Date: June 12, 2021 03:00 pm Title: Only Truth Between Us, Remember?
I've always thought about what it could be that Jim and Pam could fight about as but never would I ever think it would be about infidelity, however you have created a world where it believable that Pam could think that (being the times and what she has grown up with) and yet it hurt that much more to have her think Jim could ever be unfaithful. I do find it interesting that the use of "fine" has been around for ages when woman do not wish to speak of what is troubling them (you've got me thinking my words as if I myself were back in the middle of the 19th century)
The resolution of their fight - I have familiar scenes to pull from and now a third that you have painted for me. OH and that reminds me - adored the honey pot reference from last chapter as much as I did when it happened in France- that Julienne is an influence.
Speaking of Julienne - Oh dear (again, you've got me thinking in language of the times) that is troublesome and I have to imagine this is tied someone to all the troubles with the Moores. ANd it wasn't enough to have one cliffhanger - you've gone and added another. What has happened to Thomas?
Lines that struck me - How could she be blind to the fact that the timeline of his life had a clear distinction of before and after her?
He could confidently say now that the woman in his lap had him completely under her spell, and that he would follow her anywhere and do anything for her. It was a spell he was happy to be under, so it was clear that particular lesson as a boy certainly had failed its purpose.
The only downside to having caught up on this story is now I'll have to wait like everyone else.
Date: June 06, 2021 09:59 pm Title: Only Truth Between Us, Remember?
Boring?! How dare you.
Never could words you put onto paper bore a soul…
(It’s just the AN & you’ve already got me feeling things)
Oh. Jim’s anger is so gorgeous. I love that he’s absolutely betrayed by even the thought that Pam could think him unfaithful. It’s such a brilliant way to highlight the depth of his devotion.
You’re really ending each of these chapters with a whole cliffhanger, huh? That’s fine. I’m fine. It’s fine.
Date: June 05, 2021 07:16 pm Title: Fearful Odds
You did well hitting the multiple senses here - the lavender, the bold, serif print, the whisper of the skirts, the sounds of wheels on cobblestone, the voices of familiar characters (excited to see/hear Oscar, Dwight and Mark).
She is my wife in body and name - When James says stuff like this you do envy Pam. (like Larissa later points out- yes I've read ahead before this review).
I appreciated the part about how he really ran the paper. I like this characteristic in James and it highlights his responsibility despite his playful nature, when it mattered or when it was about important things like his family.
The societal and political repercussions of his leaving Katy and marrying a southerner seem worrisome and foreboding for what is ahead (and did I get a slight whiff of Hamilton here).
I love that Eleanore and Pam are forming such a bond and I adore that James plants temple kisses on Pam in the same manner Jim does. To me those always seemed to define the absolute love he felt/feels for her. The fun banter between them in the next scene --he is no boy-- followed by her first I Love You, followed by a locked door - all so perfectly done.
I am so glad he left the sonnet - and has taken to the art form of love letters. Beautiful way to end the chapter.
Author's Response: Thank you! Yes, I think this James is my favorite iteration of Jim and it’s been fun to write him that way. I knew when I was beginning this fic that I wanted to incorporate the sonnet (and of course the fic name) and this felt like the most natural way — his stumbling but sincere attempt to be romantic. I also wanted to highlight that he never even considered doing so with Katy so just another way she is on a completely different level than her.
Date: May 31, 2021 02:54 pm Title: She Passed Through
Another chapter that swept me away. In the interest of getting back to reading I’ll not go on as much as usual but do have to mention - the repurposed asleep on his shoulder. I think I like this image of it better than the original. She finally gets her terrace! How perfect. And the slightly longer and beautifully painted in its own right and description:
“You’re my home now”. This part touches me more than anything and not just because “you’re my home” is engraved inside my husband and my rings- because there is no sentiment that touches my heart more and I imagine yours too.
Author's Response: Aww, I love that. It is certainly a sentiment I share. And yes, the alignment of his world is defintely shifting. Thank you!
Date: May 30, 2021 11:02 am Title: Bound for Another Home
Where do I even start? I guess at the beginning. This haunting opening reminded me of the incredible sacrifices of any servicemen and their families, how fitting that I'm reading over Memorial Day weekend. Also how the cycles and patterns of these horrors are essentially on an endless loop destined to repeat which I suppose why this Civil war tale reminded me of the nightmares a modern fictional character looking a lot like our James has had. That he now has something to wake to help banish those visions was beautifully described in the next paragraphs.
There was a poetic beauty in how the following was both so familiar and at the same time so unique to this tale.
