The farm lies in the shadow of a hill, and the farmyard rarely sees the sun, even in summer, when the flowering sukebind hangs heavy in the branches. Here live the Starkadders - Aunt Ada Doom, Judith, Amos, Seth, Reuben, Elfine ...They lead messy, untidy lives, full of dark thoughts, moody silences, and sudden noisy quarrels. That is, until their attractive young cousin arrives from London. Neat, sensible, efficient, Flora Poste cannot bear messes (they are so uncivilized). She begins to tidy up the Starkadders' lives at once ...
Flora has been expensively educated to do everything but earn her own living. When she is orphaned at 20, she decides her only option is to go and live with her relatives, the Starkadders, at Cold Comfort Farm. What relatives though. Flora feels it incumbent upon her to bring order into the chaos.
A glorious collection of stories from the author of Cold Comfort Farm. The title story tells of a typical Christmas at the farm before the coming of Flora Poste. It is a parody of the worst sort of family Christmas: Adam Lambsbreath dresses up as Father Christmas in two of Judith's red shawls. There are unsuitable presents, unpleasant insertions into the pudding and Aunt Ada Doom orders Amos to carve the turkey, adding: 'Ay, would it were a vulture, 'twere more fitting!
When sensible, sophisticated Flora Poste is orphaned at nineteen, she decides her only choice is to descend upon relatives in deepest Sussex. At the aptly-named Cold Comfort Farm, she meets the doomed Starkadders: cousin Judith, heaving with remorse for unspoken wickedness; Amos, preaching fire and damnation; their sons, lustful Seth and despairing Reuben; child of nature Elfine; and crazed old Aunt Ada Doom, who has kept to her bedroom for the last twenty years. But Flora loves nothing better than to organise other people. Armed with common sense and a strong will, she resolves to take each of the family in hand. A hilarious and ruthless parody of rural melodramas and purple prose, Cold Comfort Farm is one of the best-loved comic novels of all time.
'Don't show proper feelin', does it, not turnin' up for 'is dad's funeral?' Siblings Sophia, Harry and Francis have lost both their parents in the last six months. Attending the funeral for their estranged father, they wonder what will become of them now that the last connection to their difficult childhood has been severed. What have they inherited - financially and emotionally - to guide them to adulthood, and build a new home together? Enbury Heath is a semi-autobiographical account of the years which Gibbons and her brothers spent living in a cottage in Hampstead Heath: a wonderfully astute, bittersweet novel about family, grief, money, and the pleasures of London.