Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

cold_comfort_farmThe education bestowed upon Flora Poste by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged; and when they died within a few weeks of one another during the annual epidemic of influenza or Spanish Plague which occured in her twentieth year, she was discovered to possess every art and grace save that of earning her own living.

What it’s about: Flora Poste moves in with distant relatives on Cold Comfort Farm and decides to fix everybody.

Why I liked it: I absolutely adored this book! The book is written in that overblown, melodramatic fashion of pastoral novels popular in the 1930s, but with just enough snark thrown in. I laughed out loud many times. Yet despite being a satire, the characters are very human. The task Flora sets for herself is to transform them from caricatures into people, and she succeeds. Flora is just my kind of British heroine: sensible, pragmatic, straightforward, intolerant of overblown emotions and a reader.

Who might like it: Anyone who’s been made to read Thomas Hardy or D.H. Lawrence and needs an antidote, fans of Jane Austen’s Emma or anyone who needs a good laugh.

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