Date: March 29, 2021 02:24 am Title: An Insuperable Impediment
Once more, you leave me speechless. I guess I'm not able enough to do justice to your stories. They remind me of some honey-based potions, amber-colored and rich, with a perfect balance of sweetness, bitterness, and spice. Taste them once — and you'll fall under a spell for the rest of the days...
Oh, sorry, I got distracted :)
I'm happy that things became better between Pamela and elder Mrs. Halpert and that James took precautions about the men who watched them. And the birthday party was delightful to witness (as well as Pamela's presents...)
And oh! Consern about Julienne! You hinted for so long that the girl wasn't that simple as it might look, that I'm dying to know what exactly is the matter! Please, please, please, don't leave us hanging here for too long!
Date: March 28, 2021 07:45 pm Title: An Insuperable Impediment
God I love this version of Jim! So masculine and yet not afraid for everyone in his life to know that Pam is his priority. I think I've said this before, but you write their time alone in a way that gives it a dream-like quality. I imagine the movie version being a bit fuzzy around the edges, with lots of dim lighting. Seeing an update to this story is always a highlight.
Date: March 28, 2021 06:39 pm Title: An Insuperable Impediment
I’ve said this before & it’s very broken record of me, but it always astounds me with how well you do it so I can’t keep myself from mentioning it again. The way you weave the elements into the foreshadowing of your stories is so very masterful. It awes me each & every time. The weather almost becomes its own character.
Oooooh, color me very, very intrigued with that ending...
Date: March 27, 2021 08:39 pm Title: An Insuperable Impediment
I was agreeing with Jim that his birthday spent in the bed chamber with Pam sounded like a lot more fun but by the end I am so so so glad that they had the party. I love Markus already. And Jim and his mother's moment during his party was just beautiful. I am so glad that she is fond of Pam now. Speaking of which, Pamela Morgan Beesly. Ugh. This might be my favorite version of Pam. I just freaking adore her and Jim together in this. They are adorable and mesh SO well and you can tell they are just soulmates here. "I need to take a closer look." Kill me. Bored, you're a genius and so talented and teach me your ways please.
Date: March 27, 2021 05:55 pm Title: An Insuperable Impediment
Omg the suspense. Everything in the middle-the party, the bath, YOU’RE BARE are you kidding me-was all so perfect that I had forgotten all about the threats and the following and suspicious men from earlier in the chapter. You weaves between suspense and romance so perfectly. I am, as always, incredibly in awe of your talent. To be alive at the same time as you are blessing us with your gifts is truly truly a privilege.
Date: March 27, 2021 04:50 pm Title: An Insuperable Impediment
Always great to see an update here. Love the introduction of Markus. Great to see another character from canon as well as a trustworthy sould to help keep an eye on things.
Jim's trip to the shipyard was interesting to say the very least. Brody is a dressed up scallyway if I've ever seen one. The fact he's so brazen about things seems not to bode well. However if/when things come to a head, I highly doubt he'll stand any kind of chance. That monster of Col. James service days may be hidden and resting for sure, but it's still there. I got the feeling that his service was what was expected of him. It was his duty and he fulfilled it to the utmost, but there was no deep passion in his wartime service besides tyring to do right by his men. Now however James has something worth protecting. If his rage in war was roused to serve his men, how much worse would it be to defend Pam? Not sure I want to see that and if Brody was smart, which it doesn't seem like he is, that rage is something he, Brody, would never want to see.
Getting beyond that, the birthday part was delightful. The connection Pam and James share just continues to strengthen. Her first gift of gloves is practical. Her second gift of the cufflinks, shows not only that she pays attention to him, but she's activly trying to be part of his life. Not just playing the dutiful wife, but endevoring to be a partner worthy of him. Love it. I'll get to her third gift in a moment.
