Monday, December 31, 2007

PHW ~ discussion questions 1-6

I hope you have started reading Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff. It's time to start our discussion. Happy New Year ... and happy new book discussion to us all! You may have noticed there are 14 pictures alternated with 17 chapters. This week's discussion covers five pictures and five chapters. Let's think about these, which come in this order:
1st picture = X
Chapter 1
2nd picture = Steven
Chapter 2 = Josie
3rd picture = Fishing in the Delaware River
Chapter 3 = Josie
4th picture = The Old Man's Mountain
Chapter 4 = Josie
5th picture = The Old Man
Chapter 5 = Josie

1. Why is the first picture called "X"? And why do you think Hollis has kept it in spite of the X? Discuss Hollis’s idea of home.

2. We've heard that "a picture is worth a thousand words," so think up a picture of your family when you were a child. What would your "picture" show? Why is that particular moment in your family so special?

3. Except for the first chapter, all the others are said to be "The Time with Josie." What happens in chapter one? What name would you give this chapter?

4. Beatrice had been an art teacher for 40 years, but had never seen anyone who could do what Hollis could do (p. 43). The Old Man had said, "Where'd you ever learn to do that?" (pp. 44, 47), and Izzie had said, "You have a gift, pure and simple" (p. 44). What are some of the many many art career options for Hollis?

5. I'm testing your memory with this question. What was Hollis's favorite color in the leather box of colored pencils the Old Man gave her? What do you imagine Hollis would draw with that color?

6. Josie told Hollis, "There are saltwater people, and freshwater people" (p. 23). Which was Hollis? Which are you? Tell us why.

CCF ~ one more post from Bonnie

I have several comments about Cold Comfort Farm. First, the questions may have seemed skimpy, but about all there is to this book is Flora wanting to fix her relatives and, as Shirley asked, what was it that Aunt Ada Doom saw in the woodshed and why did the Starkadders take in Flora in the first place?

I found the best information ... and that wonderful Starkadder family tree chart ... at Wikipedia:

That's the place you will also find a list of Flora's solutions to the Starkadder problems. The novel ends when Flora, with the aid of her handbook The Higher Common Sense, has solved each character's problem. These solutions are:
Meriam: Flora introduces her to the concept of contraception.
Seth: Flora introduces him to a Hollywood film director, Earl P. Neck, who hires him as a screen idol.
Amos: Flora persuades him to buy a Ford van and become a travelling preacher. He loses interest in running the farm and hands it over to Reuben.
Elfine: Flora teaches her some social graces and dress sense so that Richard Hawk-Monitor falls in love with her.
Urk: forgets his desire for Elfine and marries Meriam.
Mr Mybug: falls in love with and marries Rennet.
Judith: Flora hires a psychoanalyst, Dr Müdel, who, over lunch, transfers Judith's obsession from Seth to himself until he can set her interest on old churches instead.
Ada: Flora uses a copy of Vogue magazine to tempt her to join the twentieth century, and spend some of her fortune on living the high life in Paris.
Adam: is given a job as cow-herd at Hautcouture Hall.
Graceless, Aimless, Feckless and Pointless: go with Adam to Hautcouture Hall.
Big Business: Flora lets him out into the sunlight.
Flora: marries Charles.
The future
There's one other thing I noticed ... Stella Gibbons seems to have been trying to predict the future! If you remember that the novel was written in 1932, you would be surprised at some of what was there. I wrote this in my reading notes when I got to Chapter XII (12), my pages 140-141, and then page 177:
What's with the television in 1932? Especially a phone with a television? Stella Gibbons must have been trying to predict the future ... especially since she mentions "the Anglo-Nicaraguan wars of '46" as something in the past!
The Wikipedia article mentions her use of air taxis. What sorts of things did YOU notice in the book?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My pick

I am honored that so many of you are willing to read a book chosen by me. I propose to read Arthur Japin's "In Lucia's Eyes", the book that made the shortlist for December. I'll leave it to a democratic vote as to when we will read it. I think that Japin is a great writer, and this one I haven't read yet.


I got the book today!!!!!! Yippeee!!! It was mailed on Sat. & I got it today. I cannot believe that I got the book so fast, when all the other books tooks around 2 weeks. The book came wrapped in pink paper. It looked just like a present. Well, I guess it was. :) I'm still finishing up CCF, so I only read the intro. to phw. The intro. gives rich details of who Hollis is, place & setting & what Hollis really wants.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Proposal on a Margreet Choice Month

Seeing the greeting this morning was pleasant.

