by Stella Gibbons
1932 / 260 pages
Rating: 9 / satire- classic
“But there have always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm,” screeches the aged and reclusive Aunt Ada Doom, who long, long ago saw something nasty in the woodshed.
That’s okay, young Miss Flora Poste, a suddenly poor and orphaned, but socially upper middle class ingenue has arrived at the farm and she has plans to tidy them up, civilize them all – And there are many people and situations which need tidying.
I really enjoyed this book. I suppose it’s the language which stands out, Gibbons has created a unique (to me) blend of city and country dialects and rural-sounding nonsense words. A lot of this may be parody or satire going over my head.
The setting is futuristic, 1946 or later, and for the most part, rural England, Sussex County. Gibbons created a marvelous parody which would likely have been funny even had I not been familiar with Thomas Hardy and D. H. Lawrence. She’s marked the parodic lines with asterisks so her readers will know – lol.
The farm characters, the Starkadders, seem to this Californian, like they are out of the hills of North Carolina where some cousins are true hillbillies, but others have managed to fit into city social life.
I’ve wanted to read this for a long time – finally got to it and yes, it was worth it.