Summary: After a long gap, read on to find out more about Hilda (and Nell!), of Mother Abbess and her brother Ian, of Matey and Nancy, of Ellie and Meg….

Can Hilda and Ellie now find some peace after the turmoil and heartache of the first three weeks of the spring term?
Rated: General
Categories: Ste Therese's House Characters: Hilda Annersley, Kathie Ferrars, Matron Lloyd, Nancy Wilmot, Nell Wilson
School Period: Switzerland
School Name: Chalet School
Genre: Drama, Family, Friendship, Humour, School Story
Challenges:
Series: A New Dream
Chapters: 101 Completed: No
Word count: 327521 Read: 98814
Published: 28 Feb 2013 Updated: 23 Sep 2016

1. Chapter 1 - Monday, Monday! by MaryR [Reviews - 75] starstarstarstarstar (1669 words)
I hope you don't mind, but I'm repeating four chapters you actually read a year and a half ago, but we are now starting a new week and they will be a reminder of what has gone before.

We are three weeks into the spring term. Ellie had been bullied by Meg for two of those weeks. Meg then stole her precious photos, just two days after she had goaded Ellie into cutting part of her finger off. Meg has revealed to Hilda a very unhappy home life and is now off to the convent in Norfolk to try and re-group. Hilda herself came unstuck at the concert on Saturday night. Is life about to ease up for each of them a little?

2. Chapter 2 - Heart Sunshine by MaryR [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (2311 words)
I can't believe how many of you appeared to welcome back this saga. Bless you all and thank you so much for saying such lovely things. I do hope you all saw the response I wrote on your comments.

Those of you who read this episode a year and a half ago might find a few differences - especially in Ian's words.

3. Chapter 3 - The Beautiful Creature Inside by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (1776 words)
This is the last re-post!! After this, it will be all new stuff….. *winks* BUT, if you didn’t read chapter 2, I would ask that you to do so, as I have added to it in such a way that Meg and Ian find a new connection when Ian shows Meg she has given him a great gift without even realising it. This will have consequences for the future.

Thank you all for the wonderful comments. I hope Hilda and I can live up to your expectations.

4. Chapter 4 - Light in Their Darkness by MaryR [Reviews - 12] starstarstarstarstar (1687 words)
Thank you for the lovely comments and I hope you all found my responses to them.

Quite a short chapter this time....

5. Chapter 5 - Kindly Be Each Deed by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (2378 words)
Thank you all so much for the way you engaged with the text so thoughtfully. You are readers to be cherished, Hilda would have said...

Luisa, no lunacy from Vivien, I'm afraid, just 'some gentle plans', as asked for by Anne.

6. Chapter 6 - A Woman of Integrity by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (3279 words)
Thank you for the wonderful comments on that last chapter. I do hope you feel that the new stuff is living up to the many thousands of words that have gone before!

7. Chapter 7 - On Being a Prefect by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (2463 words)
Thank you for the interesting comments and hope you found my responses.

8. Chapter 8 - The Land of Spices by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (2260 words)
Oh, my goodness, thanks to everyone for the wonderful comments. Identity Hunt, where did you find the time to do such a catch-up and then to comment on each chapter? Bless you!

This Monday of Hilda's is stretching out, isn't it? *winks*

9. Chapter 9 - A Welcome for Meg by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (3294 words)
Thank you so much for the comments, and for your views on Herbert's beautiful poem. The phrases Hilda and Joey used, like *land of spices* all come from one of his major poems, called: "Prayer, the Church's Banquet." It has a wealth of lovely imagery.

In this new chapter you meet someone I think you've all been waiting impatiently to see again... I hope she lives up to expectations.

10. Chapter 10 - This Rough and Thorny Maze by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (3646 words)
"A beautifully written conversation Mary. The caring and love between the two pours out over us, and gathers us up into their relationship."

Gosh, Celia, do I really make you feel that? Thank you so much. Thabk you also to Elder for thinking I had got all of Hilda's qualities right, just as they appear in the books. Quite a compliment, Elder!

Thank you to everyone who posted on that chapter. I know how much you love MA, so here's some more of her....

11. Chapter 11 - Remember and Be Wise by MaryR [Reviews - 12] starstarstarstarstar (2202 words)
Thank you for the wonderful, wonderful comments, everyone. A handful of you seem to wish that MA really existed. Me, too, I'm afraid. But there are people out there like her - there must be, or I wouldn't be writing about her. *rolls eyes*

12. Chapter 12 - Until Seventy Times Seven by MaryR [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (2729 words)
Gosh, Anne, you just managed to sneak in under the radar there as I was sorting out this new chapter, while also trying to sort out my husband and his 'Which tie goes with this shirt and jacket?' *sighs*

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments on the last chapter and on their relationship. Ellie is so easy to write and is so lovable and forthright - without any help from me!

13. Chapter 13 - A Half-Stitched Scar by MaryR [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (2473 words)
A very big thank you to those of you who wrote such loving comments on that last chapter.

14. Chapter 14 - Blessings That Remain by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (2642 words)
Thanks, as always, so much for the many lovely comments. They are always appreciated.

One reader, who posts only occasionally on here, very kindly emailed her opinion: ”Good for Ian to offer his own brand of wisdom and compassion. He has become very real to me in this new volume, even though he's only had two scenes. For some reason he just jumped off the page this time.”

