From Silent Night: A Lady Julia Christmas Novella by Deanna Raybourn.
This particular passage takes place as the Lady Julia, her husband Nicholas Brisbane, her sister Portia, and her sister’s adopted child, Jane, are gathering to drive out to the March estate in Sussex for Christmas.
Portia plucked [Jane] from the pram and shoved her into my arms. “Say hello to Auntie Julia, darling.”
Jane the Younger stopped howling long enough to lunge for my earring.
“Such good taste,” I murmured, prying at the chubby little fist.
“Yes, she has developed a penchant for things that sparkle,” Portia said, applying herself to her daughter’s miserly clutch. “Darling, you must let go of Auntie Julia’s ear. No, stop twisting it, my pet. Auntie Julia is starting to cry. Julia, stop being so melodramatic. It is just an earring.”
What I love about this passage is that there are actually very few action statements in it. The actions and responses of the various characters are reported primarily through Portia’s running commentary. And yet, I can picture so clearly exactly what happened and how it must have felt to all involved. Beautifully done, Ms. Raybourn.