Reviewer: Linda Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 24 Mar 2017 1:11 am Title: Chapter 19 - Water Pooling in Darkness

Oh dear, where did that come from? I think I can understand though. Ellie has so recently come into Hilda's life and has roused a mothering instinct which she has never felt before even though she has given love and support to so many, many girls throughout her long teaching career. These girls have had families of their own to live and care for them, Ellie is different and once she became Hilda's ward, the live cane flooding in. How can she give this up and enter the convent., just as Ellie is beginning to flower into womanhood and may need her even more. I don't know the answer but hope that Hilda, withbMA, Ian and Ellie herself, plus the other members of their 'family' will find a way.

Thank you Mary, as always a eon derail chapter, leaving us with much to ponder and a beautiful quotation to send Hilda to sleep

Author's Response: What a beautiful review, Linda. Thank you so much! Where did Hilda's sudden confusion come from? I have no idea. She just upped and put with it as I was writing that chapter. She gave me as much of a shock as she gave herself. But to me it made perfect sense. Why would you want to voluntarily give up such closeness, with someone you know will go on needing you? Help! I have to sort this out....

Reviewer: SueMc Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 24 Mar 2017 1:00 am Title: Chapter 19 - Water Pooling in Darkness

Congratultions on your 12 years with Hilda. What a chapter you have given us. Gwyneth is still trying her best to look after Hilda but is learning she must step back even if she feels Hilda may suffer from it, How wonderful thatboth Ian and MA were there for Meg plus Ellie giving her support to ease her rejoining of her form. Ian again showing how good he is with the girls. I se that when MA was telling Hilda what happened Hilda knew which girls would accept Meg and who may be reluctant, showing Hildas knowledge of her charges.

               Poor Hilda what an awful dilemma she finds herself in. On the one hand she has her miraculous recovery which she feels is to carry on with her calling and on the other her deep love for Ellie and wanting to be a mother to her. At least she has MA with her to talk things through with her.

 Thankyou Mary.

Author's Response: Thank you for reading and reviewing, Sue. As for Hilda's dilemma, yes, it's a conundrum! All she can do is listen to MA and wait to see what God will do in this situation.

Reviewer: Linda Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 24 Mar 2017 12:29 am Title: Chapter 18 - Come Dance With Me

I love the way that Ellie's relationship with Vivien is developing. She really will need her support when Hilda enters the convent and it seems as though Vivien will be a real help in the future. I don't wonder that Jeanne was initially somewhat overawed faced with a room full of adults who have always been in authority over her but she soon sees that they are only human and can let their hair down.

This has been a wonderful reception for Meg too, helping her to relax. I loved the trick with the cake (Where do you find your inspiration, Mary?). Loved, too, Sister Patricia's wonderful paintings, just the right gifts to express her thanks for the way that they have taken Ellie to their hearts.

As for the Hafiz poem - that was just absolutely wonderful, especially the last line which really resonated with me.

Thank you Mary

Author's Response: I'm so pleased you like the Hafiz poem, Linda. If you recall, there was another by him at the beginning of the quote book Hilda made for Meg. He writes so lyrically. As for Ellie and Vivien, they are such wonderful 'mates' aren't they? Perhaps with all these loving people Ellie may herself help Hilda with her dilemma re the choice she has to make.

Reviewer: Bobcat 531 Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 22 Mar 2017 11:50 pm Title: Chapter 1: - And Light Is A Way

I'm so glad MA has turned up with Meg, and I like the insight into Ian's life that she's not had before - it's making her think a bit! 

Understandable that Hilda's torn between Ellie and the convent after all Ellie's been through. But, if it's all of God, then it must resolve somehow. Maybe it's another lesson for Hilda in trusting. 

Thank you Mary. This story is just wonderful.

Author's Response: Aw, Bobcat, bless you! Yep, most definitely a extra lesson for Hilda in trusting - and her trust was almost absolute until Nell died, but grief has skewered everything, and brought doubt into the equation, doubt of herself and doubt that she's hearing Him correctly.

Reviewer: AnneM Signed [Report This]
Date: 21 Mar 2017 5:53 pm Title: Chapter 19 - Water Pooling in Darkness

It's heartwarming to see Kate and Ian together, with Kate feeling she needs to get to know her brother all over again now that he's changed so much under Hilda's influence.

