Reviewer: MaryR Signed [Report This]
Date: 22 Apr 2018 4:46 pm Title: Chapter 40 - The Kind of Stubborn That Loves Hard and Deep

This review was sent to me from Linda to post, as she can't access SDL at all:

"Another beautiful chapter Mary. Hilda's care for Vi was tangible. She's been badly hurt by Kathie, but Hilda's care, together with MA's loving promise to attend the funeral and take her to the convent for a quiet time afterwards will have provided a little balm for Vi's troubled heart.

The conversation with Gilles was very difficult for both Hilda and Gilles. But he needed to understand just what damage his wife is doing to both girls. With him on her side, Hilda has a chance of making a difference to the girls' future lives and happiness.

I do hope that MA's gentle massage will give Hilda some relief and let her get some rest before she has to prepare for the next invasion. Thank you Mary."

Reviewer: Clair Anonymous starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 18 Apr 2018 10:28 am Title: Chapter 40 - The Kind of Stubborn That Loves Hard and Deep

Hilda has hit the nail on the head, Kathie probably does feel this is all happening to someone else. So many of her comments and behaviours have been bewildering not only Hilda but Kathie too, as if she's standing outside of herself looking in with no control.

Hilda's acceptance that she might need that transfusion is typical, having had time to rest and see that she's used all the strength given thus far and needs a top up she can now face the idea more easily. Her weakness is apparent and she is limiting the things she needs to do, almost rationing her strength depending on the need.

It's good to see Gwynneth finding her own courage and being gentler with Hilda than her nature would suggest, it must be so hard for her to do even though she knows it's necessary. Her comment re 'do or die' was perfect to lighten the mood and give the three women a moment of levity.

Poor Vi, she must be exhausted and will benefit from a rest at the convent - there does seem to be a slight possibility it could coincide with Kathie's time there though which could be either very good or very bad depending on how Kathie's mood is on the day if it happens.

Yes, Nancy needs to be involved with the twins and they also need to see her involved and to know that she understands the situation for when Hilda goes otherwise Emilie might just try to go back again thinking Nancy won't see it, always assuming that Emilie moves on and starts to behave better in the first place.

As for Gilles, let's hope he is able to keep all of this from Sylvie until they arrive at the school. His heart is in the right place and he wants the best for the twins but he also loves his wife - what a mess to be entangled in for him. With luck his admiration for Hilda as well as that love for his family will keep him focused and able to wait before saying anything. Possibly Sylvie's best hope wold be if Emilie were to see how wrong she has been in treating Marie so badly and to ask for her mother's help to change although that's unlikely with Emilie being so young.

Now let Hilda get some rest before the next hurdle.

Thanks Mary

Reviewer: Clair Anonymous starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 18 Apr 2018 9:47 am Title: Chapter 39 - The Chains of Forlorn Resentment

Somehow every time Kathie is left to sleep on things it makes her worse and even more stubborn and self absorbed. I do wonder whether the home voices are still the strongest in her head when she's alone telling her how to be and counteracting all the good done by Hilda.

I can understand her upset at thinking that Ellie might overhear and at knowing that Hilda has told MA everything, none of us like things we have said in confidence passed on even when for our own good but I hope she can come to realise that MA needed those details.

I am starting to wonder if maybe Kathie is simply in the wrong school, not because of her jealousy and wrong doing which could have happened anywhere but because she has little or no faith so the ethos and automatic trust may well be beyond her no matter what help she receives. If she is unable to take that on board then she will never find it easy to be a Head there, with or without the forgiveness of others.

MA's hardness is more likely to help as it takes Kathie to task through the people that Kathie has hurt more than through God, something Kathie is more able to understand. Her acceptance of help coming after hearing MA's story shows that, Kathie can take heed of those who's story touches her rather than through a faith she doesn't have herself.

