Nina's father, Zacharias, was a kind man. He was a hard worker and extremely conservative. He accepted life as it was handed to him; he did not seek to change things.

"... Zacharias was short and compact, with large square hands and a similarly shaped head. His brown hair, already turning grey, was nearly always hidden beneath a black bowler hat – the bowler, along with white starched collars, appearing several years ago when he was made foreman. His promotion had been the pinnacle; now he was on the plateau. Eventually, he would reach the edge, and finally he hoped to meet his God. He had always been a religious man. Life for him was about fearing his God, respecting the German baron and loving Tsar Nicholas II. He could not understand those who wanted a free, autonomous Latvia, and he did not understand what difference the word free would make to anyone. He had only ever known the German estate: the fields, the workshops, the sawmill, the dairy and the big house. He had begun life on an estate in Estonia before eventually moving to the estate where he now worked. He had no complaints. His wife ran the household, and the baron and the Tsar ran the country."