Reviewer: Seven Signed [Report This]
Date: 19 Oct 2017 10:05 pm Title: Chapter 29 - The Partner of Her Loneliness

I've just caught up with the last two updates and so much has happened.  Hilda will never be convinced that she is everything that MA says she is.  I just hope she survives the meeting though knowing her iron self control, she will!  Beautiful quote from Rilke.

Reviewer: Sarah Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 19 Oct 2017 2:30 pm Title: Chapter 29 - The Partner of Her Loneliness

Amazing! Xx

Reviewer: Elder in Ontario Signed [Report This]
Date: 19 Oct 2017 2:02 am Title: Chapter 29 - The Partner of Her Loneliness

It's lovely to see Hilda and MA with time to talk at leisure, for a while at least.  I wonder just how many of Hilda's current doubts and fears are partly the after-effect of her serious physical illness and brush with death, (don't we all know what post-flu depression can feel like?)  as well as the effect of all that has happened in these few short months since Nell's death. Yet even in her weakened state, she can still see the good which has also come her way in those months.  Her ever-growing reliance on God and her belief that in the end He will show her the way forward puts me in mind of the Quaker belief that "Way will open."  

Interspersed with all this introspection, we can see that Hilda, even though she's horrified by her physically weakened state, is showing us very clearly that her pulse remains firmly on matters, even if it's only in fits and starts. I was torn between shock at the idea of 11-year old Emilie indulging in a tantrum worthy of someone half her age and admiration that Hilda could see just why she did it, to say nothing of Emilie's own comment that if she'd been able to talk to Hilda, she wouldn't have behaved in the way she did, because Hilda would have understood her upset!  There were times when Nancy's account of the affair had me giggling, even though Emilie's behaviour was utterly inexcusable. 

Meantime there are still fences to mend, and trust to be regained for so many people; we can only wait on events and see what happens.  But Rilke's words, quoted by Vivien in her card are indeed "a beautiful summing up" of all [Hilda] is.

Thank you, Mary.

Reviewer: PaulineS Signed [Report This]
Date: 18 Oct 2017 11:32 pm Title: Chapter 29 - The Partner of Her Loneliness

The quotations fit Hilda so well. Pleased the men sent her flowers.

Hilda is still needed by her pupils in unexpected ways.  I hope she can calm Emilie and help Marie to enjoy her skiing 

Reviewer: shesings Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 18 Oct 2017 7:57 pm Title: Chapter 29 - The Partner of Her Loneliness

That was just so beautiful and moving. So much goodness, so much strength in these wmen. Thank you!

Reviewer: Rosemarie Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 11 Oct 2017 3:41 pm Title: Chapter 28 - Love and Trust Nestle in Friendship

I always love the intimate conversations between Hilda and Kate.  This chapter is full of the gentle chat of people who care deeply for each other. Even Jack is so shaken by Hilda's miraculous recovery and his own dream that he fits in with the mood. There are also some more quotes to enjoy.  Thank you Mary.

Author's Response: Thanks, Rosemarie. Am very appreciative that you enjoy listening in on Hilda and MA, rather than needing more excitement. Also, that you still enjoy the quotations.

Reviewer: AnneM Signed [Report This]
Date: 10 Oct 2017 12:32 pm Title: Chapter 28 - Love and Trust Nestle in Friendship

Lovely, Mary, thank you. MA is very wise to allow her nuns to have hose little touches of their previous lives. I think she would also be wise not to throw away that sledge-hammer of hers!

Author's Response: Oh, you should always listen to Hilda, Anne! *winks* She usually means exactly what she says. Thank you for reviewing.

Reviewer: AilidhNoor Signed [Report This]
Date: 08 Oct 2017 11:34 pm Title: Chapter 28 - Love and Trust Nestle in Friendship

Ah, the mystery of the film star bathroom is revealed. It is hard to imagine anyone having a cold bath in those surroundings - clearly those rules only apply to the girls.

I'm glad Hilda has cleared the air with Gwyneth, they have known each other too long to be at odds or uncomfortable with each other. I can really feel Hilda's longing for the peace of the convent here.