I'm pleased that Kathie has agreed that she needs the convent and will go, although I am concerned that she's doing it more with some kind of hope that it will help her with Nancy than anything else. Her love for Nancy could be the saving of her, if she continues to hold Nancy up as something to aspire to yet not to worship but truly emulate then she might pull through. I do like MA's insistence on mentioning the old Kathie every so often, reminding Kathie how far she has fallen and how far she needs to climb if she's to not only get back to that but go higher still.

Thanks Mary

Reviewer: AnneM Signed [Report This]
Date: 17 Apr 2018 12:35 pm Title: Chapter 40 - The Kind of Stubborn That Loves Hard and Deep

I had to go back and read the earlier chapters about the twins. It's very hard for both of them but perhaps, if everyone manages to heed Hilda's advice and stay firm - for a long time - this will be a turning point. I do hope so. I'm still dithering as to whether it was wise for Hilda to go against her first instinct and tell Gilles what had happened. It does seem a bit dishonest, as Hilda herself said, but maybe it will be easier to deal with Sylvie with Gilles already in the know and therefore better placed to restrain her if she does initially react by wanting to take them both away. But maybe we are underestimating her . . . Looking forward to finding out, though there is much to happen before then! Thank you, Mary.

Reviewer: Rosemarie Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 13 Apr 2018 1:05 am Title: Chapter 40 - The Kind of Stubborn That Loves Hard and Deep

Thank you Mary, MA is certainly learning a lot whilst observing Hilda at work.

Reviewer: ivohenry Signed [Report This]
Date: 12 Apr 2018 12:45 am Title: Chapter 40 - The Kind of Stubborn That Loves Hard and Deep

So glad you managed to find a way to post this, Mary

Great conversation with Gilles, think he's been vaguely aware of Sylvie's preference for Emilie without seeing how much harm it's doing, now he understands more fully, hopefully he'll be able to make her see what a mistake she is making. I'm sure when they get to see Hilda she'll be direct about the situation and at least begin to get through to Sylvie, then it's Gilles' job to carry on the task, and to help her make amends to Marie and cnvince Emilie to be fair to her twin - and grow up a little! 

Now she has to talk to Meg...

Reviewer: PaulineS Signed [Report This]
Date: 11 Apr 2018 9:40 pm Title: Chapter 40 - The Kind of Stubborn That Loves Hard and Deep

Hilda is going to need more than a straight transfusion, if I was Jack I would be thinking Packed cells would be more help.  Twice the number of red cells without the extra fluid.  Vi is certainly in need of prayers, I wonder what her sister-in-law is frightened off, that she cannot share her husband with his mother.  Andrew's children may also like to visit their grandmother and should not be prevented from seeing her.

the twins certainly need their mother to change her approach.



Reviewer: Elder in Ontario Signed [Report This]
Date: 11 Apr 2018 8:50 pm Title: Chapter 40 - The Kind of Stubborn That Loves Hard and Deep

I'm sure both MA and Hilda must be wondering if either of them is really getting through to Kathie at this point, while Kathie herself is, in some ways, behaving as if she is no older than Emilie!  At least she has agreed to go to the Convent, so here's hoping that MA and her nuns will be able to help her finally see the error of her ways.  

I loved Hilda's talk with Vi - so much understanding, affection and encouragement there.  Vi must really have been bowled over at being comforted by two Abbesses, but there's no doubt she will appreciate that time at the Convent when it happens, and draw comfort from MA's presence at her mother's funeral too, in due course.  A shame Vi's sister-in-law is being so obstructive and not letting her husband visit his mother - it's defiitely to be hoped that she changes her attitude, or, like Hilda, I could quite see future trouble there.  