Hilda knows her girls so well, able to work out from MA's descriptions how each reacted when Meg entered the classroom. But she till tries to avoid talking about her own feelings, doesn't she, asking MA to tell her about Meg rather than answer the question about why she is so miserable. And then, in the end, inevitably, Hilda breaks down. I could weep for her - to discover all the love and joy of the mother-daughter relationship but to know that it is for such a short time. No wonder she feels nothing but confusion. I hope she sleeps peacefully and manages to regain her balance when she wakes, and follow MA's advice to "delight in this gift He’s offered you for the present moment, and relax".

Author's Response: Thanks for a lovely review, Anne. Yes, poor Hilda! Why is it these things hit us out of the blue, and usually when we're low to start with? I didn't even know she felt like that until she upped and out with it! She's caught me out so many times, when I've been going one way and she simply veers off in the other! Contrary woman! *winks*

Reviewer: Clair Anonymous starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 21 Mar 2017 12:29 pm Title: Chapter 19 - Water Pooling in Darkness

Oh Hilda, amidst all that joy, family, teasing and love is just when any form of depression will hit as the internal defences start to drop from the effect of the laughter. Her love for Ellie has been such an incredible blessing and change to her life that it's no wonder she's feeling so confused.

MA is so good for Hilda, wisely knowing when to stay and when to leave her for a bit as well as giving Hilda that permission to forget even the convent for a while and concentrate on both Ellie and getting better. Hilda's strength now will be in listening to MA and taking on board all that has been said.

With Ian, MA, Ellie, Jeanne and others amongst the girls to help Meg will settle back in again, there may well be some difficult times but she's had those before - the difference now is that she has people to go to help her with those times. That support and love will keep Meg on the right track. Hilda's knowledge of her students is amazing, to be able to immediately name each person from MA's description would defy most but Hilda's knack of getting under their skin means she knows their strengths and weaknesses perfectly.

Rest, love, family and friendship is what Hilda needs now. Abendessen will supply much of that - I'm so glad she's invited Helen over to be a part of it all. Gradually she'll get her strength back, sort the problems and - I hope - be ready to enjoy Boston.


Thanks Mary 

Author's Response: Thanks for the two lovely reviews, Clair. Everyone seems rather surprised that Hilda knew which girls MA was talking about who welcomed Meg, but Erica was the one who tried to stop Meg hurting Ellie, and then stood up for her in the form and Mary Garth was another who made kind remarks to Meg after Ellie's plea for understanding. So I guess it was easy for Hilda there. It's amazing as a teacher how very deeply you do get to know your children and how they'll react. Hopefully, Hilda will listen to MA both about her relationship with Ellie and about pacing herself.

Reviewer: Clair Anonymous starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 21 Mar 2017 12:05 pm Title: Chapter 18 - Come Dance With Me

The love between Vivien and Ellie is beautiful and something very special for both of them, their mutual love of the ridiculous and magic adds the fun side to the deep tenderness and trust.

The lack of understanding about teasing really shows just how limited Meg's childhood must have been, that she never even had friends to be like that with let alone family must make her feel almost as if she's dreaming all of this at times.

The cake was a work of genius bringing both Jeanne and Meg into the fold far more effectively than any amount of conversation would have done. All the support for Meg within that room, combined with Jeanne's offer to help and closeness to Ellie, will enable Meg to get through tough times ahead of her.

The gifts from Patricia are simply perfect, love and friendship links between such a close group which will always be present in thier hearts. 

Meg's reward in Hilda's reaction to her work may well help her through in the future as she gives more time and interest to her work rather than not bothering or thinking it unimportant - she will derive pleasure from her efforts rather than indifference.

Thanks Mary

Reviewer: Seven Signed [Report This]
Date: 20 Mar 2017 9:19 pm Title: Chapter 19 - Water Pooling in Darkness

How much Matey wants to look after Hilda and she can't or not the way she wants to.  Very frustrating for her but she will always give in because she doesn't want to make it worse for Hilda.

MA and Ian did a wonderful job with Meg and the 6th form.  I hope they will all come round in the end.