Author's Response: *giggles* I thought I'd just add that little tidbit about the red bathroom, Ailidh, to show the ways these two women had fun with each other. And indeed, who on earth would have a cold bath if they didn't have to!! You're right, though. Hilda does indeed yearn for some peace at the moment, as she feels too frail to cope with al the stuff only she can do. Thank you so much for reviewing.

Reviewer: ivohenry Signed [Report This]
Date: 08 Oct 2017 6:12 pm Title: Chapter 28 - Love and Trust Nestle in Friendship

Lovely chapter, nice scenes with Matey and with Mother. Little by little  Hilda is regaining strength, but do wonder if she will be fit enough to go to Boston. Although she had planned to go in half term week, would it really matter if she left it for a week or two. The school is having to manage without her now while she is ill, so another week a bit later on should be possible. Would give Ellie more time to recover too. If they go now they will really need someone else with them, maybe Vivien could go too?

Do hope Kathie keeps thinking about what has happened and can make a big effort especially where Nancy is concerned


Mary, thanks for taking time and effort to type this while you are still in so much pain, do hope it will ease soon 




Author's Response: Thank you for the lovely review, ivohenry, but don't worry! I will make sure they go to Boston - if I have to pack for them myself! They'll cope! Thanks also for the good wishes, and I have to say that finally, after several months, the pain is finally beginning to ease so I can actually walk, even if I can't sit much yet! Kneeling to read by the bed at bedtime is very good for the soul, you know! *rolls eyes*

Reviewer: Clair Anonymous starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 08 Oct 2017 10:45 am Title: Chapter 28 - Love and Trust Nestle in Friendship

What a blessing Jack is for Hilda, his own character has altered and now that he's doing things to help Hilda as a friend rather than as the overbearing doctor their friendship has deepened quite dramatically without either of them fully realising it. The real love and concern bound up in friendship and compassion is lovely to see. Helen's guiding hand behind the acceptance of limitations from both Jack and Hilda is helping that forward too.

Madge must be so worried for Hilda, I hope they do get to have a chat soon to give reassurances on both sides to ease some of those concerns.

Those beautiful bedjackets offered some much needed levity to the morning, Hilda needs to laugh and find humour in things to balance her more reflective, sober thoughts. 

Maybe Hilda's right in that Kathie needed to fall as far as was possinle in order to accept that there was much to learn about being the best person she could posiibly be. The others having their own lessons to learn may well come out in the future as they will surely all discuss things with each other as they try to move forward and find ways to work with Kathie again. Even Ellie being hurt again did mean she was with Hilda in San when she most needed to be so who knows what plans were fulfilled by Kathie's actions.

MA is so good for Hilda and I love her common sense attitude to the idea that each of the nuns has that one memento of their lives before the convent to aid that transition. Typical of Nell to have redecorated that lovely bathroom to add her own personality to it as well as Hilda's - even in such a thing as that their partnership, friendship and very different personalities blended perfectly.


Thanks Mary 

Author's Response: Clair, thank you so much for the two reviews - and such long ones - when I know you are very, very busy. Oh, yes, MA is so good for Hilda, and indeed Hilda is good for MA, as the latter freely admits, but the nun knows how to stamp on Hilda when she tried to do too much, or feels guilty about something. I'm not sure that Jack's character has altered so much, as that he's beginning to accept that women are quite sensible really - as he knows deep down when he recalls how Hilda calmed him down about this baby he really doesn't want. That dream also had a big effect on him. I've always had a soft spot for Jack, as I have for Helen, who seems to know how to control her boss beautifully. As to the bathroom, you took it a step further even than I did, saying that even such a small matter their personalities blended perfectly. Thak you, Clair.

Reviewer: Clair Anonymous starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 08 Oct 2017 10:13 am Title: Chapter 27 - Take Partners, Dance Forgiveness

Kathie finally seems to be thinking about others rather than just herself and actually questioning her own actions. She has so far to go before being able to really move forward, so much to accept about her own character and much humility to find to be able to accept and request the help she so badly needs. 

