Memorable quotes from somewhere in the middle of a book: Silent Night by Deanna Raybourn

From Silent Night: A Lady Julia Christmas NovellaSilentNightLadyJulia 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.

Merry Christmas!


About Shala Howell

Writer of things ranging from optical network switching white papers to genetic testing patient education materials to historical fiction set in an 1880s asylum. When I’m not scratching my head over pesky characters who refuse to do things how I want them done or dreaming of my next book (which will of course be much easier to write than the current one), my writerly self can be found blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at, or musing about books and the writing life at
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One Response to Memorable quotes from somewhere in the middle of a book: Silent Night by Deanna Raybourn

  1. Pingback: Writing advice from somewhere in the middle of a great book: Barry Hughart Edition | BostonWriters

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