That last sentence was a wonderful thing to say to a writer, so thank you!

15. Chapter 15 - I Will Speak to Her Heart by MaryR [Reviews - 12] starstarstarstarstar (3164 words)
Luisa asked: How can you stop there? One minute I'm in that study, and now I'm having to wait again. Never mind, it'll be worth the wait. These people are so real...

Thank you, Luisa, and I hope you felt it WAS worth the wait, as the wait was longer than I had intended, but life has been rather busy. I hope you'll feel, yet again, that you are really there, in that study... all of you!

16. Chapter - Friendship: a Sheltering Tree by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (2468 words)
Lottie, thank you for reading and commenting, and I beg your forgiveness for 'leaving you hanging,' as you said, but it's been a busy week as we've been celebrating our Ruby Wedding - and then recovering! *winks* Alas, this one is not a great deal longer, and I need to get my head down for some serious writing...

Thanks to all of you for your lovely comments and for your patience.

17. Chapter 17 - His Tender Mercy by MaryR [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (3318 words)
Perdita, thank you so much for your wonderful comments after your marathon read, and I hereby proclaim you a fully paid-up member of AMAS!! I do hope you read the response I posted in your comment box.

Thank you to everyone for your lovely words, and I do apologise for the long wait. Alas, life has been too busy recently to allow me to do any writing at all. This chapter is all there is left, until I find a few empty hours to sit and write. Each chapter I post might not seem much on here, but today’s, at over 3,000 words, actually fills six A4 pages of typing!! *rolls eyes* So you can see, it does take a fair chunk of time. I never intend to keep you waiting, but…. *grins* Perhaps I should farm out each chapter!! Enjoy....

18. Chapter 18 - More Than a Friend by MaryR [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (2818 words)
Thank you to those who responded generously to the last chapter and for appreciating the quotation from Proust.

If any reader hasn't read the chapter before this, when Gilles and Hilda have a long chat and move forward in friendship, I would suggest you do so, as it has repercussions for events in the future.

19. Chapter 19 - The Load that Wearies Me by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (3635 words)
Many thanks for all the kindly comments. I was hoping to post the whole of this scene at the shore, but, alas, there has been so little time to write, at the moment, but hopefully I can post the rest soon.

20. Chapter 20 - The First Faint Glimmers of Light by MaryR [Reviews - 6] starstarstarstarstar (4310 words)
Thank you so much, everyone, for the myriad kindly comments. You took my breath away. Thank you for caring about Meg. I’ve been reading the later CS books recently for the first time in a long time, and there is precious little about Meg, so I hope you’re all okay with what I’ve done to her.

Sister Anne was dubious about forgiving and helping Meg - this is why I like your characters - they are all so human, rather than being paragons of virtue!

Thank you, Perdita. I can hardly create paragons of virtue when I am deeply flawed myself. Even my Hilda has her flaws, though hers might often seem like virtues to the rest of us.

Amira quoted: "Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope." (Qur'an, 2:286).

Thank you for showing us how close the two great holy books are in essence.

May God's grace surround you, Mary, and all those whom you touch with your writing.

Why, bless you too, Amira, for those loving words.

21. Chapter 21 - The Aching Spirit by MaryR [Reviews - 7] starstarstarstarstar (2848 words)
Oh, gosh, I hadn't realised the second part of that conversation with Sister Anne would seem so boring, so many thanks to those six of you who conjured up some lovely comments between you. You were, and indeed are, extremely kind.

We're leaving Meg for now.... but we'll be back for the rest of Tuesday.

22. Chapter 22 - The Floods Overflow Me by MaryR [Reviews - 5] starstarstarstarstar (4395 words)
Thank you for those lovely reviews. I hope you all saw my responses.

Hopefully, this lengthy chapter will make up for the wait!

23. Chapter 23 - Ian Makes a Stand by MaryR [Reviews - 7] starstarstarstarstar (4730 words)
Thanks you, Elder, Anne, Celia, Pauline and Katesian, for keeping me going with your lovely and often astute comments.

I apologise if folk are wanting to see more of Meg in the convent, but we will go back there very soon.

24. Chapter 24 - The Invitation by MaryR [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (4836 words)
Thank you for six wonderful comments, all different but all very welcome.

I hope this piece isn't too long for you....

25. Chapter 25 - Mother Abbess Doubts Herself by MaryR [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (1814 words)
I’m sorry for the delay since my last update, but we’ve been away in France for 2 weeks. Thank you for the kindly comments on the last update – and do go and read the responses I’ve made to you all there. We left Hilda et all late on Tuesday afternoon, but have now returned to the beginning of that afternoon elsewhere.

Lottie T asked a question. Where are we, timewise? It’s now Tuesday 30th Jan. Meg left the school the day before, and yes, it’s taken the whole of this volume to relate the happenings of two days. I think Hilda and I talk too much!

26. Chapter 26 - Music Hath Charms...... by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (4234 words)
Thank you so much for the kind comments.

