I’ve found that when I put books off for a long time there’s a reason and the reason is I just wasn’t ready for them at the time I first thought of reading them. This week I howled with laughter at Cold Comfort Farm—a book I wasn’t sure I’d finish many years ago. In my 20s I hadn’t enough cultural knowledge to “get it.” Today, with decades of reading British authors and watching British t.v. I got it. I kept thinking of Lol [the name Lol not the texting abbreviation] in my all-time favorite British t.v. show, As Time Goes By, as I listened to Anna Massey’s superb audio version in the car this week.
“Flora inherited, however, from her father a strong will and from her mother a slender ankle.”
Orphaned 20-something Flora Poste (“Robert Poste’s Child!”) imposes herself upon a crew of eccentric country relatives (the Starkadder family) on a rather shabby estate known as Cold Comfort Farm (where there have ALWAYS been Starkadders!). What ensues is Flora’s very matter-of-fact, and hilarious, efforts to put the denizens of Cold Comfort on the path to happiness and prosperity once again.
“Flora sighed. It was curious that persons who lived what the novelists call a rich emotional life always seemed to be a bit slow on the uptake.”
Officially, this is a satirical send-up of Thomas Hardy and other figures in British literature and their angsty, dreary rural stories. I’ve head that the movie version is superb–some say better than the book. I’ll have to withhold judgement until I watch it. Meanwhile, this is a fun rural romp no one who loves anything British should miss.
“By now Flora was really cross. Surely she had endured enough for one evening without having to listen to intelligent conversation?”
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Currently $2.99 for Kindle
Note: Cover may differ–I chose the cover I liked best for this review.