally at war with what is best for Hilda if she is to make a good recovery, but it needs MA to point out to her how she can best help her friend rather than hinder her.  The same goes for Jack - his medical instincts are completely at odds with what Hilda really needs at present, but only MA can persuade him to allow her the freedom to keep her mind active as much as possible.  Both he and Gwynneth must trust that MA herself will lay the law down firmly if she thinks Hilda is in any danger of overdoing things.  I don't think any of the three of them is unaware of the level of Hilda's current depression, though MA realises it more sharply than the other two do, and knows just what treatment will help the most.  

But above all MA is there to comfort and advise Hilda, to persuade her to carpe diem, do just what she wants to do - spend time with Ellie, and others, and let decisions for the future wait while she regains her normal equilibrium.  With MA's unfailing support, added to the Lord's she will get there and will, in the end, do what the Lord wishes her to do. 

Thank you, Mary.

Author's Response: You're right, Elder, when you say that events have conspired to undo all Hilda feels, and make her uncertain about things. I do hope Kate can help her, and also settle Matey's feeling perhaps of being pushed out, even though she's been invited to be part of the new family. Kate's advice to take it slowly and just enjoy being with Ellie is the only thing that will help. God will answer in His own time... Thank you for reviewing at some length, as always, bless you. *grins*

Reviewer: ivohenry Signed [Report This]
Date: 09 Apr 2017 10:30 pm Title: Chapter 21 - What Is Life Without A Friend?

Love Hilda's bathroom! Shows quite a different side to her personality. It's so good that Kate is there - as well being just what Hilda needs, she said just the right things to Gwynneth and Jack.  Hope the supper party goes well



Author's Response: So glad you liked the bathroom, ivohenry, but does anyone know everything about us? She quite often wears red in the books... Yes, Kate is, indeed, just the ticket for Hilda. Thank you for reviewing.

Reviewer: shesings Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 09 Apr 2017 9:37 pm Title: Chapter 21 - What Is Life Without A Friend?

A truly lovely passage, Mary - and I do love Hilda's bathroom!

Author's Response: *grins* I love it, too! Thanks, shesings.

Reviewer: Clair Anonymous starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 07 Apr 2017 5:22 pm Title: Chapter 20 - Even Darkness Must Pass

It was never going to be a smooth ride for Meg yet her response was exemplary - maintaining that silence wold have a greater effect than retaliating. I love the idea of mentally fastening a zip on her mouth, such a good way of describing it.

Erica's in a difficult position as form prefect - she has to both insist on the silence from all without fanning the flames of anger. Jeanne is so peaceful and capable in a quiet manner that she'll be more of a force to reckon with in some ways than Ellie's anger although I doubt those like Sara and Barbara realise that just yet.

Vivien is much needed for her very different approach and the injection of humour although I wonder how many people are aware of just how deeply she delves into things underneath that cover. She has not only helped the girls but given Nancy some much wanted support.

I hope they can keep this from Hilda until Hilda has had a little more rest, she'll need to know but not yet - Vivien, Nancy and Meg herself can handle this while Hilda recovers a little and leans on MA for help.

Thanks Mary 

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