I’ve been through a few in my life, but this one is still taking me by surprise. I don’t remember it being quite so dark…or my heating bill being quite so high (it’s tripled!).
Of course Puxatawney Phil did see his shadow (curse that rat!)
And before that, the Farmers Almanac did warn us (how do they know this stuff??)
But it’s a cold comfort. (See what I did there?)
Which brings me to one of my favorite books of all time: Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons.
“Stella Gibbons’ novel is a wickedly funny portrait of British rural life in the 1930s. Flora, a recently orphaned socialite, moves in with her country relatives, the gloomy Starkadders of Cold Comfort Farm.”
“In Gibbons’s classic tale, first published in 1932, a resourceful young heroine finds herself in the gloomy, overwrought world of a Hardy or Bronte novel and proceeds to organize everyone out of their romantic tragedies into the pleasures of normal life. Flora Poste, orphaned at 19, chooses to live with relatives at Cold Comfort Farm in Sussex, where cows are named Feckless, Aimless, Pointless, and Graceless, and the proprietors, the dour Starkadder family, are tyrannized by Flora’s mysterious aunt, who controls the household from a locked room. Flora’s confident and clever management of an alarming cast of eccentrics is only half the pleasure of this novel. The other half is Gibbons’s wicked sendup of romantic cliches, from the mad woman in the attic to the druidical peasants with their West Country accents and mystical herbs. Anne Massey’s skillful rendering of a variety of accents will make this story more accessible to American audiences. Recommended for both literary and popular collections.”
– Sharon Cumberland, Graduate Ctr., CUNY
From the aunt with the bra fetish to scraping dishes with thorns to randy farm boys, this book will warm with laughter you up no matter how cold it gets outside.
And this winter, that’s saying something.