Hell and Good Intentions
It was the title that first attracted me, so many years ago. What adventure-hungry 13-year-old girl could resist On Sledge and Horseback to Outcast Siberian Lepers? My first love, Huck Finn, was overthrown within minutes. He was just a boy who had floated down a river on a raft; this was a young woman, a heroine, who had braved wolves, bandits and terrible hardships in a noble cause. And it was a true story! I longed to be Kate Marsden and ride through the Siberian wastes, a handsome Russian officer at my side. It was not to be: the book, borrowed from an elderly aunt, vanished during a house move and eventually real life supplanted schoolgirl dreams.