Flora Poste is educated and reformed, but when her parents pass away she's at a loss for what she should do. Heaven forbid she learn how to work, instead she tries to stay with extended family, writing to four different family members asking if she can stay with them. She gets a response back from Cold Comfort Farm and the Starkadder family and decides to go stay with them. While she expects mystery and intrigue, things are a whole lot different than she expects. Cold Comfort Farm is indeed cold. The environment is quite dreary, with her cousin Judith being quite a downer, Judith's husband wanting only to preach to the Brethren rather than tend to the farm, 17 year old Elfine who wants to run in the fields and write poetry all day, Seth who only cares about movies, and a whole slew of other cousins. Then there is Aunt Ada Doom who keeps herself in the upstairs bedroom, threatening to go crazy if any of her children or grandchildren leave the farm. Flora has an overly cheerful demeanor and sets out to change her cousin's lives. She wants to make Cold Comfort Farm less cold and help her cousins reach their full potential.
The author has a mocking tone towards Flora at times, making fun of her naivety and cheerfulness. At the beginning, I found Flora kind of annoying but eventually got used to her and the way the author was trying to portray her. Other people have described this book as funny, which I didn't really find. Parts of it were amusing, but it wasn't laugh-out-loud funny.
Overall, I thought the book was alright. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it. This book is #88 on the BBC List and I think there are far better books on that list than this one.
First 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."