The whole bit with only truth that reveals the most clever repackaging of the setting the date scene. That was sheer genius. Roy is a terrible person no matter what era he exists in and I knew he had something to do with that fire but maybe not for the reason I thought. Stupid drunk a-hole.
Now the contrast between Pam and Katy with a touch of even penny thrown in perfectly suggests the deepens of what exists between them something beyond attraction of even chemistry. That she stirs his soul because of her proud mouth and how much that lines reminds us of the times. Your use of language and sentiment of the era is remarkably accurate. The line later “it was as if his soul recognized hers, that in some far off distant place and time they had experienced this together.” Was another perfect manifestation through words of that connection.
Again the way you call to mind the familiar but keep it fresh works wonderfully here and at the last line.
How this line just absolutely tickled me.
“He swallowed hard and made a mental note to find the candle maker in the morning and thank them profusely for their poorly made product.”
And you've said it perfectly
"“Beyond willing, he wanted her to want him, not out of obligation but of desire. There were very few things that meant more to a man than the desire of a woman he cared about.”
How I LOVED this chapter.
The whole - it was as if his soul recognized hers, that in some far off distant place and time they had experienced this together- was a little bit of a prep line for the possibility of another story in another time (Scotland maybe? I mean, Halpert is a Scottish name and his dad wore a kilt at the wedding. lol.) where they would find each other there, the idea that souls can find each other no matter what. I've got to get through this one first though.
Date: May 27, 2021 04:12 pm Title: Any Other Name
Well this is moving right along isn't it...guess we want to get to the wedding faster (wink wink).
I was a little surprised to see Mrs. Beesly act so abrupt (I struggle to find the right word here) at Jim's actions - after all she'd relying on his hospitality and his generosity here, not her daughter's fiancé's. I imagine she would have known what a poor character Roy was but as I think about it - it is in her show character to not notice how awful he truly is and I suppose it is also in keeping with the times and I guess the final point is Jim is in many ways a "Sassenach" of his time and geography?
But dashing James handled it well.
The sprinkled in lines and scenes from the show were subtle yet perfect.
OH and the post Roy/Jim showdown that's about to happen is a little frightful, with Roy's extra muscle and not a Dwight in sight to save the day with --- what's the 19th century equivalent to pepper spray?
Looking forward to seeing how this goes down.
Author's Response: Exactly! He was a outsider and a stranger AND a Union soldier. Even though their ideologies might have aligned closer with the North, there was a tremendous distrust of Union solders because of all the terrible things they had done to civilians (burning homes, thefts, assaults.) She had known Roy and his family his whole life, and while he was a rather less than pleasant betrothed, he was still the known. Mrs. Beesly's reaction was coming from a place of "Who are you?" Of course, once she realizes his level of wealth and influence, she sets that aside for the most part. Thanks as always for sharing your thoughts!
Date: May 26, 2021 06:50 pm Title: Like a Songbird That Has Fallen
Wow- we got here quick. But I guess when you feel something that strong you can't control what you say or do...but with a fiancée at home I'm a little worried at what's to come of this utterance.
But I started at the end - when so much else was conveyed through this chapter...
the section describing his convalescence after his grave injury was haunting, especially in the way he was surrounded by so much death.
Haunting too was the life Pam would be subject to with Roy, and her predicament caused by the era, the war, a careless father, and what I am suspicious was not a random accident (perhaps two). A predicament made worse because of the abusive nature of her betrothed.
But I was glad to see her at least standing up for herself as much as she could and lines like
“I have a confession. I do not particularly like Mr. Anderson,"
and “You forget yourself, sir!" were delightful the former just because it's so honest and his response is perfect and the latter well because it makes me think of a line from a Hamilton song, but seriously both just draw you into the time.
Speaking of which it was interesting to learn that Pam was the one to inherit everything but because of the time, when she would marry it would all become Roys, which brings us full circle to OMG - did Jim just propose when he has a fiancée already.
As usual you've got me enrapt. I can't wait to see what's to come.
Author's Response: Thank you! I love that you picked up on her moments self-assertiveness. One of the things I wanted to shape about her character is that she definitely grows and becomes a more confident version of herself with his support, very similar to the show in that respect. And of course I had to hurry up and get them married, for obvious reasons. ;) Thanks for the review!
Date: May 25, 2021 11:03 am Title: Only Truth Between Us, Remember?
Okay, this is perfect. I think it is so spot on that Pam would initially suspect Jim, as that was the norm for the time. And I think he reacted in a believable way, and I love the little confrontation there at the saloon. And then the MAKE UP oh my good. Sister, *that* is how you write a shaving scene. And I am so in love with her confidence, even if it’s shy. You wrote that so beautifully. Just, the whole thing, including them asking Julienne to stay and then the mystery of what happened to Thomas! Dying over this whole thing. Knocked it out of the park again.