How on earth did Hilda manage that very difficult conversation with Gilles, when she's clearly feeling so rotten herself?  She must truly have trusted in God's strength to sustain her, as she does so often.  We know that Gilles is already aware that Sylvie's behaviour towards the twins is at the root of much of the trouble, but there's no doubt he fully understands that on this occasion, Emilie's behaviour was so far beyond the Pale that Hilda's warning of possible expulsion as a consequence of any future similar behaviour was entirely justified.  I know he will be ready to discuss matters rationally, when he and Sylviea arrive at the school; I just hope that Sylvie, too, will be able to do so,  Meantime, Gilles remains completely in awe of Hilda's treatment of his daughters and how readily she reads them.  I"m sure he will also draw comfort from the idea of both girls benefitting from talks with MA, too, given the perspective of her own twin-ship.  

I hope that in the forty five minutes before Meg's appearance, Hilda is able to rest and to recoup her strength, even minimally, for what lies ahead.  And if she still needs that overnight blood transfusion, then so be it - we know that she has now accepted the idea, but at one level, it's a shame this couldn't happen at school rather than her having to return to the San.

Thank you, Mary, not only for giving us so much food for thought but also for persevering and managing to post despite the technological gltiches!  

Reviewer: Sarah Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 11 Apr 2018 5:45 pm Title: Chapter 40 - The Kind of Stubborn That Loves Hard and Deep

amazing! xx

Reviewer: Karita Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 05 Apr 2018 10:13 am Title: Chapter 39 - The Chains of Forlorn Resentment

This time I read through it and wrote down lots of your quotes and prayers. :-)

Author's Response: Goodness, Karita! I do hope they help.

Reviewer: Linda Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 03 Apr 2018 9:34 pm Title: Chapter 39 - The Chains of Forlorn Resentment

Oh, Kathie, Kathie, just when I think you may have woken up to how dreadful your behaviour has been, then you go and throw another tantrum! MA really had a difficult task here and it does seem that Kathie has now accepted that she does need to go to the convent, but I still don't really feel that she has accepted that all her current difficulties are of her own making and that she needs to lose the dreadful pride which has consumed her very being before she can begin to rebuild relationships with any of the staff, never mind getting back the relationship with Nancy. I just hope that she can find the understanding she needs at the convent.

I loved the quotations from "Calvary Love", Mary, I've not come across this before. It does make one think.

Thank you Mary, for this chapter which I am sure was not easy to write. Fingers crossed that Kathie is waking up to see how low she has sunk and to accept help to begin to climb back.

Author's Response: No, Linda, it certainly wasn't easy, but Kathie and MA are tough nuts to crack. I just hope everyone felt it was worth the effort! I'm pleased people enjoyed that Calvary Love extract, because seeing something in a new light helps us, doesn't it, and that piece sort of turns Paul's words about love on their head, yet says exactly the same thing - that love is all that matters. Fingers crossed, indeed, for poor Kathie!

Reviewer: Linda Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 03 Apr 2018 8:34 pm Title: Chapter 1: - And Light Is A Way

At long last, I'm catching up on the latest chapters Mary.

I really enjoyed the loving conversation between MA and Ellie. Their thoughts on love and forgiveness, so gently expressed have a message for us all. It was very brave of MA to share her story with Ellie and demonstrates how much trust she had in both Ellie's ability to understand and also her awareness that what is talked about whilst she is with MA, Hilda and the other adults is not to be repeated to her friends. MA's openness is helping to broaden Ellie's understanding of the how difficult everyone finds forgiveness of those who have hurt us so deeply.

Thank you Mary.

Author's Response: No, thank you, Linda! I do think opening up about our own problems and griefs can help others come to terms with their own and absorb the fact that everyone is in the same boat, suffering and bleeding, no matter how happy they seem. It's lovely to see MA finally reaping the rewards of trying to help Ellie when she first arrived, and unable to accept any help offered. She's now learning to trust, not just Hilda, but all those who love her and enjoy her company.

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed [Report This]
Date: 31 Mar 2018 8:28 pm Title: Chapter 39 - The Chains of Forlorn Resentment

Well done to MA for keeping her patience, but how changeable Kathy is, let's hope that being away from school in the convent will help. Thanks, Mary! 