I suspect that Nancy's use of the term 'we' through the conversation is as heads as opposed to as a couple, will Kathie understand that nuance I wonder and realise that there is no certainty about their personal relationship. It does appear to be slowly dawning on her so let's hope she is careful not to go too fast in that area.

What a wonderful moment between Ellie and Gwynneth so filled with love, compassion and humour on both sides. They have found something very special as well as very open and honest and will be well placed to help each other once that family home is set up and Hilda enters the convent.

Meg is so changed and so brave in facing those girls who were being so horrible to her, although she does now have a knowledge of how she made Ellie feel and that will be a guard against that behaviour for the rest of her life. Her own compassion and forgiveness should help Barbara and Sara to aslo move forward and for the form to finally be united as they finish their schooldays.

So much in this chapter that I've written an essay - thanks Mary for still writing even in such pain. Please continue to feel better and apply some of MA's advice about rest to yourself as well as Hilda! 

Author's Response: I don't mind you writing an essay at all, Clair - or indeed, two essays, as you have done. *grins* I'm so glad you liked that little episode with Matey and Ellie, as it bodes so well for their future lives together. As for Kathie - we'll see. She has such a lot to make up for, and Nancy has been so badly hurt that I fear for their relationship. Will it change? I have no idea, as they haven't told me yet. Thanks so much for picking up on all the little details, as you always do.

Reviewer: shesings Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 05 Oct 2017 11:50 pm Title: Chapter 28 - Love and Trust Nestle in Friendship

That passage with Matey was so loving and tender. Another lovely episode.

Author's Response: Thank you, shesings, both for reading and being so encouraging.

Reviewer: PaulineS Signed [Report This]
Date: 05 Oct 2017 9:04 pm Title: Chapter 28 - Love and Trust Nestle in Friendship

Thank you Mary.  Good that Gwynneth could share her conversation with Ellie to both MA and Hilda.  Jack was lovely here and pleased he shared information with Madge and Jem's.

Author's Response: Thank you, Pauline. Yes, Jack has indeed learned a lot these past few days, hasn't he? I think, actually, he's still stunned by the miracle that brought Hilda back to life. It's turned him inside out as he tries to get his head round it. And perhaps he doesn't dare order around someone who has been so blessed by God. *grins*

Reviewer: Elder in Ontario Signed [Report This]
Date: 04 Oct 2017 10:57 pm Title: Chapter 28 - Love and Trust Nestle in Friendship

Jack's attitude this morning is such a contrast to his usual one - clearly he has seen Helen's point that Hilda needs to occupy her brain while her body recuperates, so will allow her to carry out the plans she has been making, especially when he realises that she will give up on things if she really feels too tired - which is quite a change for her, too, isn't it?  A very good thing that she and Gwynneth have that conversation - it's important for both of them.  But one can see how much Hilda's admission that she may not have been ready to hear the truth behind Kathie's behavious before now startles both MA and Gwynneth - although we can see the logic behind it when she explains her reasoning. 

I love the gentle way that MA is reassuring Hilda how many of her possessions will in the end find a home at the convent - as some of her own have done already.  She's right, of course, despite the 'official' rule that demands the renunciation of all worldy goods: once each nun 'enters', the convent does indeed become her home, so it's important for Hilda to feel that there are familiar items about the place, even if not on obvious display.  Also enjoyed MA's obvious non-enjoyment of her 'continental' breakfast, apart from the coffee!!!

All in all, a very peaceful, quiet chapter - just right for a convalescent - and yet so many issues are settled in the course of it.   Thank you, Mary.


Author's Response: Thank so much for your usual *essay*, Elder. *grins* And for seeing that the chapter was peaceful and quiet, as was my aim. Too many things have happened recently, alarming things, and I want to keep life simple and quiet for the next few chapters. You mention Jack's attitude, so go and see what I said about him - very tongue in cheek, mind - in Pauline's review. I really think that miracle, and his own ensuing dream, shook him rigid, and he's still pondering them and Hilda. As for the treasured objects that Mother allows in the convent for her sisters, I'm not sure she would get away with it, without someone like Sister Catherine in charge - but to me, it makes perfect sense - and probably have me court-martialled in my own church!!!!!

