Cold Comfort Farm
by Stella Gibbons

GibbonsScreen shot 2013-03-01 at 2.53.02 PMAn optimistic and self-confident young woman sets about “tidying up” a grim, fate-bound family farm.  Parodies the style of Thomas Hardy.

Opening line:  The education bestowed on 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 the influenza or Spanish Plague which occurred in her twentieth year, she was discovered to possess every art and grace save that of earning her own living.

Quotes from critics:  This is such a delightful, tongue-in-cheek (and sometimes tongue-out-of-cheek) book, making gentle but merciless fun of rural life, for both the lower, working and upper classes. Everyone, in fact. Even Flora is not exempt from gentle ridicule. But it’s not a mean-spirited book, nor a snobbish one. It’s full of humorous details, eccentric characters and beautiful prose, and the pacing – yes, the all-important pacing – is swift but not fast, tightly plotted and structured and zipping. (; “Delicious . . . Cold Comfort Farm has the sunniness of a P.G. Wodehouse and the comic aplomb of Evelyn Waugh. (The Independent)

Bio:  After an unhappy and violent childhood, Stella Gibbons—novelist, poet and short-story writer—worked for ten years as a journalist before her first novel, Cold Comfort Farm, won for her in 1933 the Femina Vie Heureuse Prize and immediate fame.  She has written 25 other books, most of them out of print.  Gibbons lived from 1902-1989.