I went 'winter swimming' in the Hampstead Ladies' Pond. The pale-green water was bitterly cold as I lowered myself into it and, when I didn't warm up after two laps of the tree-lined pond, I knew I had to get out. Standing was difficult; my body was shaking too hard. Thankfully the lifeguards saw at once that I was in trouble. After 15 minutes by a warm radiator swathed in blankets and drinking warm tea, my teeth stopped chattering. Why is this story relevant? Because Mildred Holland, the protagonist of The Huntingfield Paintress, takes a course of action which terrifies her and challenges her physically and mentally. I had set myself a frightening task so I could appreciate what she had done. Read the novel to find out more!