27. Chapter 27 - Mighty Pillare of Resolve by MaryR [Reviews - 12] starstarstarstarstar (3790 words)
Thank you all for the kind comments. MHE, thank you for carefully reading each chapter as you try to catch up and for commenting. Linda, I am gobsmacked that you caught up so quickly after over three months absence from the internet. Bless you for the magnificent effort and for the lovely words you write about it.

Lottie, I hope you don't mind that there will be yet one more update with Mother Abbess after this one. She's very necessary to the plot, but also fans of this saga have loved her from the beginning and always want more. But I have planned a chapter just for you the following day with the girls, so not too on to wait! *winks*

I'm sorry you've all had to wait a week for this update but time and energy are sadly lacking at the moment, so I;m not sure when the next one will land. Maybe favouriting this volume would make it easier, so you wouldn't have to keep bobbing back to find out.

28. Chapter 28 - The Celestial Surgeon by MaryR [Reviews - 8] starstarstarstarstar (4810 words)
Thank you so much for all the many wonderful comments - and I'm so pleased you liked Wicox's poem. There is one at the end of this update, by Kipling, and I wonder how you will feel about this one.

This is rather lengthy, I'm afraid, but, Lottie, you might like to know this is the last piece at the convent for a wee while, and we go back to the school next time.

29. Chapter 29 - The Harp of Godís Kindness by MaryR [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (4757 words)
Thank you so much for the comments on the last update. I'm sorry you've had to wait but that last piece was so long and so intense that it took a lot out of me - and left me wanting a breathing space. I do hope you all read it, though, as it revealed a lot more about Meg's unhappy home life.

30. Chapter 30 - In the Shadow of His Wings by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (4980 words)
A big thanks to those of you who came to post on the last chapter. I know it was long. I hope you're enjoying being back in school, Lottie. *winks*

Alas, this one is also rather long, and I'm sorry you've had to wait a whole week again, but some of you will have read on CBB about our recent problems. However, the next update may well be a lot sooner, fingers crossed. Jo, if you're reading this chapter, just to say I did leave you a PM on the board, but it seems to be still sitting there.

31. Chapter 31 - Great Is Thy Faithfulness by MaryR [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (3888 words)
Thank you so much for all the kind reviews. I hope you all found my responses to them. Those of you are worried about yet more accidents can relax. It wasn't something I had planned. Marianne just decided it all on her own, but I have a feeling good will come out of it - though neither Marianne nor Hilda have yet told me just what that will be!

32. Chapter 32 - Let Us Consider One Another by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (2480 words)
Thank you so much for the generous reviews. It's lovely to receive them, as it lets me know if I'm getting it at least partly right.

This is only a very short chapter compared to recent ones, I'm afraid. Must do better! *winks*

33. Chapter 33 - With Quietness They Work by MaryR [Reviews - 14] starstarstarstarstar (4337 words)
Thanks so much for the appreciative reviews. If any of you didn't read the last chapter I would ask you to do so, as it gives a somewhat different perspective on Hilda.

34. Chapter 34 - Thy Hand Unseen by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (669 words)
Thank you so much for all the lovely reviews. I'm only sorry I made you wait so long for this next chapter.

35. Chapter 35 - One Day at a Time by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (2128 words)
Sorry for taking so long to start posting again, but life has been rather difficult lately, and there's been no time to write. When I have had the time, I’ve been too mentally tired to string sentences together.. Thank you to those folk who've begged for more. It was kind of you to care.

Meg has just woken up and is thinking about the events of the day before, Tuesday, which was also the evening Mother Abbess phoned the school to thank Ellie for her stories, if you think back a couple of episodes. Also the night Hilda was going to phone her back, but couldn’t because of Marianne’s accident.

36. Chapter 36 - Every Morning Comes the Light by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (3468 words)
Thank you all for the kind reviews. Elder, you always find something insightful to say. Celia, thank you for the frequent comments on the quotations. Sometimes they can express an idea so much better and more succinctly than Hilda or I.

I'm sorry for those of you avid to know what Sister Patricia is up to, but that breaking and gluing stuff won't happen for a few more episodes, so better to concentrate on what Hilda is willing to give you in the here and now. "winks and grins infuriatingly*

37. Chapter 37 - An Angelic Host by MaryR [Reviews - 7] starstarstarstarstar (4437 words)
This piece is for my father, who died yesterday morning. I like to think he was met by One who spoke the same words to him that Sister Patricia painted here.

Elder wrote: Completely out of the blue, your description of MA's singing in Psalm 91 conjured up a picture of Kit Haverard singing Cathcart's Hill of the Lord, in The Lark on the Wing (Elfrida Vipont).

You couldn't have paid me a nicer compliment, Elder, because I love that book and the character of Kit.

Thank you, everyone, for all the kind reviews, and for liking some of the quotations used in the last piece, possibly too many!

38. Chapter - Broken by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (4242 words)
Thanks to Elder, Pauline, Celia, Anne, Seven and Katesian for your kindly reviews. You're such an encouragement and keep me going.

39. Chapter 39 - Clenched Fists and Willing Hearts by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (2371 words)
Thanks to those of you who've been commenting on these scenes in the convent. We're going back to the school for a while, which should please those of you who prefer the characters from the books - although Meg Lyall actually is one, appearing with Erica's cohort of girls.