Author's Response: Haha thank you BT SO much! I was hoping that the shaving scene would work out well so I'm glad hear that it did. You will see more of her development as a character *ahem* later as well, but it is something that I definitely wanted to show. She is certainly coming into her own with him supporting her. Thank you as always!
Date: May 25, 2021 06:47 am Title: Only Truth Between Us, Remember?
I should've known that I wouldn't be able just to sit and read your stories at once. Again, I finished this chapter after a lot of walking and excessive (tea) drinking, and I have to say many things.
Maybe, I make a list. So:
1) This chapter is anything but boring. I hope this won't sound rude, but I think that you're unable to write boring stories. I'm sure if you decided to create your own version of a multiplication table, it would be something poetic, inspirational, and generally wonderful. And I'm grateful to you for writing things the way you do;
2) The mood of this chapter to me was so sad... I'm happy that they understood each other and that (mostly) everything is back to normal again, but there were too many moments when I felt like crying;
3) Also, I have to apologize. I thought of Julienne much worse than she really is. Poor girl, I'm ashamed of everything I made up about her in my mind. I hope that she'll be well.
I suspect that Moores (or, most likely, some of their men) might be involved, but I've already embarrassed myself so that I won't make any assumptions;
4) And I like that every character here (even the most progressive James, Pamela, and Larissa) is a child of this time. With specific points of view, prejudices, education, and perceiving the world generally. It's rare and precious to me as a reader;
5) Cliffhanger. I beg you to show your mercy and update this masterpiece soon.
Thank you, and sorry if it turned out to be a little too wordy.
I just love you and your tea drinking, Dernhelm. It always makes me smile. Your comment about multiplication tables legit made me laugh too, so thank you.
I actually take it as quite the compliment that you thought one thing about her when it turned out to be another because that was by design. Since this is only from James's perspective, this sort of turn of events would have blindsided him as much as it did the reader. It means I actually might have done it correctly. Lol.
Please never apologise for your wonderful reviews. I love them. Thank you!
Date: May 25, 2021 04:19 am Title: Wayfaring Stranger
Right off the bat, from the summary I got a the feels, and the faint hint of whiskey and horses in my nose.
Visions of Young James as a soldier who'd been witness to all that war can do to a person came to me with the line about the 'scars of war'.
It was a bit of a shock but a good twist that it was J who had a fiancée and one he did have true feelings for.
Loved that despite the different time and place, these two still sounded like these two with the banter and playfulness that defines them (right off the bat) with Pam's sass during the discussion of visiting Philadelphia and trains.
The detail of the lack of young men - really gave you the sense of the post war devastation and the description in general of the wake gave a sense of the shock of the loss. The suddenness of the death and the way the chapter ends, not to mention the partnership of the Beesly and Anderson fathers make me wonder if it was not a natural occurrence.
You painted Roy as Roy immediately, even before the brothel, with his inattention to the conversation and I have to ask what the line 'having completed what he came to do' meant to be a small hint back when he showed up at the art show?
Once again, the ending left me curious and anxious to see what is coming next.
Date: May 24, 2021 03:50 pm Title: Only Truth Between Us, Remember?
I swear there is no scene more intimate in fan fiction than a shaving scene. Oof, I love it!
Author's Response: Right?! I thought it might be a good thing to try with these two. Thanks for the review!
Date: May 24, 2021 10:44 am Title: Only Truth Between Us, Remember?
So glad you picked this story back up! First off, no. We are not bored with this story. I really like it and I’m glad it’s back .
Second, great chapter. I like that you added a little drama between Jim and Pam, but fixed it right away. I’m still curious to see where this goes. I hope you update soon
Author's Response: Thank you so much Merria! I'm so glad to hear people haven't lost interest in this story. I think sometimes as author, it can feel that way. Thanks for review and I hope to have an update before long. :)
Date: May 24, 2021 06:26 am Title: Only Truth Between Us, Remember?
I get the feeling that what happened with Julienne was no random occurance. Especially with the way that Mr. Moore was acting at the saloon. I will say I was very glad to see the restraint James showed. It seems that his marriage with Pam has settled him enought to allow him to keep his temper. Peter being there also helped matters.
The look into the social life of this time period is as facinating as ever. At some points I find myself glad we've progressed a lot further than back then. At other points I'm also reminded that there's still much progress to be made as well. Well done for casting a spotlight on some of those issues.
Pam sitting on James' lap and giving him a straight razor shave? Ummmm, yes. Please and thank you and very much yes.