Hilda's depression seems to have descended on her again now she is back at school which is not surprising.   I hope MA can convince her that her wanting to be with Ellie is not contrary to what God is asking of her.  Then perhaps she can have a period of peace in which to really recover from all that has happened since Nell died.

Author's Response: Thanks, Seven. Matey's been wonderful with Hilda while in the San, but, like Jack, insists on what they want, not what the Head of the school might need. They all have to strike some kind of happy medium - which MA seems to know all about! Oh, and happy birthday for Saturday!

Reviewer: lexyjune Signed [Report This]
Date: 19 Mar 2017 3:30 pm Title: Chapter 1: - And Light Is A Way

Please don't stop writing this!
I love the characters and can't wait to find out what happens next.

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed [Report This]
Date: 18 Mar 2017 11:20 pm Title: Chapter 19 - Water Pooling in Darkness

Bless Hilda, she is such a catalyst for others.  She's in a time of transition herself though and that is tough enough to deal with when you are fit and well.  Thank you, Mary

Author's Response: That's a good description of Hilda's state of mind - transition. Thanks Blueskye.

Reviewer: Charlotta4th Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 18 Mar 2017 10:40 pm Title: Chapter 19 - Water Pooling in Darkness

Please don't even suggest we may be getting fed up with your story. I, for one, keep checking back for the next chapter and enjoy it thoroughly when it comes! I especially enjoy all the quotes and often look up ones I've not heard before. 

Author's Response: Thank you for letting me know there are folk out there reading and enjoying, Charlotta. Good to hear you like the quotations. My own shelves groan with my quote books.

Reviewer: PaulineS Signed [Report This]
Date: 18 Mar 2017 12:15 am Title: Chapter 19 - Water Pooling in Darkness

Mary  thank you for eleven years hard work. I am pleased you need to continue to find out what happens as do your readers.  

Ian and Kate certainly helped Lower Sixth understand Meg and be more acceoting of her.  Ellie's contribution also helped. and Erica, Mary and Rita played their part.

Kate's conversation with Hilda should help her realise that her feeling are to be expected and together with the sleep should helpher cope with the staff meal and then sleep through the night.

Author's Response: Thanks, Pauline. I do hope VIB will listen to Ellie and MA and Ian, but you might find things don't go to plan there, alas.

Reviewer: ivohenry Signed [Report This]
Date: 17 Mar 2017 11:43 pm Title: Chapter 19 - Water Pooling in Darkness

So glad Hilda has fallen asleep! Do hope she'll wake refreshed. Good that the Abbess is there - she's the only person who could have calmed her enough


And no, it's not boring at all, please don't stop!

Author's Response: Thanks, ivohenry. Yes, Hilda will always open up and also listen to MA, but then she'll have to later, won't she? Once she's a humble member of the order!! *grins* I'M waiting to see this Hilda!

Reviewer: Elder in Ontario Signed [Report This]
Date: 17 Mar 2017 8:55 pm Title: Chapter 19 - Water Pooling in Darkness

I'm very glad that MA and Ian were on hand to take Meg back to the form-room. with Ellie and Jeanne. MA must have been so, so proud of both Ellie and Ian, and all they had to say to the girls - each showed their generous and loving natures.  I've no doubt MA's own explanations, too, helped the other girls, even those who had initially been neutral or even hostile to Meg at her first appearance, to understand more of what lay behind her earlier behaviour.  Here's hoping that Meg will now be able to take her place among them and do well - although I do wonder how she is going to react when she learns that after all these years, her father wants to be a "real" part of her life.  Thank heaven both MA and Hilda will tackle that problem together.  It's also good to see MA's delight in this "new" Ellie, and how much she has grown and matured in only these few short weeks - her wholehearted approbation must have warmed Hilda's heart.

Loved Vivien's gentle reasoning with Gwynneth when the latter tried to lay the law down with Hilda too strongly. I know that at one level it defies belief that Hilda should insist on that dinner party rather than resting, but if by having it, she can reassure herself over some of the many issues facing her, she will definitely rest better afterwards. 