40. Chapter 40 - Knit Together in Love by MaryR [Reviews - 8] starstarstarstarstar (3130 words)
Thank you for the kind reviews. Identity Hunt, you have been busy! Thanks so much for all those comments.

I find writing a scene with the girls quite difficult as I'm never sure I've got the pitch just right. Now, a study scene, see below, is quite different! *winks*

41. Chapter 41 - Diamonds Are Made Under Pressure by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (3631 words)
Many thanks to those of you who so kindly reviewed the last chapter, especially to Linda for catching up and writing several reviews.

I'm not sure about this chapter, and am quite sure most of you would have written it differently and produced something much better.

42. Chapter 42 - Laying Down the Law by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (2444 words)
Thank you all for your kind and reassuring reviews.

I'm sorry you've had to wait so long, but I've just been too busy to type up what I've written. This should have been a whole lot longer but if I waited any longer and typed up the rest of the scene you might have had to wait another week. I'll try to get on with the rest as quickly as I can....

43. Chapter 43 - Spineless Jellyfish by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (3142 words)
Wow! I seem to have stirred you up with that last episode! *winks* But if you think back, there is a reason for Hilda's severity.

Clair commented: 'Am I the only one here realising that Hilda has had more of an effect on me than any of my actual headmistresses?!'

*gulp* I'd like to think my Hilda does that, Clair, but I fear you do her and myself too much credit! Thanks for the thought, though, and thanks to everyone for their input on that last chapter.

44. Chapter 44 - The Crowded Hour by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (4646 words)
Many thanks for the kind reviews, and the agreement about always reporting bullying.

Sorry for the long wait for this, which is not very exciting or dramatic....

45. Chapter 45 - Something Stern and Splendid by MaryR [Reviews - 12] starstarstarstarstar (3555 words)
Thank you so much for all the kind things you wrote in your reviews, everyone. Elder, I can't believe how much you mentioned in yours and how moved I was to read it all. You are such a faithful reader.

Thank you, Charlotta4th, for posting a review and for the compliment when you wrote: This whole saga of Hilda's is so interesting and moving, I can't wait to see what will happen to each character next - I want to know what happens to Hilds, Ellie, Meg, Tonia, Marianne, Ian.... I can't wait myself, as I have no idea where some of them are taking me. .

This chapter was going to be much, much longer, but time and RL have been against me, so please forgive the half-scene.

46. Chapter 46 - Transcending Pain by MaryR [Reviews - 12] starstarstarstarstar (3918 words)
Thank you so much for all the fantastic reviews.

Bobkin, I hope you saw my welcome in response to your review, and my thanks for taking the time to read all of this saga. A true member of AMAS!! *winks* I will try to answer all your queries as I go along.

This is the end of that conversation started a week ago...

47. Chapter 47 - We LIve by Loving by MaryR [Reviews - 14] starstarstarstarstar (3507 words)
Another chapter that I haven't had time to finish - so will be finished next time, hopefully during the week, although I am wondering just how interesting this one really is!

Thank you so much for all the reviews. Linda, bless you for all the catching up you've done and for writing a review for every chapter.

Welcome, Chalet Girl. Thank you for reading it all, and for posting such lovely compliments. I hope the rest lives up to your expectations. *winks*

48. Chapter 48 - The Cellar of Affliction by MaryR [Reviews - 13] starstarstarstarstar (4121 words)
Squirrel, I am totally overcome that you could catch up so magnificently. You wrote so much on each chapter that I'm wondering just how much time it took you. Thank you so much.

Thanks also to all you others who reviewed so kindly. You all seem so involved in my characters and worry about them. Bless you all for your faithfulness.

I know I said I would try and post mid-week, but it just didn't happen. I will try and update again before Christmas, but can't promise.

49. Chapter 49 - An Unhappy Alternative by MaryR [Reviews - 12] starstarstarstarstar (2859 words)
I'm sorry to take so long to return, but I wasn't well after Xmas which slowed me down, and then busyness once more took over. But thank you so much for the reviews on that last chapter, even if some of you were annoyed with me for inflicting more pain on Hilda!! *winks* But we have no influence over life's hurts - sometimes they all come at once, as some of you know from my own life these last three years.

Squirrel, bless you for writing such a long and insightful review on each of the chapters you missed. I am gobsmacked that you would go to so much trouble - and very appreciative.

If you all recall, Hilda et al had been at the San putting up artwork in Linda's and Marianne's roomS...

50. Chapter 50 - Truth is a Deep Kindness by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (2336 words)
Thank you all for your interesting reviews and I hope you all found my replies to them.

I'm sorry you've had to wait so long for this piece - which is only quite short, alas - but I'll have the next chapter typed up by the middle of the week...

51. Chapter 51 - Mercy Has A Human Heart by MaryR [Reviews - 12] starstarstarstarstar (5028 words)
Thank you so much for all the lovely comments. I hope you don't mind that I've posted again so soon, just as I hope you don't mind the length of this piece, but I couldn't find a place to cut it - although this scene is not yet ended, even so. Above all, don't hate me...

52. Chapter 52 - Holy Ground by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (4142 words)
Chalet Girl, I've just seen the kind review you posted today - and hope this is quick enough for you. *winks*

Thanks to all of you who posted such loving comments and made me feel that maybe that last chapter had some merit. You're far too generous.