Reviewer: Karen Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 04 Oct 2017 10:38 pm Title: Chapter 1: - And Light Is A Way

Thank you for posting two updates close together - I always love reading them and have now had to go back to the beginning to reread everything!

Author's Response: What a lovely thing to say, Karen. Thank you for reading ND and for reviewing.

Reviewer: Karita Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 01 Oct 2017 7:08 pm Title: Chapter 27 - Take Partners, Dance Forgiveness

Aww, what a lovely update! While you were away I read the whole thing again for the first time. :) I had a bad day and asked God to lend me his smile and he did. So never think it's too long or too boring - it isn't!

Author's Response: Karita, thank you so much for the review, and may I congratulate you on your stamina in re-reading the lot! I'm touched that you copied Hilda and asked God to lend you His smile, and even more touched that He did so, and that helped you.

Reviewer: Bobcat Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 27 Sep 2017 10:11 pm Title: Chapter 27 - Take Partners, Dance Forgiveness

I love the relationship between Matey and Ellie; Ellie has completely wormed her way into Matey's heart and found her sense of fun.

And how brave was Meg with her form? The week at the convent has done a lot to reverse her low self-esteem and shame. The relationship she has with Ellie is an interesting one; it's slightly uneasy, but their similar experiences bring them together in understanding each other. Hilda's influence on Ellie is all too evident here.

I do feel for Nancy - I think she will probably be able to forgive Kathie for hurting her, but I'm not sure she'll be able to forgive Kathie for hurting Hilda so badly.

Thank you for posting Mary, especially with all the health issues you're having at the moment.



Author's Response: Sorry I haven't responded sooner to your review, Bobcat, but things have been hard since Turs so haven't opened up laptop. Thanks so much for this lovely review, and am so glad you like the love between Matey and Ellie. After all, if they're going to live together when they leave... *grins* You're right about Ellie and Meg - there is that unease, which is totally natural, but Ellie means every word and really wants Meg to be accepted. Nancy is the one who may have the problems. As you saw in this chapter, she's very unsure of her feelings, and I see trouble ahead.

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed [Report This]
Date: 26 Sep 2017 11:17 pm Title: Chapter 27 - Take Partners, Dance Forgiveness

Lovely, Mary, thank you so much for posting at such a difficult time.  Well done, Meg for apologising again - My fingers were itching and I wanted to slap Barbara to be honest!! 

Nancy and Kathie face a long haul back, well back probably isn't an option, they will hopefully find a way forward now.

Great to see Ellie taking on Hilda's mantle.

Thanks again, Mary, and I do hope you find a resolution to your problems x

Author's Response: Thank you, Blueskye. Yes, Meg needed Ellie, didn't she, because of those who find it hard to forgive? But that was a huge effort for Ellie, so I hope she too has learned something from it. I just never know what that girl's going to do next. She writes her own scripts, especially that little scene with Matey. I'm just along for the ride! *grins* As for Kathie, yes, it will be a long haul, for no one changes overnight, and there were too many hurt, including Nancy. But, as you say, let's hope it's forward and not back.

Reviewer: Seven Signed [Report This]
Date: 26 Sep 2017 5:25 pm Title: Chapter 27 - Take Partners, Dance Forgiveness

Wonderful update.  Meg was brave to apologise to everyone this time and how lovely that Barbara and Sara have finally recognised their own behaviour.  Hilda will be delighted with this outcome when Ruth Derwent tells her what happened?

Kathie has finally understood her behaviour for what it is and, hopefully, she will be able to make amends to those she has hurt.  Whether they will accept her apologies readily is another matter.  Nancy still loves Kathie  but forgiveness for all the problems she has caused may take her some time.  

I hope Hilda gets a chance to recover now.

