WeWriWa—Inga meets Yuriy

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s, when Yuriy invited Inga to stay by the boarding house his grandmother and spinster aunt Zina run in the heavily Russian neighborhood of Hamilton Heights.

Yuriy suggests he might know Inga’s father, since his family has a lot of friends in the New York Russian community. Once she says her father’s name, Yuriy realizes their families’ deep connection.

“My father’s name is Mikhail Mikhaylovich Kharzin.  I hope he and his parents don’t think I’m a liar or that my mother was a whore, since they never knew about me, and my mother was sixteen and unmarried when I was conceived.”

Yuriy smiles at her. “I certainly do know your father and his family, and even if they do judge you for how you were born, I won’t judge you.  I was born outside of marriage myself, and my mother was even younger than yours.  I have a much better stepfather now, whom I consider my real father.  Knowing Ginny’s mother, she’ll probably have several heart attacks when she finds out her only child went and procreated outside of marriage as a teenager.  So this means your mother must be Georgiya Savvina.  I guess your name’s Savvina too.”

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Ginny’s parents were Orthodox Christian missionaries in East Prussia before World War I. Though they’re very progressive, they nevertheless live by a strong moral code. They’re also very loving and forgiving, and understand sometimes people do things, or things happen to people, that aren’t always the perfect Orthodox ideal.

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13 thoughts on “WeWriWa—Inga meets Yuriy

  1. How interesting that both of them were born outside of wedlock. Was that very common at the time? You said that Ginny’s parents were very understanding, but I suspect that all parents wouldn’t be at that time. I think Inga might have something to worry about! Sweet snippet!

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    • They were born in 1919 and 1924 in the USSR, when the institution of marriage was extremely unpopular, highly discouraged, and seen as un-Communist. The legal status of all children was equalized, with the term “illegitimate child” abolished.

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  2. Your comment back to Jenna was utterly fascinating! I had no idea… The snippet’s tone makes absolute sense after reading that. They seemed so matter of fact. I wondered that they didn’t show more emotion at having both been born out of wedlock. Now I know why. 🙂

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  3. It’s so good she found someone who knows the family she’s looking for. Now, she can get to know them better before she actually meets them.

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  4. This snippet shows how small the world is/was. Granted, most communities were like-minded, or from the same ethnic backgrounds and your knowledge of those around you was learned by osmosis. I should know. My home town had only 1200 people. You inherently knew who everybody was, and who their parents/grandparents were.

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