Author's Response: Thank you.

Reviewer: Jenny Signed [Report This]
Date: 27 Mar 2018 4:32 pm Title: Chapter 39 - The Chains of Forlorn Resentment

Lovely chapter Mary. I love the concept of Calvary love, though I think it something that many of us find hard to practice and show. No 'quick fix' for Kathie! She is having a real old struggle with the Devil, isn't she? And her attitudes make it so easy for him to creep in and feed her resentment and bitterness. But how great will be the victory if she manages to overcome him through her strength of character and the help she is being offered. Mother is so acute in her observations and gives no quarter - but then why should she? She has watched Hilda and Ellie - two people she loves and admires - be hurt so badly by Kathie's behaviour and words. I have to say that in Kathie's situation the temptation to just run away would be very great! But let's hope she sticks with it as it may be the making of her character. Thanks Mary xxx

Author's Response: What a wonderful dissection of poor Kathie's reactions, Jenny! Bless you, and you're right in that MA most definitely won't give any quarter after the hurt dealt out to Hilda and Ellie - and she doesn't have Hilda's great gentleness and forbearance, either. But ten, how many of us do? Don't worry, Kathie won't run away, but she's a determined lassie, as I've discovered to my cost. I'm so pleased you liked the Calvary Love concept, though it was something I only discovered recently, quite by chance. Thank you for reviewing.

Reviewer: Bobcat Signed [Report This]
Date: 26 Mar 2018 9:55 pm Title: Chapter 39 - The Chains of Forlorn Resentment

Gosh..... I think MA needs a stiff drink after that discussion. Well done to her for keeping her temper though, in spite of wanting to shake / slap Kathie! I think I'd have done the same. She's learnt well from Hilda though; gentle patience and persistence can get you a lot further than butting heads with someone.

But oh....poor Kathie.... (and yes, I do feel a bit sorry for her). There's some massivel internal war going on there, and I'm not sure she knows which way is up half the time; vacillating between wanting to be the friendly, sparky Kathie she used to be, and being eaten up with jealousy, resentment and goodness knows what. It's not a good place to be, and she probably hates herself for it, but at the same time feels she's justified in it somehow.

It reminds me of the verse 'Where your treaure is, there your heart is also'. Kathie's treasure (and heart) are both turned inwards on herself, with the resulting actions and bad behaviour. I really hope she accepts MA's help and that of the other sisters at the convent, and that the loving atmosphere of the place has an affect on her.

Thank you Mary - i've been looking forward to this encounter for ages, and it was definitely worth the wait!

Author's Response: Oh, goodness, Bobcat, I'm so glad MA, Kathie and I didn't disappoint you! *grins* Thank you! You're right! Kathie has no idea what she should be thinking, so mired is she still in her resentment, jealousy and pride. I'm just hoping she'll do a Meg at the convent and suddenly give in and find peace, for Hilda's sake. Hilda has been so patient and kind with her, so gracious and forgiving, but it hasn't really penetrated below the surface yet. It may...

Reviewer: Seven Signed [Report This]
Date: 26 Mar 2018 6:12 pm Title: Chapter 39 - The Chains of Forlorn Resentment

MA is developing the same patience that Hilda has because I'm amazed she didn't throttle Kathie for still not seeing what her behaviour has done to others.

By the end of her  talk though, MA has begun to get through so I hope when they see Nancy that Kathie does not revert to her nasty remarks.  Hopefully, her time at the convent will bear much fruit.

Lovely quote from Amy Carmichael.  Quite the examination of conscience.

Author's Response: I'm not sure MA will ever develop Hilda's patience and long-suffering, but she tried hard, didn't she? She couldn't have been blunter, but I wonder will she get any further than Hilda did in the end? I thought Hilda had cracked it, but seemingly not. I'm glad you liked the 'Calvary Love' piece and I'm hoping it will have some effect on Kathie. Thank you, Seven.

