11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant comic writing,
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This review is from: Cold Comfort Farm (Penguin Classics) (Kindle Edition)
Many of my friends have read and raved about `Cold Comfort Farm' and I've been meaning to read it for ages. Now I finally have and it's every bit as good as everyone said it was and I wish I'd read it years ago. Orphan Flora Poste, with not enough income to live on, decides to take up a career as a `parasite' by staying with all her relatives in turn. The first relatives she invites herself to stay with are the Starkadders of Cold Comfort Farm, though she has a horrible feeling she knows what it will be like and warns her friend that she may need to send her wellingtons on after her.
Even though it is every bit as bad as she expected Flora rolls up her sleeves and decides to change things. The farmhouse is dominated by old Mrs Starkadder - Aunt Ada Doom - who saw something nasty in the woodshed at a tender age and has never been the same since. No one dare leave the farm because they are all in thrall to the matriarch - except Flora. Full of eccentric and endearing characters this is a marvellous piece of comic writing.
Adam Lambsbreath - the aging farmhand - who refuses to use the washing up mop which Flora buys for him because he's always used thorn twigs and the mop is too nice to use. The daughter of the house, Elfine, who disappears every day over the Downs and writes poetry and her father Amos who is a fire and brimstone lay preacher. Flora determines to change things and to find out what Ada saw in the woodshed as well as what sin was committed against her own father by the Starkadders which means they owe her a debt. Every character's name tells a story and there is much unspoken passion and anger bubbling under the surface.
Originally written to satirise such writers as Mary Webb, the book can be read and enjoyed today even if the reader has no knowledge of the genre which is parodied. The book is in a class of its own and I found myself really liking Flora from the first page for her down to earth practicality and common sense which soon brings much needed change to Cold Comfort Farm. The ending is both heart warming and memorable. This Penguin edition of the book has an amusing and interesting introduction by Lynn Truss