USF Book Club: Cold Comfort Farm

Hello! The USF Book Club will read and discuss Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons for our November selection. We will meet on November 17, 2010 from 12 noon – 1 pm in the seminar room (#209) of Gleeson Library. Feel free to bring your lunch!

How to get the book: since Gleeson’s copy is checked out, you can request Cold Comfort Farm through our free service Link+ by clicking here. The book will arrive at USF within 4 business days. You can also check out a copy from the San Francisco Public Library. Lastly, an ebook version of this title is available on the Kindle and iPads that the library is loaning to patrons.

(yes I picked the weirdest cover art of the many editions of this book, hah!)

In Gibbons’s classic tale, 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.

I think I heard someone compare the power structure in this book to USF’s own hierarchy. Blasphemous? Or true? Read it and let us know what you think. Hope to see you there!

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