But oh, those doubts about whether she can bear to give up her role with Ellie, or whether mother love will win over her sense of vocation....  Thank goodness MA is there; Hilda could never have admitted what she was feeling or fearing so openly to anyone else, nor allow anyone else to reassure her that so much of this stems from the fact that she is both physically and mentally at her lowest ebb - who wouldn't be after two such close brushes with death in less than three months, coupled with all the stresses and strains of less than half a term, to say nothing of the resurgence of her grief for Nell. I do hope that as she recovers her physical and mental strength, Hilda will take her Superior's words to heart, and that meantime she will follow the advice to "carpe diem" and not try to worry about what the future holds. This isn't the time or the place for that.

Mary, are you really planning to make this "the end?" You have taught us so much in the course of the saga, and I'm sure we have more to learn from it.  I know Hilda will benefit from a peaceful interlude of recuperation which she so desperately needs, but I really hope that there's more to come - please?  Meantime, thank you so much for the 12 years of it - I know it's been a huge undertaking. 

Here endeth yet another essay!!! 

Author's Response: No, Elder, I could hardly leave you all there, on the horns of a dilemma, could I now? *winks* I do sometimes feel it takes over my life, but then I still want to know what happens next after I've posted a chapter - because I have no idea what Hilda will spring on me from one day to the next - as witness her upset today, which came at me out of the blue. Thank you so much for the *essay*, as always. Will Meg settle down? Will the others let her? I have no idea! Is Hilda wise to have a small dinner party? She'll rest more easily after, knowing she's done what she could, and can then rest the following day. As for Hilda? It may take until they leave school for her fears to be sortes, but then what happens in the holidays when she was going to be inducted by MA so to speak? Hmm, too many questions for me to just disappear, wouldn't you say????

Reviewer: Lynne Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 17 Mar 2017 6:25 pm Title: Chapter 19 - Water Pooling in Darkness

please don't stop writing this Mary, it's just my favourite thing to read x

Author's Response: Thanks for that compliment, Lynne, and to know you're continuing to read and enjoy.

Reviewer: SueMc Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 17 Mar 2017 1:18 am Title: Chapter 18 - Come Dance With Me

Another lovely chapter. wonderful to see Hildas family all enjoying themselves and thanks to Vivien and Ellie everyone laughing. What lovely encouragement they all gave to Meg, knowing how apprehensive she must be!  Sister Patricia has really shown her talent in the wonderful presents she has  sent and no one has been forgotten. Ian and MA were so right to offer Meg their support when she goes back to class. Loved all the quotes in this chapter. 

Thankyou Mary.

Reviewer: SueMc Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 17 Mar 2017 12:31 am Title: Chapter 17 - Gathering Golden Moments

What a lovely chapter, To see how Meg has blossomed through her time at the convent was obviously a surprise to everyone but how kind and encouraging they were to her. MA also saw how Hilda works  and the love and rapport she and Ian have. It showed how seeing someone you know well in their own environment can show you things you didn't realise about them. 

     Thankyou for reminding me of Michel Quoists wonderful prayers which I was introduced  to many years ago and haven't read for awhile I will look at them again. I also loved the Oscar Wilde quote Thankyou Mary.

Reviewer: AnneM Signed [Report This]
Date: 09 Mar 2017 6:45 pm Title: Chapter 18 - Come Dance With Me

Meg, Jeanne and Ellie - what a trio they will make next year in the Upper Sixth. Trust Hilda to spot Ellie's and Vivien's upcoming shenanigans! I loved the way her distraction as she watched them confused MA. "Friendship is a sheltering tree" - such a great way of describing it. Thank you, Mary, for all you give us to think about.

Author's Response: Thanks, Anne, for saying I give you something to think about. I hope I don't make it too hard for you.

Reviewer: Elaineb Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 08 Mar 2017 9:25 pm Title: Chapter 18 - Come Dance With Me

Somehow Meg reminds me of two stray cats I knew; the first one, when she came to her new home, seemed to spend the first few months trying to work out what she was "allowed" to do, desperately trying not to do the wrong thing in case this lovely new life was snatched away from her (culminating in her bringing a dead mouse in and putting it under the Christmas tree twelve months after she first came into the family!). The second one had had a pretty hard life, despite being a pedigree, and just had no idea how to play; it took a lot of time and love to persuade him that he was allowed to have toys...

