COLD COMFORT FARM by Stella Gibbons: 118/233
Flora has decided on her mission to clean up Cold Comfort. She hasn’t met the terrible Aunt Ada Doom, although Aunt Ada has enjoyed a brief second-person interlude about how her SEEING SOMETHING NASTY IN THE WOODSHED (or maybe some other shed?) has given her iron-grip power over the family for decades. Cousin Amos, who is huge in the book but I can’t stop seeing him as Ian McKellen, has done his preaching to the Church of the Quivering Brethren (‘the Earth will burn, but we will quiver’), Flora has suggested that he go away by means of a preaching tour, and Mr. Meyerburg (nee Mybug) has declared himself SUCEPTIBLE TO SEX.
I am deeply enjoying Gibbons’s baldfaced refusal to be anything but on the nose. She writes so aggressively into obvious tropes, and there are frequent mentions of What Authors Do and How Authors Describe—sometimes refuted in Flora’s experience, and sometimes not.
Everything comes along swimmingly. Flora needs to recruit some civilization.
(Why didn’t anyone tell me it was a satire?)