Cold Comfort Farm

When sensible, sophisticated Flora Poste is orphaned at nineteen, she decides her only choice is to descend upon relatives in deepest Sussex. At the aptly named Cold Comfort Farm, she meets the doomed Starkadders, an eccentric group of relatives suffering from a wide variety of ailments. But Flora loves nothing better than to organise other people.

Armed with common sense and a strong will, she resolves to take each of the family in hand. A hilarious and merciless parody of rural melodramas, Cold Comfort Farm is one of the best-loved comic novels of all time.

Comedy is hard work. Any comedian can tell you that. But comedy fiction writing is an art only the truly talented should attempt.

And from the majority reaction of our group, Stella Gibbons falls within this talent pool.

There were some real belly laughs coming from some of us. In fact, Ann believes that everyone should have a copy of this book to just open up and read any page simply to lighten up your life!

The imagery and language we found brilliant. It was mentioned that quite often, the language used in classic fiction can be difficult to read and take in. Not so here, Gibbons did a masterful job of personification and those of us who took the most delight in this parody of the classic English novel felt her characters to be the real gems of this book.

All the Stackadders on Cold Comfort Farm often fell into madness of the most hilarious kind, but thanks to Flora and her Mary Poppins’ style ability, jollied them out of it and soon set everything straight with a toss of her pretty little head.

Light hearted fun at its best … although there were a few of us who found little to laugh at. Both Denise and Cathy doubted the brilliance of this novel. Found Flora a too good, control freak with many other characters coming and going from what seemed nowhere.

Elenor was not sure what to make of this novel and even unsure that it was meant as a parody.

Taken seriously or not, this little novel scored high with us. The only consensual negative by its fans was the extreme disappointment of never knowing what Mrs Stackadder saw in the woodshed … how to live with such ‘cold comfort’?

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