Meg's bewilderment over the teasing, and her confusion when Ian talks about her teasing him in the snow, show how much she is still affected by her childhood, but the way she "insinuates" herself into a seat next to Ian shows how far she has come in learning to love...

And the way Hilda supports her, but makes her face the moment she has feared - and then Meg's friends gather round her to support her when Hilda can't - friendship is indeed a sheltering tree for Meg.


I hate having to wait for updates on this, but they are always so much worth waiting for!

Author's Response: Sorry you have to wait for updates, Elaine, but several thousand words take a lot of writing and thinking about - and constant editing, before I'm happy with it, even if others aren't! Oh, but I did love your comparing Meg with the two stray cats you knew. Very descriptive and apposite! Thank you for taking the time to read and review.

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed [Report This]
Date: 08 Mar 2017 8:52 pm Title: Chapter 18 - Come Dance With Me

Ah! Team Hilda gather with reinforcements in the shape of MA - fabulous! Good to see so many people shining and to see that Hilda still has her finger on the pulse. MA and Ian have a joint project to help Meg back into the company of her peers - how she has metamorphosed and is starting to become the person she is meant to be. Plus Matey gets a taste of her future domestic life, filled with magic tricks :-D Cracking quotation to wind up with too, thank you , Mary.


Author's Response: Glad you liked the quotation, Blueskye. Hope you'll also like the blessing in the next chapter, when it drops in. Thanks for reviewing.

Reviewer: ivohenry Signed [Report This]
Date: 08 Mar 2017 4:13 pm Title: Chapter 18 - Come Dance With Me

Nice to see how much Meg has achieved at the convent - as well as personal development she has found out that historical research can be fun, so this will be useful in class, especially as by inference she'll learn that most lessons can be really interesting.

It's good to see also that Kate is appreciating Patricia more as she sees what beautiful work she can do, and how teaching it to others can help them, particularly in the healing process.

Look forward to hearing how Meg reacts when she hears about her father - and that he wants her to make her home with him and her grandfather. She may find it easier to get on with the latter as she'll have no bad memories there.

Do hope now Hilda can rest - at least physically, and gain strenght for the  visit to Boston.


Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing, ivohenry, and seeing how each character is reacting. You'll have to wait for the next chapter to see whether Hilda rests, and why she's unable to nap. Mother's in for an unexpected shock where Hilda's concerned.

Reviewer: PaulineS Signed [Report This]
Date: 07 Mar 2017 11:36 pm Title: Chapter 18 - Come Dance With Me

The words of this song came to me as I read the poem by Hafiz. It is a twentieth century one by  Sydney Carter   ( I have just included the first verse, part of the last verse and the chorus)

I danced in the morning when the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth:
At Bethlehem I had my birth.

I am the life that'll never, never die.
I'll live in you if you'll live in me:
I am the Lord of the dance, said he.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the dance, said he,
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I'll lead you all in the dance, said he.


I hope Meg can learn to dance alongside God.  If she appears to her class as changed in personality as she has been this afternoon I am sure more of her peers will be ready to accept her.  It will still be difficult and not easy at times, but her new found love of music and study together  with Ellie and Jeanne's friendship should be a support.

The tea party was wonderful and has already been commented on so I have chosen to comment on the final paragraphs,  Thank you Mary



Author's Response: Gosh, 'Lord of the Dance' was as much a part of my youth as was 'Prayers of Life'. Things were changing then for young people and we were looking for a new voice in our faith, a new and more informal way of listening and loving. Thanks, Pauline.

Reviewer: Seven Signed [Report This]
Date: 07 Mar 2017 11:14 pm Title: Chapter 18 - Come Dance With Me

What a wonderful welcome Meg is getting from everyone and Hilda is the one orchestrating it all.  MA is also contributing by showing off the work Meg did at the convent.  Although Meg is still very scared to face her form, having Ellie and Jeanne with her will give her courage and MA and Ian are adding to the help.   The tea was amazing and laced with Vivien's humour and Ellie's help was a great success.   I love the pictures Patricia did for them.