Author's Response: hank you so much, Seven, and you don't need to worry. Hilda will get enough rest to help her recovery. She has enough sense to know what's needed and she has two tartars on her back now! I think Kathie will find it hard work accepting she's not loved by everyone any more. Too much hurt for that. And all that pride and jealousy won't disappear overnight. No one changes that quickly. But she has MA and Hilda, if she will listen. As for Meg, her bravery knows now bounds, for all her fears, but it still needed Ellie to sort the girls out. For the same reason as Kathie - too much hurt. But Meg has learned h.r lesson well, and will lean on Ellie and Jeanne. Will Kathie do the same, or will she try to go it alone again?

Reviewer: cal562301 Anonymous starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 26 Sep 2017 2:02 pm Title: Chapter 27 - Take Partners, Dance Forgiveness

So good to see this back, Mary, although of course we forgive you if you're not able to post updates as frequently as before.


Words almost fail me. Some lovely scenes there. I was in tears by the end of the update.


Thanks so much.  Looking forward to more when you're able.



Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing, Cal, and thank you even more for the tears. A lovely compliment, if my characters can move you that much. I have to admit I was in tears myself at the way Ellie comforted Matey. I just never know what she's going to do next!

Reviewer: ivohenry Signed [Report This]
Date: 25 Sep 2017 5:01 pm Title: Chapter 27 - Take Partners, Dance Forgiveness

Kathie really does sound as though she is a changed person, do hope this is a new beginning for her. Nancy still seems to have a few doubts, think it will take a while before she believes and accepts the new Kathy. Their relationship will never be quite the same as before, but hopefully in time  it will be even better as they are totally honest with each other.


Thank you for continuing this, Mary, do hope you are able to find some relief to the dreadful pain soon 

Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing, ivohenry. Don't hope for too much from Kathie at first. Hopefully her trip to the convent with Mother will seal this grief at all she's done, but we must wait and see. It won't all be plain-sailing, by any means. Look at the difference in Meg, now she's already had that visit to the convent, but there too there may well still be problems. No one changes overnight, but Meg now has Ellie, who has made her feelings plain.

Reviewer: Rosemarie Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 25 Sep 2017 4:05 pm Title: Chapter 27 - Take Partners, Dance Forgiveness

I don't  know whether to rejoice that Kathie has at last accepted the error of her ways, or to follow Nancy and remain a bit doubtful.  The old Kathie had the strength of character to turn around, face her sins and, with help, start over again. Has this fallen, frailer Kathie still got that strength ?  There are still going to be staff and girls who will not want to risk trusting her again. How will her pride cope with them and the rejection she is bound to receive on the road to proving her sincerity.

I found Ellie profoundly moving both with Matey and with her peers. How much she has learnt from her guardian since Christmas, how well she is begining to know herself, and to read others. Hilda will be so proud when she hears what Ruth has to tell her.

Thank you Mary for producing this new chapter. I know it must have cost you dear. I for one certainly appreciate your effort, and hope you will soon be in less pain. 



Author's Response: Oh, I should rejoice that Kathie's come this far, Rosemarie, but accept that the way will not be easy and there will be setbacks. As you say, it's not just her, but all those she's hurt. Hopefully, MA will work on that pride, when she takes her way to the convent. After all, look at the result of her work with Meg - that wonderful apology, scared stiff as she was. I'm glad you noticed that little session of Ellie with Matey - which I hadn't anticipated. As I said somewhere else, she writes her own script, and boy, isn't it great? She really had to open herself up to get Barbara and a few others to accept Meg's apology, didn't she? I'll let you know how Hilda reacts to that news. Thank you so much for the sympathy re pain and writing, but planning it all and listening to my characters does take my mind off the pain - especially in bed. And thank you for the wonderful review.

Reviewer: Jenny Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 25 Sep 2017 1:34 pm Title: Chapter 27 - Take Partners, Dance Forgiveness

Wow Mary! This was worth the wait. Kathie appears to be properly repentant at last and Ellie has risen to the fore again in defence of Meg, baring her very soul to the class in order to do so. I hope you didn't suffer too much typing it up but I am very glad you manage it. A bright spot in a very dull morning!