Reviewer: ivohenry Signed [Report This]
Date: 26 Mar 2018 5:05 pm Title: Chapter 39 - The Chains of Forlorn Resentment

Think it might be just possible that Kate has got through to Kathie - at least enough to build on when she gets to the convent. Her being in Switzerland and able to see Kathie's attitude for herself in advance of the convent visit can only be a real bonus


Thank you Mary! 

Author's Response: And thank you, ivohenry. Hopefully, for Kathie's sake, MA will have found much to build on by the time they get to the convent

Reviewer: shesings Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 25 Mar 2018 11:22 pm Title: Chapter 39 - The Chains of Forlorn Resentment

Powerfuk stuff, Mary, and thannak you for posting - you brave lady!

Author's Response: Not brave at all, shesings, far from it, but thank you anyway.

Reviewer: PaulineS Signed [Report This]
Date: 25 Mar 2018 9:25 pm Title: Chapter 39 - The Chains of Forlorn Resentment

Mary, I am not surprised that it took so long to write.  Kathie is certainly acting like a spoilt child again.  I hope MA has got through to her this time. It is interesting how Kate, Ian and Hilda's histories are being shared with so many after years of being hidden and are helping just the recipient but also the one sharing.

i wonder how many of the others teachers find the daily prayers just part of the job and pay lip service to them, rather than the essential part of life that Hilda does.

Author's Response: Thanks, Pauline. Sometimes, the sad histories we preserve in the quiet of our hearts can be ruthlessly resurrected, if they would be of help to another who is also struggling. Let's hope MA and Hilda haven't resurrected them needlessly! As to how many have imbibed the daily prayers and readings for their own benefit is anyone's guess, since we can be led to water but won't necessarily drink. At my Catholic grammar school, and in my church attendance, we were never taught to read the Bible back then in the 50s and 60s. It was only later I came to it, and felt cheated that it had had to be that way, so who knows if Nell ever used the Bible in her Catholic prayers? At least they did meet it in their Scripture lessons, but that was only once a week.

Reviewer: Elder in Ontario Signed [Report This]
Date: 25 Mar 2018 7:33 pm Title: Chapter 39 - The Chains of Forlorn Resentment

Wow!  I think MA must have felt that she was banging her head on the wall in her efforts to get through to Kathie just as hard as Ellie's hand had physically hit that other wall when Kathie pushed her on Monday.  Thank goodness she got through at last, though I think she may still come up against flashes of this angry, jealous Kathie during the week at the convent.  I'm not sure that, despite her now-declared best intentions, Kathie will be able to reform all at once.  But at least this is a start, and no-one could say that MA spared Kathie anything on the way.  How Kathie must have hated hearing this relentless expose of her faults; we can see how much she struggles to even half accept them for most of this chapter.  But somehow, that piece on Calvary love seens to have got through to her - I hope that her acknowledgement of its relevance to her behaviour isn't simply another flash in the pan, although I still somehow doubt that permanaent changes to her attitudes, behaviour and thinking will happen overnight.  At least she has now agreed to the visit to the Convent, so MA will be able to continue working on the foundations she's laid here; I hope that by the end of her stay there, Kathie has probed herself big enough to accept how much she has to change if she is to make the success of her life which MA, Hilda, and indeed God himself, believe she can do. 

I have never heard the Cavalry of Love piece before, but I was most impressed with it, not just for how well it fill the bill in this context, but for how completely antithetical it is to those words about love in Corinthians Chapter 13.  

Thank you, Mary - I'm sure Kathie needs a rest, but I think MA, too could do with an hour of peace before she and Hilda have to present Meg with the astonishing new twist to *her* life.   As always you've given us much food for thought - I'm sure I'll see even more nuances next time i read the chapter.