If any of you have missed that last chapter, you do need to read it because it has quite a lot of important information in it.

53. Chapter 53 - Only One Mother by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (4472 words)
What a wonderful lot you are! Such interesting, insightful comments! Thank you so much. I do appreciate them all.

I began to wonder if I'd painted Kathie too dramatically, but, interestingly, one of my readers has written to say that one of those above her at work, a young woman, has been treating her staff in much the same way and threatening the sack for anything and everything. A case of true life being even stranger than fiction. I hope you'll spare a thought for that reader and wish her well.

54. Chapter 54 - This Narrow Cabin'd Self of Yours by MaryR [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (3926 words)
Many thanks for all the interesting thoughts on Kathie and whether she can change or she can't. If you want to be reminded of the moment when Hilda gave Nell's cottage to Kathie and Nancy, go to Chapter 5 of Volume One and compare their two reactions. Even then, how deep did her feelings go?

May I suggest that those who didn't read the last chapter, with Vi, do so if they can, as it gives us many clues about Hilda as well as Vi, and indeed about the future.

55. Chapter 55 - A Motherís Love by MaryR [Reviews - 8] starstarstarstarstar (3343 words)
Thank you for all your thoughts and feelings you've poured out on the last chapter.

Sorry for the delay but writing and posting a short drabble for Lime Green Musings got in the way, as did surgery to my gum. *rolls eyes* Will hopefully be much quicker next time!

56. Chapter 56 - With Open Hands by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (3295 words)
A big thank you for all the kind comments. I do hope you don't think I'm being too long-winded. Blame Hilda!! *winks*

57. Chapter 57 - A Poem Without Words by MaryR [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (3727 words)
Thank you so much for all the reviews, especially Squirrel who did a catch up and wrote four of them.

Thanks also to those of you who commented here in SDL on my short drabble about Madge and Jem.

I thought we'd have a change of scene for a while.

58. Chapter 58 - Not to Count the Cost by MaryR [Reviews - 8] starstarstarstarstar (4331 words)
Thank you all for your loving reviews and interesting thoughts.

I'm sorry that yet again you have had to wait a whole week for an update, but life is rather busy at the moment. Plus, I've written and re-written this chapter so many times,and am still not convinced it says very much - but I know how tolerant and kind you all are!

59. Chapter 59 - Hilda's Support Network by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (2515 words)
Many thanks for all the loving and thoughtful reviews. I really couldn't continue without them.

This is shorter than previous chapters, but I'm working on the theory that shorter means you'll get an update more quickly.

60. Chapter 60 - Jaundice of the Soul. by MaryR [Reviews - 8] starstarstarstarstar (3602 words)
Yet again I've taken nearly a week to update and I do apologise, but thank you all for your very interesting thoughts on what is going on.

Anne, Hilda may not be one to gossip, but sometimes talking through things with those who've suffered can help. You're very insightful, though, and know Hilda very well.

61. Chapter 61 - Deep Waters by MaryR [Reviews - 19] starstarstarstarstar (3848 words)
Thank you for the interesting comments on the last chapter – and, indeed, for the extra thoughts two very kind readers emailed to me. I’m sorry to have made you wait so long this time, but RL has been nightmarish recently. I had wanted to post the whole of this scene, but in the end decided it might be better to post what I’ve got ready and hopefully finish the end of it within the next few days.

I had intended to post two more pieces before Friday, but I fear that’s out now and you’ll only get one. Why Friday? Because I’m having an operation on my left shoulder that day. As some of you know, I had two operations on my right shoulder in 2012 and was unable to type for a long while afterwards, and was in a great deal of pain, so although I can write, being right-handed, I won’t be able to type. Please pray that a) the op is successful, and b) that I have better use of the arm afterwards than I did last time.

I have been pondering recently whether to continue with this saga at all. Is it even interesting any more?

62. Chapter 62 - Crooked as Corkscrews by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (4063 words)
My goodness! I was, and am, overwhelmed by all the astonishing and beautiful things you said about this saga and about my writing. Chalet Girl wrote: "You have lovingly and painstakingly woven a beautiful and vibrant tapestry." Wow! How wonderful is that! I had never realised there were so many of you reading it, nor had I realised some of you found it helpful in your darkest times. That was the most touching part of your responses. I was thinking of giving up since the actual reviews had got fewer and fewer, except for my wonderful faithful few who have been posting for years and supporting me. So bless you all for giving me such a magnificent uplift.

I do hope you all found the individual responses I made to your reviews.

By the way, I think I’d better keep on posting, since so many of you fully intend to move in with me if I don’t. SLOC would have a fit!! I’ll never stop writing this, as I want to find out what happens myself. *grins*

You’ll probably find another update here sooner than expected - as my operation tomorrow has been cancelled!!! I got the news today, but it looks as though it may be on 22nd April instead, now – SLOC’s birthday. Poor lamb!

63. Chapter 63 - A Tiny Ripple of Hope by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (2620 words)
I can’t thank you enough for the encouragement you all give me, with even more wonderful comments to add to the many I received in the chapter before that. I have responded to two or three of these this time and hope you read them.

I had intended to finish this scene before posting it, but after a week of trying to find time to write, I’ve given up and am letting you have this short chapter – and will try to get it wrapped up before Easter.

