“The farm-house itself no longer looked like a beast about to spring. (Not that it ever had, to her, for she was not in the habit of thinking that things looked exactly like other things which were as different from them in appearance as it was possible to be.) But it had looked dirty and miserable and depressing, and when Mr. Mybug had once remarked that it looked like a beast about to spring, Flora had simply not had the heart to contradict him” (Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons).
There are many types of characters – those one would love to meet, those one loves reading about, and those whose situations we would love to live in, but I have finally discovered a character that I want to be. Flora Poste has become my new role model in life: determined, elegant, and ladylike she triumphs over passion and disorder with the aid of reason and her delicious book ‘The Higher Common Sense’.
Cold Comfort Farm is essentially about the civilized coming up against the barbaric, passionate, and mad, and triumphing. At the start, the transition between Flora’s steady, light-hearted thoughts and the Starkadder’s insane ramblings can be disconcerting – but it is all part of the fun. You have to experience the ridiculous passion of the farm in order to be on Flora’s side in wanting to reform it. You’ll laugh and smile at this quick read, and at the end look around at your own life and begin to tackle its problems with the ease and aplomb of a 1920’s British Lady. All of a sudden reason and tidiness don’t seem so impossible after all.
Beverage: Some Chinese green tea, bread, and something ladylike, such as jam.
Reminds me of… A particular recommendation for a follow-up to Mansfield Park, for the continuity, and a lovely companion to Lucia.