Author's Response: Aw, thank you, Jenny! I do hope the morning wasn't too dull! How can it be dull when you're teaching, tell me? *giggles*I don't ever remember a dull day in my classroom! Too much going on! As to Kathie, yes, she's repentant, but be prepared for squalls still. One doesn't change overnight! Don't forget MA had to hammer away at Meg for a week to open her eyes - but haven't they been well and truly opened? Yes, she was helped by Ellie's openness there, but she was the one who gave that beautiful apology. Bless you, Jenny.

Reviewer: PaulineS Signed [Report This]
Date: 25 Sep 2017 12:43 am Title: Chapter 27 - Take Partners, Dance Forgiveness

Pleased Kathy and Nancy can talk politely to each other, hope the can regain at least their friendship.  Meg was lovely in her apology to the class and their response was to be expected, but Ellie's sharing of her experiences and Meg's really helped so that they all saw what they had to be thankful for in their own families and so start to understand and forgive Meg.

Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing, Pauline, and yes, they're now beginning to understand just what Meg's home life has been like and what she has missed out on. Ellie, too. I'm not saying all Meg's problems are now resolved, as we know they aren't, but, just like Ellie, she can now move forward.

Reviewer: Elder in Ontario Signed [Report This]
Date: 24 Sep 2017 10:44 pm Title: Chapter 27 - Take Partners, Dance Forgiveness

Well, we may have had to wait longer for this than we might have liked, Mary, but there's no doubt at all it was worth waiting for!!  I remember your comment in a previous section of this story that Kathie's jealousy would make things so much worse before they ever got better;  I just hope that at last we've reached the turning point.  

I'm glad to see that Kathie finally appears to have taken to heart all she has heard in the last while, most especially Hilda's words to her last night.  Time alone will tell whether she has it in her to persevere, listen to all Hilda and MA can tell her, and change her ways.  She may never be exactly the same Kathie as she was before the 'green eye of jealousy' had its way with her, but if she can show she is really learning, and that the lessons have gone more than skin deep, then there is hope for her. I also hope that if Nancy realises she really is in earnest, then the two of them can at least start to rebuild their relationship, which has suffered so badly, as has Nancy's trust, in all of this.

I loved the interlude between Ellie and Gwyneth and Ellie's gentle, but firm reassurance that Hilda has already forgiven Gwyneth, as she so freely forgave Ellie's own mis-steps in the past.  Also the teasing way the two spoke to each other as Ellie tried to grasp the inferences of two more mystifying English language figures of speech! 

Well done Meg, too, for being brave enough to face her class and ask their forgiveness once again.  Like Linda, I was brought up gasping by Mary and Ellie's words to the rest of their class, and the effect that Mary's had on Sara, and then Ellie's on Barbara.  Such gentle, firm words of support and explanation, yet enough to make Barbara see how wrong her previous attitude had been - and how much better that the sea change resulted from the words of one of her peers, and not from those of a mistress, or even from Hilda herself.   But I'm extremely glad that Ruth Derwent has heard it all, and will give Hilda a true and accurate report of what has happened, and how much Ellie is following in her guardian's footsteps.

Thank you, Mary - as always you've provided us with much food for thought.  I do hope that you can gain relief from this unremitting pain before much longer - it's so debilitating, and frustrating, too, when it stops you doing the things you would like to be doing.




Author's Response: Thank you do much for your usual loving review, Elder. I'm so glad you picked up on that little episode of teasing between Ellie and Matey over our strange figures of speech, and Ellie's comic attitude to them. She's made the discovery that teasing helps sad hearts, and has become her way of supporting them. As you say, Ellie's words to the form carry far more weight than a teacher's or even a nun's, as she's one of them, but also because she's suffered in much the same way as Meg, and they're now beginning to make the comparison with their own home-life and feel how lucky they've been. Ellie's never one to back out of a fight, is she? Like her guardian, she has courage galore. As for Kathie, I fear Nancy will find it hard to let her back into her heart, and perhaps even her life. To be so betrayed by someone you love is a horrific thing to happen. How do you pick up the pieces and continue? You certainly can't go back to what you were as a couple. I'm so glad I've given you room for thought, mon amie! Good for the brain. *giggles*

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