Posted in 1930s, Anastasiya, Secondary characters, Third Russian novel, Writing

Six Sentence Sunday—Owned by the Butler

This week’s offering for Six Sentence Sunday comes again from my third Russian novel and is another little scene between quasi-antagonist Anastasiya and her best friend Katrin’s butler Mr. Rhodes. It’s late at night on the Fourth of July, and Anastasiya’s 7-year-old son Dmitriy asks his uninvolved mother why she’s painting her nails so late at night. Anastasiya responds in her usual unmotherly manner, and is immediately called out by the butler.


“I’m thirty-four years old.  I’ve earned the right to do whatever I want, whenever I want it.”

“Including having a drunken one-night stand with a stranger and becoming pregnant?” Mr. Rhodes asks as he picks up the mess Katrin’s youngest daughters made earlier in the evening. “If you don’t want me to understand your endless parade of unintentionally amusing conversation, you need to speak another language.  Do you speak any other languages besides Estonian, Russian, English, German, and French?”

Anastásiya ignores him and goes back to painting her nails red.


I started reading at three (my first book was Grimm's Fairy Tales, the uncensored adult version), started writing at four, started writing book-length things at eleven, and have been a writer ever since. I predominantly write historical fiction family sagas/series. I primarily write about young people, since I was a young person myself when I became a serious writer and didn't know how to write about adults as main characters. I only write in a contemporary setting if the books naturally go into the modern era over the course of the decades-long stories being told over many books. I've always been drawn to books, films, music, fashions, et al, from bygone eras, and have never really been too much into modern things. If something or someone has appeal for all time, it'll still be there to be discovered after the initial to-do has died down. For example, my second-favorite writer enjoyed a huge burst of popularity in the Sixties and Seventies, but he wrote his books from 1904-43, and his books still resonate today, even after he's no longer such a fad. Quality lasts for all time.

18 thoughts on “Six Sentence Sunday—Owned by the Butler

  1. I love the dynamic between these two. It makes me wonder if she’ll ever change and appreciate his approval . . . although if she doesn’t, I’ll appreciate his proper snark, too! 🙂

    (did he say this in front of the boy? Or in a language he knew the boy wouldn’t know? Just asking)


    1. Dmitriy’s first languages are Estonian and Russian, though his home tutor has taught him a decent amount of English. He’s sadly all too aware of the fact that his father is a stranger his mother (a fashion designer) met when she was at her first show in Paris.


  2. I hope he didn’t say this in front of the kid! Boy, he must be one heck of a butler. I don’t believe he’d remain in my employ with his snark (which I find endlessly entertaining as a reader, but wouldn’t appreciate from staff … especially not at my own expense!)


    1. Anastasiya isn’t his employer, as he’s often reminding her when she tries to act like it. Her best friend moved her back into her home to protect her from the scandal of unwed motherhood, but the servants feel she’s long overstayed her welcome.


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