"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."
With only one hundred pounds a year to her name, Flora Poste decides to see how long she can live off of her relatives. That's how she ends up in Howling, Sussex at Cold Comfort Farm at the home of her Starkadder cousins. Their farm is well-named and apparently carries a curse. The Starkadders themselves are an eccentric, dismal bunch, from old Aunt Ada Doom who never leaves her room upstairs, to young unschooled Elfine who runs wild across the Downs. Then there's Flora's cousin, Judith, who hints at a wrong done to Flora's father sometime in the past, but who won't say what it was or when it happened. Despite all of this, Flora is determined to "tidy up life at Cold Comfort" and make it better for everyone.
Her campaign meets with some resistance at first, but Flora is nothing if not persistent. She's also spirited, self-assured, and thinks she knows what's best for the Starkadders. ALL the Starkadders! I liked her confidence and pluck. I also ended up liking Cold Comfort Farm quite a lot. It's such a fun and witty novel. I enjoyed watching Flora's well-meaning schemes and machinations play out. Plus, the ending is great. It makes me wonder why more people don't read Stella Gibbons. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say, "Cold Comfort Farm is one of my favorite novels." Which is sad. Because it should be. It's definitely become one of mine.