I really liked the conversation he had with Betsy. At first it seemed Betsy wasn't really taken by Pam. After all, James broke a very strong engagement for this lady from the South. That she's willing to say Pam has won her over is lovely. This is really where I see she's bound by the proprieties of the day. She would probably like to be more demonstrative, but she has a duty to be proper. So this is as close as she can come to any sort of affection we might want to see. James knows that and it's clear he is grateful for his mother's blessing.
Pam's third gift of *ahem* the French way of things was delightfully steamy. More than likely James' mind was more than a little melted. Love saucy private Pam there. Again she's more than a match for James and I'm here for every second of it.
So something's afoot with Julienne. I got the vibe from the off. Really looking forward to seeing what's going on. Masterful work as always.
Date: March 27, 2021 04:44 pm Title: An Insuperable Impediment
No. No no no no no. Not Julienne!! I know wherever you’re taking us will be worth it, but I may kick and scream a little along the way, ok?
I also know I should be deeply concerned that they're all in danger but I'm easily distracted by things like Pam's forest green silk dress, Jim's considerably soaked shirt sleeve, and a set of gold lion cufflinks.
Love Jim and Betsy having a sweet moment. LOL’d at her lighting a candle.
Also really love Mark coming through when James needs him. His "Stop dancing and ask man." is such a bestie response.
"No, I most certainly am not."
"I have to get a closer look."
Your fade to blacks are divine.
The way you set up the scented oil reveal... chef's kiss.
Speaking of setups… Cecelia?
I live for your updates and can’t wait for the next one. I’m sending this to Sunday Night and demanding they adapt it. Or, politely suggesting it at the very least.
Date: March 27, 2021 02:18 pm Title: An Insuperable Impediment
I was wondering if there was a spy working for JAM.
One of the maids was someone I suspected,
but not Julienne.
I don’t trust Thomas. He has a huge chip on his shoulder. So it wouldn’t surprise me if he were to betray James in some way.
I’m also curious as to why Pam has been so tired lately. Could there be a little James on the way? 🤔
It’s good to see that James’s mom has accepted Pam.
Please update soon!!!
Author's Response: I always love to hear the speculations of everyone, it's so interesting. :) Thank you for reviewing!
Date: March 27, 2021 12:35 pm Title: An Insuperable Impediment
Okay. Well. Rude.
A lot of pieces moving across the chess-board here - the introduction of Markus (MARK SIGHTING! Could Isabel be far behind?), James and Thomas moving closer to the inevitable confrontation with the Moores, and some tantalizing hints about what's going on with Julienne. I am desperate for the next chapter.
You did really well here bringing enough steam to fog up the mirrors without making things explicit. Deeply sexy.
"He contemplated her as if she had somehow seen inside the very deepest parts of who he was and recognized him, that she instinctively knew him, and that she had known him for eons." I love how you write things like this that are profound and say so much about their relationship AND also fit perfectly with canon JAM.
I also love that Pam's sheer love and understanding for Jim, along with her bravery and spirit is winning over his reluctant, insulted and highly image-conscious family. It makes you feel good about these not-always-pleasant Halperts, and reminds you that these are the people who managed to produce James in the first place.
No, but seriously. Why are you mucking about here with us when you should be storming your way up the best-seller list? (Although frankly, I *loved* The Interestings, so.)
Thank you SO MUCH as always DJC.
It's funny you mention Meg again, I just happened to come across an old book of hers on my bookshelf that I had read years and years ago, so long ago, in fact, it is missing the dust jacket: The Ten-Year Nap. It was so good! I may have to re-read it. I legit laughed when I found it though and thought of you. I haven't read The Interestings yet so I just might pick that up.
Date: February 16, 2021 05:48 am Title: Wayfaring Stranger
I was saving this new chapter for when I could savor it, and it was worth the wait. I love how you mix the intrigue with the sweetness. I'm starting to feel a bit nervous about where it's going but I can't wait for it. Your writing is amazing as usual.
Author's Response: Aww, thank you so much Sprinkles!
Date: February 13, 2021 11:27 pm Title: To Meet is the Beginning of Parting
Ummm... not getting great vibes from that chapter title...
