SIBERIAN ODYSSEY by Doreen Stanford


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A thoroughly engrossing true story of the escape of an English family from Siberia in 1919-1920 as the Russian revolution churned towards its climax. Certainly the narrator's point of view reflects the sturdiest of Kiplingesque British attitudes, but fortunately our heroine kept a diary and wrote copious letters. Therefore we have through them an essence of youth and hope which is still fresh these forty years later. The horror is there--stories of massacres reached the family often--and there is the terror of flight, but the author also takes delight in the clear, sweet air, the beauty of the spring and the silent spell of a snowy Siberian woods. The first indication of what is to come occurs in the form of worker unrest in the mine where Miss Stanford's father was an engineer. The family decides to return to England the flight begins. They travel on foot and on the iberian railroad. They struggle to reach Vladivostok during which time there are stops when her father takes on work, invasions by marauders which force them on, weeks in trains often stationary for days, and finally help. The feminine compulsion to explore minutiae serves well here and the chaotic times come alive as does the anguish of everlasting escape. Worthwhile.

Pub Date: Feb. 8th, 1963
Publisher: Dutton