Charlotta4th wrote: ‘I think the whole saga deserves to be written up into a book (or several books) and published. I for one would love to own a copy!! I was asked years ago to do that, but I was never convinced many people would want to own a copy. Or indeed several copies, as it is actually now 900,000 words long – about the length of NINE books! Would you want that many? *grins* I had thought of publishing the shorter stories about Nell and Hilda first, including Hilda’s Revenge, as so many oddments from those crop up in ND. Let me know!

64. Chapter 64 - Some New Delight by MaryR [Reviews - 15] starstarstarstarstar (4495 words)
Thank you so much for the very loving response, and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to show you what happened after Matey saw the air ripple in front of her...

Chalet Girl, Bobcat and Jenny, as you're all signed in as 'anonymous', I do hope you saw my responses to your reviews. Bobcat, you give me great encouragement, just like everyone else, so thank you.

65. Chapter 65 - An Unearthly Grace by MaryR [Reviews - 14] starstarstarstarstar (3128 words)
I'm sorry I've made you wait so long for more of this saga, but maybe Hilda needed the rest! I just hope you still find it worth reading - and would tell me if/when it needs consigning to the compost heap.

Thanks for posting such lovely reviews on the first part of Revenge - and look for more after Christmas.

66. Chapter 66 - Soft Moments of Peace by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (1682 words)
Wow! Thank you so much, everyone, for all the lovely reviews you posted. I'm overwhelmed that you wanted Hilda and co back! You've given me a massive incentive to keep posting, and lifted me up at a particularly difficult moment in my life.... so bless you.

67. Chapter 67 - Gentle Grace by MaryR [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (3378 words)
Thank you for all the loving and thoughtful comments on the little interlude with Ellie and Matey. I know it might sound fanciful, but those scenes give me some sort of grace as I write them.

Fiona, this is Friday and Meg is due back on Monday.I know what you mean about wanting to know about all the characters. So do I!! *winks*

Bobcat, thank you for appearing again and for letting me know how much you are enjoying it.

Anonymous humbled me beyond belief when she said she had used ideas and concepts from ND to help a bereaved friend. All I can say is that they don't come from me alone. Thank you so much for showing me that ND has a purpose....

68. Chapter 68 - Under Every Grief and Pine by MaryR [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (2142 words)
Oh, gosh, thank you for the wonderful, insightful comments on the last chapter.

Nic, I have no idea who you are, but thank you so much for the compliment, and I promise to keep writing and posting. *winks*

This is not a very long chapter, but sometimes love doesn't need many words, does it?

69. Chapter 69 - My Staff of Faith by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (4007 words)
Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comments. I do hope you all saw my responses. It's moving to see you engage so deeply with my characters - or rather EBD's and mine.

I'm sorry this is rather long, but impossible to cut.

70. Chapter 70 - A Rainbow Lights the Stormy Sky by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (4514 words)
Thank you for the most wonderful and thoughtful reviews. I have appreciated each and every one of them, and hope you found my individual responses.

71. Chapter 71 - Planting Seeds of Trust by MaryR [Reviews - 12] starstarstarstarstar (3642 words)
I'm so pleased you all thought Vivien's plan was the best thing since sliced bread. To some of you, it came out of left field. To others, it seemed like a natural progression. Indeed! Ever since Ellie walked in and hi-jacked my story, I knew she and Vivien were meant to look after each other once Hilda had entered. If you think back to Hilda's request, at Xmas, that Vivien be there for Ellie when Hilda herself couldn't at school, you could almost read my mind, I would have thought. *grins cheekily*

Thank you all for caring about the my own original characters as much as the CS ones.

72. Chapter 72 - The Diaries of Grief by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (2357 words)
Thank you so much for your many and varied thoughts about the last chapter. I think you should all go and read what Seven said about Hilda, because it's so true, even if it did make me laugh! I'm glad you enjoyed Jack being put gently in his place once more, even though he only speaks through worry. As for that little episode at the end with Hilda, Ellie and Matey, I can't resist such scenes, although I know they don't really move the story on. But important relationships are being formed for the future....

73. Chapter 73 - A Terrible Clarity by MaryR [Reviews - 12] starstarstarstarstar (1982 words)
I don't know how to thank you for all the lovely, considered reviews you posted on the last chapter, about Vivien and Nancy. I do hope you've read all my responses, because you deserved them.

I'm sorry I took longer than usual to update but I'm now having to wrote each chapter between updating and that's hard, not just because RL is rather busy, but because this story demands a lot of thought, and indeed prayer, which doesn't happen overnight, so I hope you will bear with me. This chapter is shorter than usual, but it says all it needs to say...

74. Chapter 74 - A Frail Moth by MaryR [Reviews - 12] starstarstarstarstar (3391 words)
Fiona wrote: "Don't envy Vivien, that drive back to the school!" Nope, and I didn't envy myself writing it, Fiona, but here it is, for what it's worth....

First of all, though, very many thanks for all the interesting and insightful comments on that last chapter, especially your thoughts about Nancy's words to Kathie. I've always thought of Nancy as a brave person.