Author's Response: Thank you, Elder. I'm not sure MA has got through! I feel it was more a case of Kathie giving in to the relentless exposť of her faults and failings, and feeling that perhaps it might be good to get away and not be cold-shouldered for a while. Her pride is being knocked every moment of the day and she doesn't like it. Glad you like that piece about Calvary Love, which seems to be to be another way of putting Paul's words on love, but both saying exactly the same in the end. As for MA needing a rest - there may be others needing help.

Reviewer: Karita Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 22 Mar 2018 9:05 pm Title: Chapter 38 - Mother Fears She's Been Too Open

Oops, anonymous is Karita. :-)

Author's Response: Wow, Karita! Welcome back! As for reading it all for the umpteenth time, I'm impressed, but have to wonder what on earth impels you so to do! Hope all is well.

Reviewer: Anonymous Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 22 Mar 2018 9:04 pm Title: Chapter 38 - Mother Fears She's Been Too Open

I've just caught up on this and read the whole thing through for I think... the third time? Lovely. :-) More please!

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed [Report This]
Date: 17 Mar 2018 10:08 pm Title: Chapter 38 - Mother Fears She's Been Too Open

"what sounds so simple is the hardest thing in the world..." takes us back always to "love the lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and love your neighbour as yourself.." sounds like the MFI ad... "so easy that a child could do it" but it's the hardest thing and we all go rushing off like the proverbial lemmings to do it in our own strength!! Lovely update, Mary, thank you..

Author's Response: Thank you, Blueskye

Reviewer: suminghan75 Signed [Report This]
Date: 16 Mar 2018 10:03 pm Title: Chapter 1: - And Light Is A Way

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Reviewer: Clair Anonymous starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 14 Mar 2018 12:51 pm Title: Chapter 38 - Mother Fears She's Been Too Open

Oh so true that it's a person who makes somewhere a home not the place. Perhaps that's one of the reasons Hilda is so conflicted about her future, will her home mean Ellie or MA in the future could be one of the things her heart is trying to settle.

MA's musings are interesting in that she was never one for close friends, perhaps that's why she's so protective of Hilda and that she is now questioning her feelings and her own vocation in light of it. Maybe Ellie's acceptance of the fine line she treads between ward and pupil is a lesson that MA herself will need to learn and put into practice in the future.

If Hilda is destined to be a constant part of the family group rather than a constant at the convent then I'm sure she would still be a regular visitor to the convent and still very much a part of their work to help others just as she would be part of the family group even from being constant in the convent.

Ellie's fear of Kathie is natural, forgiveness does not automatically bring forgetfulness. The way that she has likened it to her fear of Meg which has now gone might help her as time goes by along with the memory of how her own feelings betrayed her into anger. Whether Kathie deserves Ellie's generosity remains to be seen however, if she and Mireille do decide to speak to Kathie about jealousy then Kathie's reaction will say much about how deep her change of heart has gone.

Ellie's mercurial nature is something wonderful, the lightning speed with which her moods change is incredible. From giggling about slang, to an adult understanding to deep bewilderment and unhappiness it takes little, sometimes just a word or look, for her to become a different Ellie. I hope that she finds some control over that as she grows older so that it can't hurt her but is able to help her to face all that comes her way with compassion and the charm that she has in abundance.

Ellie's understanding of MA's story, combined with her own confession of wishing to die has sealed their relationship of love and trust which will hold good for them in the future. At this rate whether the varied people are at the school, the convent, the san or the family home will make little difference - they wibe family with love, trust, compassion and understanding the glue that binds them.

Thanks Mary 



Author's Response: Thank you so much for all your hard work in writing at length on three chapters, Clair. That was really kind of you. I can see that MA's reflections have given you much room for thought, and see that indeed anything could happen. She wasn't really being honest about the problems before. Yes, Ellie is a very mercurial character, probably as a reaction to a time when she was too sad and lonely to be anything, but it can bring problems even while making her a very interesting character so we'll have to wait and see how she develops, despite Hilda's worries about it. And yes, no matter what happens in the future, they will all now be family for each other - and who doesn't need a family?

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