Oh... and then that’s the sentence you’re going to close the chapter with, huh...
I’m horrendously slow at reading & even worse at reviewing at the moment, but I adore this story so very much (even when I don’t have the words to do it justice).
I love the tension you’re building here, & I can’t wait to see what it culminates as, despite being terrified you’re going to destroy me.
Author's Response: I promise it will not be nearly as painful as Virtus. ;) Thank you so much as always!
Date: February 10, 2021 08:06 pm Title: To Meet is the Beginning of Parting
I'm really loving the way this story is growing - it's still very much about their love, but it's also about what it's costing James, about the push and pull between him and his society and his family and the obligations he is sacrificing to be with Pam, the crushing expectations of their social strata, the tensions inherent in fighting to make a better world, and the cost of war. Heavy stuff.
I love this scene with them and Julienne and her indulgence of their love. She is growing on me a lot.
Thomas is pretty horrid here. It is worth noting though that he's weighed down by a lot between politics, business, the war and whatever issues with substance abuse he had before, and it doesn't seem like anyone is stepping up to help him. I did note that it sounded like the issues with the Moores started before James returned... not sure how that would have played in with the timing of his telegraph, but it may well be that James is a genuine scapegoat here. I'll be keeping an eye out.
I'm interested to see how this ends up playing into their marriage. They've made themselves targets in ways that are not likely to fade and in ways that are going to be painful for Jim to bear. It's easy and romantic to say "DAMN THEM ALL I LOVE YOU" but harder to live with in the long run, especially in a world where Jim owes all he has to his family.
VERY interested in seeing where you go with this vision of his uncle. Feels like a move that could take the story in all sorts of different directions.
Sorry I'm only now getting to respond. I wish I had a reason other than I'm just terrible. ;)
I always love how you pick up on the overarching themes as well as the more subtle ones. As someone who spends far too much mental energy on them, I appreciate it immensely.
Thank you as always!
Date: February 10, 2021 09:12 am Title: To Meet is the Beginning of Parting
"He heard her say something else but it was now low enough that he couldn't make out the words. Although based on the feminine giggles that followed, perhaps it was best that he didn't." Cool, so apparently I just want to spend all of my time eavesdropping on all of the characters in this story. I guess that says something about me, but mostly, it says something about the wonderful way you tell stories in the background of what's actually happening and how I'm constantly looking for clues.
Like in the last chapter? When Eleanore said she doesn't like a stranger in the house? Yep, still thinking about that.
""Go back to your successful newspaper and your southern whore."" Hey, Thomas seems fun. Also, I don't trust him, he seems like he could be up to something.
That dream...I just. I don't like it, okay? It's worrisome at best. And it has to be his favorite uncle.. not some random ghost, so that makes it worse and... Fine, I trust you not to break our hearts completely, but I feel like you might break them some. And I GET that. But I don't like it.
(Except that I love it.)
""Perhaps we should go see what we can do about that,"" PAMELA.
And then there's this: "It's probably nothing," he attempted to reassure her. "They are just trying to intimidate me. They weren't hiding tonight, they wanted me to see them. I'm just not willing to risk your safety so please humor me with these likely exaggerated responses."
"Why during the day? If they are trying to intimidate you as you say, why would they not come to the paper?"
"Because they likely know that all they would need to hurt me, is hurt you."" I mean, this doens't reassure ME in any way, so I can't imagine it's working on Pamela either.
Hey Bored? Where are Jim's gloves?
Author's Response: Sorry I'm just responding...you know me. Anyway, thank you as always! I promise the journey will not be too heartbreaking. Also, missing clothing items have a way of popping up later. ;)
Date: February 10, 2021 09:04 am Title: To Meet is the Beginning of Parting
Usually, I can definitely say how I feel after reading this or that story.
I can't say for sure now. I think I need some time to process everything that happened in this chapter.