75. Chapter 75 - Pierced by Jagged Thorns by MaryR [Reviews - 15] starstarstarstarstar (3630 words)
Thank you so much for all the fascinating reviews. You really are splendid people. I'm sorry about the wait, but as some of you know, RL has been extra-hard recently - plus, Christmas is coming!! *grins*

76. Chapter 76 - Reaching for a Hand by MaryR [Reviews - 13] starstarstarstarstar (2960 words)
I'm so sorry for the delay in coming back to this, just at a critical moment for Hilda, but I must thank you all for the brilliant response to the re-posting of Hilda's Revenge. Trouble is, that's such a happy time and so the tone of this seems even sadder, in contrast.

77. Chapter 77 - A Torment Even to Herself by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (2349 words)
Oh, wow! Thank you so much for all the wonderful reviews and for welcoming this saga back. You are all far too kind, but I am very, very grateful.

For all those who were hoping Matey doesn't meet Kathie in the near-future, read on......

78. Chapter 78 - A Touch of Home by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (2282 words)
Thank you so much for all the reviews.

Bobcat, I do hope you read my response to your review, as I was overcome that you should have read it for the third time in as many years, and find it rich with human experience. Thank you so much.

79. Chapter 79 - The Torrents of His Grace by MaryR [Reviews - 8] starstarstarstarstar (2441 words)
Gosh, I can't believe how many of you have reviewed and have said such lovely, lovely things. Thank you all, not just for reading, but for thinking so carefully about plot and characters, and making such insightful comments.

80. Chapter 80 - A Notebook or Two by MaryR [Reviews - 6] starstarstarstarstar (2016 words)
Thank you for the loving reviews, although I'm sorry I only got to respond to them just now. If you have time, go and read what Fiona has written about her mother, as it reveals that Hilda is not alone in her experiences of seeing Nell. I've had other people in the past being brave enough to tell me details of what people in their family have seen. As Fiona says, you just have to be open to God and His love.

If you haven't read the last chapter, it might be advisable so to do, as it is the middle section of this long conversation between Hilda and MA, and this is the last about themselves - though MA has more to say after this. This piece is quite short.

81. Chapter 81 - Hope Warms its Hands by MaryR [Reviews - 8] starstarstarstarstar (2880 words)
Thanks to those of you who respond so faithfully. I'm sorry this conversation with MA seems to be going on so long, but many of you wanted to know more of Meg in the convent, so this was written especially for you as it doesn't really move the story on, but does help you see the change in her.

By the way, it makes it much easier to know I've updated if you favourite ND, as you should then receive alerts.

82. Chapter 82 - We Are Greater Than We Know by MaryR [Reviews - 12] starstarstarstarstar (4430 words)
Many thanks to the six kind people who responded to the last chapter. Many folk asked for more about Meg in the convent so I wrote two extra chapters, the last one and this, but now I'm wondering if I did the right thing, especially as this one is very long. Too long! This will be the last about Meg and MA, although there will be another chapter set in the convent quite soon.

My apologies, but this seems quite difficult to read, as I have no idea how to indent a list here.

83. Chapter 83 - Heaven in Ordinary by MaryR [Reviews - 7] starstarstarstarstar (2750 words)
This chapter doesn’t really help the story along, but it does put across some important facts for later in the day. The truth is, I couldn’t help indulging myself….

Thank you so much for all the wonderful reviews and I hope you all saw my responses. To be told by Bobcat that ‘reading ND is like reading a hug’ just made my week. It also brought tears to my eyes. As for Elaine’s comment, all I can do is thank you for the compliment. You’re a dear.

84. Chapter 84 - Evading Matey's Clutches by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (2703 words)
I'm sorry for the delay in updating, but thank you so much for the delightful reviews for such an uneventful chapter, one which I enjoyed writing and which you obviously enjoyed reading.

Anne, I hadn't thought of it like that, but yes, Hilda does make sense of Ellie's emotions for her, doesn't she? I suppose her years of guiding and understanding young girls is helping her and Ellie to build a strong relationship.

85. Chapter 85 - Just Ordinary People by MaryR [Reviews - 7] starstarstarstarstar (4379 words)
Thank you for all the kindly reviews, and your interesting thoughts on Kathie. I am pleased some of you enjoy the battles with Matey, which always bring some light relief to all the angst. Some of you did ask for the contents of this chapter, and my only hope is that it satisfies - although I do apologise for the length.

I'm sorry, too, for the long delay in posting, and will try to post again during the week, as a whole week seems far too long between updates to remember things.

86. Chapter 86 - A Generous Heart by MaryR [Reviews - 8] starstarstarstarstar (2391 words)
Thank you for the interesting reviews. I'm hoping you don't mind more interviews with the girls from Upper IVB, but you'll be glad to know this piece is much shorter than the last...

87. Chapter 87 - The Surgeonís Scalpel by MaryR [Reviews - 8] starstarstarstarstar (3371 words)
A varied mix of thoughts from you on that last chapter, for which many thanks, though I fear all these interviews may not be to everyone's taste..... However, fret not, for this one is nearly as short as the last, although it was a more difficult piece to write.

88. Chapter 88 - Wise Counsel by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (3369 words)
I must thank those of you who are mainly reading rather than reviewing, because quite often you email loving thoughts and compliments about a particular chapter, especially Amira and Elder, the latter often emailing her thoughts as well as reviewing on here. Cal did write a review here on the last chapter, but also brought me additional encouragement with her beautiful PM. Thanks also to Pauline, Anonymous, AnneM, Fiona and Celia for their thoughts, especially re Helen.