I really liked the line about how James' ship is now once more pointed at the North Star that is Pam. Good thing too as it seems they've intentionally set a hard course. Even more so now that there seems to be something afoot with Thomas.
Author's Response: Thanks warrior! Yes, the circumstances surrounding just about everything in this story are more intertwined than they appear. I love that you picked out the North Star line, it's one of my favorites. Thank you for the review!
Date: May 24, 2021 01:44 am Title: Only Truth Between Us, Remember?
This update is so welcomed.
Your word choices, dialogue, all sentence structures, and sociological insights take me directly to the 1860's. It's almost like you have immersed yourself in a foreign country and language and translated it for the reader.
Thank you Once!
What a tremendous compliment! I really appreciate it and I'm thrilled you are enjoying it so much.
Date: May 23, 2021 08:23 pm Title: Only Truth Between Us, Remember?
Yay you’re back!
I’m dying to know who the father of the baby is.
Will we eventually find out?
If James doesn’t like being thought of as the father, and a cheater, then isn’t helping his case by going to places that have prostitution.
Haha thanks! Will we find out? Perhaps. ;)
And to be honest, the idea that a man of his wealth and influence would *not* encounter prostitution at nearly every turn would not be very historically accurate. In fact, prostitution in the US had its greatest period of growth during the Civil War. Any establishment for men, with the exception of church, would have some level of prostitution so it would not reflect negatively on his character or integrity at all to be at one. His being assumed as the father of the maid's child had more to do with the actions of most wealthy men at the time, not an actual reflection of him in any way. The fact that Pam comes to that realization on her own, while he is at work, speaks to that. She knew the truth of the content of his character, the voices of her past and of the world only drowned out that truth for a moment. Also, I hope that the overarching theme I have tried to establish that James is NOT like most of his contemporaries would show that even though he is surrounded by the opportunity, it doesn't even cross his mind. He's just a better man than that. Lucky Pam. ;)
Thanks so much for the review!
Date: May 23, 2021 08:20 pm Title: Only Truth Between Us, Remember?
Oooof. Twist I didn't see coming with Pam's suspicions of James. You can imagine her hurt here, but what a body blow for our boy that she'd ever consider it. And with all he's sacrificed, too. Poor guy. But I suppose it's a good reminder that Pam's dealing with her share of intergenerational trauma, too - and that James' fundamental goodness also makes him naive at times about the things that women in this society must bear.
"He had not changed much in the four years since he had last spoken to him, a taller man with thinning hair, he never seemed to quite match the image he attempted to project to the world." This is such a great description - tells you a lot about Charles Moore and why he acts the way he does. This is a man who is not quite comfortable in his position and knows it. Not quite sure what I think of him yet... he sure manages to push James' buttons well, but is he a master manipulator playing him, or merely intemperate?
This shaving scene is GORGEOUS.
Hmmm. It's telling, perhaps, of how much of this is from James' perspective that I really don't know who to suspect of Julienne's rape. Markus or Thomas would seem the most obvious candidates, but it doesn't seem quite in their character... but then their character has been entirely seen through James' eyes.
YIKES CLIFFHANGER. PLEASE UPDATE SOON.
Thank you for everything! I'm glad you picked out the hints on Charles. I hope to shape him in a way that makes him a more interesting antagonist.
It's also great that you recognize that perception is really everything and coming only from what James knows has definitely limited some understanding of certain characters. This will come into play later. And I just have to say, your estimations are correct, Markus is not that kind of man. Much like Brian in V, he has a future that lies elsewhere (is that vague enough? Lol.)
Thank you as always. :)
Date: May 23, 2021 08:07 pm Title: Only Truth Between Us, Remember?
*sigh* I'm in love with this story. Like, take Jim and Pam's love for each other in this story and that's my love for it and for you for creating this beautiful world. I don't know how you made shaving into a scene I will forever remember and reread, but you did. "Don't distract me." "Yes, ma'am." BORED. I needed a minute. I think I still do. Never stop, please.
Author's Response: Haha you picked my favorite lines. I was so unsure how any of this would be received so I'm so glad you like it. :) Thank you!
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!
"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..." Dernhelm! That is pure poetry. I literally gasped.
Thank you so much!
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.
Author's Response: I adore James too. He is so much fun to write this way. Thank you, Sprinkles!
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...
Author's Response: I absolutely love that you pick up on all that. I makes my day, I promise you. :) Thank you!
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.
Author's Response: Same! James had the right idea. ;) You are always so wonderful in your comments. Thank you so so much.
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.
Author's Response: I love that you love the bare part! I wasn't sure how that would go over. ;) Thank you so much for your encouragement. It absolutely makes my day every time.