In all the fun it's MA who sees how pale and thin Hilda is and sees too the anxiety and depression that are there.  Not surprising after coming back from the dead.  And the problems that were in school before her collapse are still there and needing to be solved.  Hopefully, MA will be able to help Hilda through this while supporting Ellie and Meg too.  

Author's Response: I'm afraid Mother is in for a shock when she finds out the why of Hilda's darkness! Thanks for all the comments on the folk at that tea party. They seemed to enjoy it!

Reviewer: Celia Signed [Report This]
Date: 07 Mar 2017 9:28 pm Title: Chapter 17 - Gathering Golden Moments

This chapter shows so beautifully how much Meg has grown and matured whilst at the convent, and MA sees the same massive growth in Ellie since she has been at the school. If they go on as they grow they will become, without doubt, old girls of whom the school may be very proud.  MA also sees how much Hilda and Ian support and cheer each other, and can wonder at how, despite still being very frail, Hilda helps and supports everyone around her.    It will be a great delight for Hilda to have MA's company for the week and hopefully she will leave knowing that Hilda is fit to make the journey to Boston.  Such lovely characterisation Mary, thank you. 

Reviewer: Elder in Ontario Signed [Report This]
Date: 07 Mar 2017 8:47 pm Title: Chapter 18 - Come Dance With Me

A lovely interlude to help ease Meg into her return and welcome MA's surprise arrival along with her.  Vivien and Ellie's conjuring tricks clearly provided just as much enjoyment as the lavish tea which Karen had provided.

I'm sure Meg, and Jeanne when she arrived, must have felt somewhat bewildered at first by the loving camaraderie between Ellie and all the adults, but at the same time it must really help Meg to feel that here are people who accept her and are willing to help her, encourage her and yes, love her, to say nothing of offering her their wholehearted approbation for the way she has seized the opportunities she has been offered since she confessed to stealing Ellie's photos.  Naturally it is Hilda's approbation which means the most to her, but it's clear that she is very happy to feel part of this group.  She is so proud to bring the various gifts from Sister Patricia to them all, as well as to show Hilda the work she has done while she has been at the Convent.  (I must admit I've often wondered how Hilda Annersley would have fared had she indeed been the Abbess Hilda who ran the Synod of Whitby - time slip drabble for you, perhaps, Mary???)  Yes, Meg still has to face the challenge of meeting the rest of her class again, but while Hilda herself can't physically help her there, I'm sure the presence of both MA and Ian, as well as the support of Ellie and Jeanne will help, and I'm sure MA's own words will do so as well.  

Meantime, MA herself is in no doubt about how much she can help Hilda over the next few days, all without insisting that she do nothing at all, which is what Jack would prefer her to be doing!   She can readily see the importance of allowing Hilda to keep her mind exercised even as she rests her body. introducing Meg to the idea that after all these years, her father really does want to be part of his life and to atone for his previous neglect will be a formidable task, and I'm sure the girl will take comfort in knowing that both Hilda and MA are there to help her come to grips with this.  And the problem of Kathie won't go away, will it?  Nor will the many day-to-day issues involved in running the school when it's still two teachers short; Hilda can discuss things with Nancy and offer suggestions, all without physically setting foot in the school. She will rest much more easily for being able do these things while her body regains at least some of its strength and at the same time, drawing mental strength from the presence of her Mother - I do hope the latter is able to draw out the root of the anxiety, almost depression that she has already spotted in her daughter, she is certainly the only one likely to do so.  

Thank you, Mary - I look forward to the next chapter in due course.

Author's Response: Oh dear, Elder, you might now be so happy to see it when you find out the why of Hilda's depression. It gave me a shock! Had to laugh at you bringing in the Synod of Whitby and wondering how our Hilda would have got on there. No, my dear! No time-slip drabble for that, I'm afraid, seeing as there's already a Fidelma one about it. My Unholy Trinity one will have to suffice! I suppose one could say she would have acted as she did in Trinity. *winks* Loved reading what you wrote about every part of this chapter, nothing left out, bless you! I'm hoping, along with everyone else, that Meg will now settle down and reap the benefit of all her hard work. As for the Kathie problem, Hilda ends up doing something about that, too, in either the next chapter or the one following, depending on howl ong I make the next one. Thanks, Elder.

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