I hope she and others in our group each had a joyful Christmas.

I had been thinking about her and her comment that this month's book would be expensive to obtain and for such a short book not worth the expense. I miss hearing her comments on books and would like to propose that we allow her to select our next book. It would be great having her back on board sharing her thoughts on our read.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Wishing all my friends here a Merry Christmas, and all the best for the New Year. May all of your wishes come true, and may your lives be filled with great books to read!!
~~~ Margreet
EDITED by Bonnie to add Snoopy, one of my favorite characters, to the greeting from Margreet, one of my favorite people. Merry Christmas to all book buddies ... and a happy New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

CCF ~ "something nasty in the woodshed"

Shirley: "Now that I think about it, maybe the nasty thing was in the woodshed instead of the outhouse."

Bonnie: "Yep, it was the woodshed, and I should have caught that ... sorry, I wasn't thinking, either. Okay, here's a photo of a woodshed. If you click on it and enlarge it, you'll see that the sign above the door says COAL SHED ... even though there is wood inside. Both wood and coal were ways of heating the house, once upon a time. The woodshed was once known as the place misbehaving children were taken to be disciplined by spanking. So maybe THAT was what Aunt Ada Doom saw. Maybe she thought spanking a child was a nasty thing to do to the poor kid."

January book ~ Pictures of Hollis Woods

Pictures of Hollis Woods, by Patricia Reilly Giff ~ 5 (45%)
Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards ~ 1 (9%)
In Lucia's Eyes, by Arthur Japin ~ 3 (27%)
Heart of Stone, by Renate Dorrestein ~ 1 (9%)
Book of Lost Things, by John Connolly ~ 1 (9%)

Votes (total): 11
Poll closed

In Pictures of Hollis Woods, a troublesome twelve-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her. Publisher's Weekly says:

"Artistically talented Hollis Woods, age 12, has made a habit of running away from foster homes, but she's found a place on Long Island where she wants to stay for a while. She immediately bonds with Josie, her new guardian, who is a slightly eccentric, retired art teacher. Yet Hollis is far from content. She worries about Josie's increasing forgetfulness, and she sorely misses her last foster family, the Regans, whom she left under tense circumstances that are only gradually made clear. Giff intersperses tender scenes demonstrating Hollis's growing affection for Josie with memories of the Regans, whose images Hollis preserves in her sketchbook. Pictures of motherly Izzy Regan, her architect husband and their mischievous yet compassionate son, Steven, sensitively express the young artist's conception of a perfect family. As readers become intimately acquainted with Hollis, they will come to understand her fears, regrets and longings, and will root for her as she pursues her dream of finding a home where she belongs."

discuss ch. 1-5
discuss ch. 6-11
discuss ch. 12-17

Thursday, December 20, 2007

CCF ~ family obligations (revised)

REVISED to add a photo of a woodshed (below).

Shirley asked, "Why was the family obligated to Flora?"

I think this was a family thing, in spite of the implied debt to Flora's father. A hundred years ago, more or less (I don't know the exact date), my mother's family took in mother's cousin Ruby. The parents had died, and Ruby went to live with my mother's family, while her brother went to live with another relative. I don't know how old the children were when their parents died, but family took in the orphans. I think this was just something families did back then. Now, it would probably have to be something more formal, more legal. I know one of my daughters and her husband put a list in their will stating who should raise their children if anything happened to them, starting with her twin sister. If she were unable to do it, for whatever reason, then the next person was named ... and so on.

Shirley's other question: "What was the nasty thing seen in the outhouse?"

I have now finished the book and can say, you didn't miss the answer because it wasn't there! I think this was Aunt Ada Doom's litany because she needed an excuse to feign her need to keep the family around herself. Nasty? Maybe she simply saw someone else using the outhouse, or maybe anything else you can imagine. I don't think it mattered to the author, only to Aunt Ada Doom. I got the idea that no one else in the story knew the answer to this question, either ... lol.

REVISED to add this photo:

Shirley: "Now that I think about it, maybe the nasty thing was in the woodshed instead of the outhouse."

Bonnie: "Yep, it was the woodshed, and I should have caught that ... sorry, I wasn't thinking, either. Okay, here's a photo of a woodshed. If you click on it and enlarge it, you'll see that the sign above the door says COAL SHED ... even though there is wood inside. Both wood and coal were ways of heating the house, once upon a time. The woodshed was once known as the place misbehaving children were taken to be disciplined by spanking. So maybe THAT was what Aunt Ada Doom saw. Maybe she thought spanking a child was a nasty thing to do to the poor kid."