You created the tension perfectly and located so many subtle hints that I'm sure I missed some. I love this word and its habitants (even the most unpleasant ones), I love that James and Pamela have not only the gladness of a happy marriage but also deal with the consequences of their actions. And I absolutely love that Pam insisted that her husband told her about his worries! Love it.
I anticipate the next chapter very much, but, I confess, this anticipation is mixed with dread. Some of your hints were too gruesome...
Anyway, thank you so much for your story!
P. S. *sarcasm mode on* 'bad porridge' yeah, right, that was the real source why that poor girl was unwell... *sarcasm mode off*
Author's Response: Thank you Dernhelm! Ah yes, bad porridge indeed...or perhaps not. ;)
Date: February 10, 2021 08:49 am Title: The Consolations of Philosophy
Like Jim, I would like to sit in that dress shop and listen to all of the gossip, especially if Larissa was talking. I really enjoy her part in this story.
"Eleanore always seemed to admonish James when he entered the back of the house, and it continually amused him." Please never stop with this either as it makes me smile every time she's flustered by him just showing up in his own house.
""From what I can see already, Monsieur, you make her very happy indeed."" Well, I love Julienne immediately. This should prove interesting!
Well, that's a rude good morning from Gerald. His horror at the realization that James loves Pam made me laugh, but also made me really sad, given the way we usually see Gerald and Betsy in fic and remind me again that these are fictional characters and I'm too invested. It's fine.
"He looked up at her, her worried brow and somber expression urged him to supply some sort of explanation. "I find it hard to put into words what I sometimes see, what sometimes haunts my sleep, only that I would never want you to endure such horror."
"Perhaps, you should let me choose whether I would bear that burden with you."
He slipped his hand from her grip and stood, his composure reasonably returned, "What kind of husband would I be if I did that?"
She frowned slightly at his attempt at levity but acquiesced, allowing the subject to drop." I think this might be one of my most favorite moments in the entire fic thus far; which is saying something because nearly every word of this fic is my favorite.
Oof, talk about an awkward dinner party. My heart kind of broke for Larissa and her "maybe I won't die a spinster" speech, but I love how clearly she pointed out why no one is welcoming Pam with open arms.
""That charm, James. Did you purchase it at discount?"" That made me laugh.
Another place I could sit and listen to endless hours of gossip? Eleanore's kitchen.
Entanglements. That's all.
Date: February 09, 2021 09:19 am Title: To Meet is the Beginning of Parting
James' protective streak shows itself here. First for his brother, even though he knows it's probably a lost cause when it comes to Thomas. Got a feeling like the unpleasantness of Tom from canon got ramped up a few degrees with Thomas there. Already drunk before noon, saying those things about Pam, sending his family away. Family ties seem to prevent James from doing anything more, but he's also not backing down. That steel James' spine still feels strong.
The dream certianly seems like an ominous premonition. To have a feeling like that tied around two of the people he's most cared about I'm sure would be unsettling. Especially after seeing the men watching him outside his home after the opera. However James is combat veteran here. Willing and able to defend what's important to him and as you so clearly portray, nothing is more important to him than Pam.
Speaking of her, I really like that she doesn't let him get away with keeping her in the dark. It's her safety that is potentially in danger as well and she has every right to be alerted to it. Shows she still has the fire in her that I feel was one of the things that first drew James' attention to her. Same thing with her not wanting to be a homebody. She's found a life worth living and wants to experience it.
Great to see this update. It's always a joy to get a new chapter.
Author's Response: Sorry I'm just replying, Warrior, but thank you! You are very right, James's war experience will become a key factor in how he responds to all this. Thanks for commenting!
Date: February 09, 2021 08:49 am Title: Fearful Odds
Coming back to read this chapter because I realized I'm terribly behind in reviewing and the scene between James and Katy is still so good. Every time I get to the part where James says "I regret that" I cackle and call him a liar even though he probably does feel bad. But in my head, his tone of voice is slightly less than genuine. For reasons.
I'll never look at azaleas the same way again.
