Review: Stella Gibbons – Cold Comfort Farm

Cold Comfort Farm
Stella Gibbons
Flora Poste has been recently bereaved of her parents. Left with 100 pounds per year, she writes to four different relatives to try get sympathy and somewhere to live. She chooses the most unlikely charity – because she doesn’t want to have to share a bedroom!
92780Flora is an annoying character always poking her nose in self-righteously where she can. She does sort things out I suppose, but some people are happy being miserable! And other people, such as poor Adam, just want to get on with life in the same way they always have.
Look, this is supposed to be comic in the style of PG Wodehouse. I’m just not seeing it! I found it rather sad, and Flora just irritating. In fact, she reminded me of Jane Austin’s Emma, right down to the last chapter. Interfering busy-body nuisance. Perhaps I’m just not tolerant enough.
I have to say that the novel is well-written, if a little repetitive owing to Flora’s own repetitive issues. I could imagine each of the characters easily, and saw the squalor of their conditions. If they were written so that I wouldn’t like any of them, it was a success.
The question that everyone wants to know the answer to – what did Ada Doom see in the woodshed – and is indeed, the whole reason I persevered with this novel, is not answered. Sorry if I just spoilt it for you. But arg! No answers! And there were a couple of other things that weren’t satisfactorily answered either, and it just irritated me.
I borrowed this from a friend who thought I might enjoy it, but sadly I can’t say I did. I tolerated Flora, but didn’t feel anything but pity for the other characters. Except perhaps the other young girl, and that was an extra helping of pity because she allowed herself to be shaped so much.

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