There are two distinct parts to this chapter, so hope you have ideas on both. *grins* / shesings, I think I must have posted this at the same time as you posted on the last chapter, so thank you.

89. Chapter 89 - Fragments in a Busy Day by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (3198 words)
So many reviews, so many viewpoints! Thank you so much. As for Fiona, who writes: 'Still feeling greedy for whenever you have time'😄 I can only be grateful for her enthusiasm and say I wish I did have more time as Hilda nags at me every day!

90. Chapter 90 - Climbing the Cross of the Moment by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (3030 words)
Oh, gosh, thank you from my heart for all the interesting and loving reviews. I'm so pleased you liked the part with Ellie. Those scenes write themselves and I sometimes feel guilty about including them.

One or two of you seem worried about certain aspects and I hope this chapter will answer those concerns - although writing it was very difficult, impossible almost, and I'm quite sure there are several people reading it who could have conveyed the meaning, and Hilda's distress, far more accurately.

Anonymous, I did try to reply to your email but it kept coming back to me. Is there any other way of getting in touch?

91. Chapter 91 - All Shall be Well by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (3242 words)
Many thanks for the reviews on that last difficult chapter, and I'm sorry you've had to wait so long for an update. Anne and Fiona, I didn't mean to go away and leave you on a cliff, honest!! *grins wickedly* That was just the way the cookie crumbled.

If any of those reading this chapter have not yet read the last one, detailing Hilda's chat with Matey, may I suggest you go back and read it, or you won't understand why Hilda is so anxious here. Not that much happens in this one....

92. Chapter 92 - The Tongue-tied Aches by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (2831 words)
Thank you, all, for the many thoughtful and kindly reviews. You always keep me on my toes and make me think hard about what I've written. Lynne and Clair, I hope you've seen my responses, since you won't get alerts.

You might like to know that a little while ago I passed the million word mark on this saga (now well over 1,000,200 words)! Then there are all the other shorter drabbles! Am I wasting my life toiling over a hot laptop???? *grins*

No, this chapter is not that meeting, and, at the rate I'm going, there won't be a chapter about it, at all, as Hilda is telling me nothing. Perhaps I should use EBD's ploy and make it a private study scene!! *rolls eyes* I know I wouldn't get away with that!!

93. Chapter 93 - God Fills the Gap by MaryR [Reviews - 12] starstarstarstarstar (4238 words)
Thank you so much for the many reviews and thoughts. Katesian, I hope you saw my response.

I do apologise for the delay, but too many things got in the way last week.

94. Chapter 94 - The Glacial Fields of Doubt by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (6289 words)
Thank you for all the interesting and thoughtful reviews. I'm often surprised that anyone is still sticking with Hilda and me after all this time.

I'm afraid this is far too long, and you still may not get the answer for which you're waiting, so just enjoy the ride...

95. Chapter 95 - The Rent in the Veil by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (6323 words)
So many thanks for all the thoughtful responses to my last chapter, and for letting me know the things you feel I left out. All noted! You see, I couldn't write this without your input.

I have to admit that this is not the chapter I intended to write next, but it sort of flowed from my pencil and demanded a place. So do forgive me if it's not really what you wanted next.

96. Chapter 96 - The Wounded Healer by MaryR [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (4216 words)
Such beautiful, thoughtful, kindly reviews, and indeed some lengthy ones with so much detail in them, all inspiring me to do better every time. Thank you so much. You're all wonderful.

I'm sorry for the long silence, but this past week I've been fighting Nell, who insisted on this chapter, even though I wanted to move the story forward. How do I know it's Nell? Well, it's not Hilda's voice that's been nagging at me. I hear hers loud and clear! So forgive me if this is somewhat boring, although it does give me a chance for a little re-capping.

97. Chapter 97 - With Open Hands and Heart by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (2775 words)
I'm sorry to have taken so long to update, but I think I needed the short break away from it. We've just returned from a week down in Hampshire, near Winchester, and had a lovely time. Thank you for the loving comments on the last chapter. This is only quite short, but I felt Matey and Hilda needed to find a way round their differences after that meeting.

98. Chapter 98 - Minor Skirmishes by MaryR [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (3788 words)
Thank you for all the interesting thoughts you've posted. I know you have many questions, and want everything sorted as soon as possible. But life, alas, is not always so simple. How I wish it were!

This will be the last chapter in this volume. I know I'll be stopping in the middle of the action, so to speak, but I'd thought I'd be further ahead than I am before ending this volume. So please forgive me, and don't forget to favourite the new volume if you want alerts to new updates.

99. Chapter 99 - Important Message by MaryR [Reviews - 7] starstarstarstarstar (348 words)
No, alas, this is not a new chapter being added to the last volume. It's a message I can't give any other way to ND readers, so please read below:

100. Chapter 100 - Another Important Message by MaryR [Reviews - 1] (353 words)
Another short message below.

101. Chapter 101 - A Different Final Message by MaryR [Reviews - 0] (284 words)
New and unread chapter starting Sunday, hopefully.