"She is inconsequential to me." Insert "ooh, burn" gif here.
The scene where James comes home for lunch is my favorite in this chapter. Mostly for Pam saying "I would never accuse you of being a boy, husband of mine" but also really for the moment where she says she loves him. It's such a sweet and perfect moment between them - the exact opposite of his time with Katy.
Good thing that door has a lock.
And then you did the thing where you put the name of the story into the story and it was seamless and perfect and I didn't see it coming, and James writes love letters now and I don't hate that at all.
Date: February 09, 2021 08:16 am Title: To Meet is the Beginning of Parting
Oh nooo. I get why Jim published those articles, but I sincerely hope that nothing happens to him or Pam because of it. I am still loving Julienne, her bluntness is great. And then of course there's Jim and Pam. Ugh, I don't think I will ever get over them in this universe. They are perfect in every way. I loved this chapter!
Sorry I'm just getting to this--(it's me, I'm terrible ;) )
Thank you so much, as always, Aly!
Date: January 10, 2021 09:34 pm Title: Like a Songbird That Has Fallen
I promised myself that I wouldn't review until I'd read up to the most recent chapter, but this story is just beautiful! Okay, I might have a slight bias because of the Latin and the historical aspect. But still! You are a wordsmith, in the truest sense of the word. Though I do not know much about 19th century colloquialisms, you definitely give this story a distinct feel from modern fics. I love all the callbacks to historical battles and it's very obvious even to me that you've done your research. And let us not forget that this is still an Office fanfic! I'm excited to see what becomes of 1860s Jam, especially since this chapter ended on a cliffhanger and I stopped reading to write this review. Bravo!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! You are far too kind. I love that you appreciate the historical pieces I've tried to incorporate. I always feel like there is a delicate balance between just enough to round out the story, making it believable, and adding too much, bogging it down. I'm glad to hear it is the former! Thank you for reading and reviewing!
Date: January 04, 2021 06:50 am Title: The Consolations of Philosophy
Oh, Pamela and James against the world - I like it very much! That's my favorite taste of angst so far.
And I found Larissa's little speech in Pam's defense endearing.
(I don't trust Julienne, though. She feels like the second Cathy to me...)
Thank you so much!
Author's Response: Thank YOU so much for reading and commenting! Julienne will indeed add an interesting twist to the story. ;)
Date: January 03, 2021 12:06 pm Title: The Consolations of Philosophy
I just spent new years binging Bridgerton so seeing an update on this fic made me SO HAPPY. As always, I love it. I just love your writing style and the way you bring them to life in this time period. I also immediately thought that the ladies maid is a plant from Jim's parents to break them up. Clearly, been binge watching a little too much TV.
Truly love this, cannot wait for more.
Haha I love that! I, too, just finished Bridgerton and that's why I shamelessly added some references to it in this chapter. It was so good! Thank you so much for your kind words!
Date: January 03, 2021 09:54 am Title: The Consolations of Philosophy
The beginning? Flawless. Their interrupted intimacy? Beautifully written. Somehow making me love Julienne with the tiniest amount of description and like two lines of dialogue? A testament to your talent. Meeting his dad and the way Jim stood up for himself? Knock me over with a feather. Larissa giving me Eloise vibes and the whole dinner? Amazing. The frigging hair brushing scene? Fuck me uuuuppppp
You continually amaze me with your ability and the absolutely incredibly way you weave your words together. It is such an honor to me that I get to read them. Never stop. You are so so talented and this update was just indescribably lovely.
Author's Response: BT, I always love your beautifully written reviews and you are always far too nice to me in them. Thank you SO much for every word. Yes, Larissa and Julienne (and Eloise) are my new favorite things. Thanks, friend!
Date: January 03, 2021 09:16 am Title: The Consolations of Philosophy
very interesting chapter! I hope Julienne doesn't cause any trouble and I'm worried about the Moore's and Jim's father :(
Author's Response: Thank you! She will add an interesting twist for certain. Thanks for reading!