Sunday, December 16, 2007


1) What do I think of Flora? Actually, the more I read of the book, the more I think she is a hoot. I have finally heard the author's voice. She is writing this as if she was telling a story in a dramatic voice & having as much fun as she can to make this a silly book. She is probably coming up with funny names, & laughing about it. (I'm not done with the book yet, as the book arrived late, so I am behind.) Flora thinks that everyone gets a "kick" out of doing something, so she tries to find out what everyone is interested in. Flora tries to find the psychological motive behind why each person acts the way they do.
2) What do I think of the other characters? Good Lord. I would certaintly feel uncomfortable living in that house with all the strange people. The food alone would kill me, what with eating food that fell on the floor, & I doubt soap of any kind is used to wash the dishes.

Two Questions

Although I finished Cold Comfort Farm, I don't know if I have poor reading skills or if the answers to my two main mental questions were unanswered. My questions were:
  1. What was the nasty thing seen in the outhouse?
  2. Why was the family obligated to Flora?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Miss Fix-it

I haven't finished the book yet, but I just finished a few chapters that covered Flora's intentions to "fix" Elfine.
What problem does Flora think Elfine has?
The bottom of page 29 covers this well: "Elfine must be transformed indeed; her artiness must be rooted out. Her mind must match the properly groomed head in which it was housed. Her movements must be made less frequent, and her conversations less artless. She must write no more poetry nor go for anymore long walks unless accompanied by the proper sort of dog to take on long walks. She must learn to be serious about horses. She must learn to laugh when a book or a string quartet was mentioned, and then confess that she was not inhibited." Quite a detailed list.
And then humorously she adds,"And there were only twenty-seven days in which to teach her all these things!"
How does Flora fix Elfine's problem?
Aside from above list, Flora tries to dress her better. I love this line: "Do, for heaven's sake, avoid orange linen jumpers and hand-wrought jewelry. Oh, and shawls in the evening."
Her main goal is to get her engaged to Richard Hawk-Monitor, by transforming Elfine before the dance at Godmere. She succeeds--"She felt as though she had shaken her fist in the face of Aunt Ada Doom."
Does Flora herself have a problem?
I probably have to think about that more, or wait until I'm done with the book. So far I would say that she is bossy and controlling, and I think maybe she is rather "inhibited", even though she claims she is not. She does like everything "tidy", but life really isn't tidy, is it?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Choosing our January book

UPDATE: The voting thing once again is allowing only five items on the list. Shelley, I put up only your first suggestion for that reason, okay? Everybuddy, add any additional choices to the comments here ... to be added to the February list.

Shirley has asked the most appropriate question: "What is our book for January?"

It's past time for us to decide. Toby recently made a suggestion:
"I just saw a movie on TV the other day, Pictures of Hollis Woods. I cried at the end. The movie was based on a book of fiction. Would anyone want to consider this book for a future book selection?"
And Margaret suggested some Dutch books for us to consider, which we discussed in the comments of this post:

Tricia made another suggestion:
"While I'm thinking of it, I should mention I have been longing to read The Book of Lost Things, by John Connolly."
Now is the time to make additional suggestions. One possibility is to look at all our previous suggestions ... by clicking on the label "suggestions" below. That will bring up all our previous posts showing books that have been suggested.

Click on "comments" on this post to suggest other books and to discuss your favorite suggestions. Thanks.

January Read

What is our book for January?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

OT - I'm back!

Hey ladies, I'm still here. Just wanted to let you know what happened. I was admitted into the hospital on November 12th for severe preeclampsia. Then on November 14th at 955am, my son Ethan was born. He had to be taken 10 weeks early because my blood pressure was through the roof. Anyway, we are all better now, and he is recovering in the NICU. I'm with him all day every day so I have plenty of reading time but no time to blog. I actually finished the Boy in the Striped Pajamas in November. By the way I loved it and I can't wait to go thru the discussions. I have CCF but haven't started it yet, I will soon though. I hope that I can actually join in this discussion!!

Bonnie's answers ~ Flora fixes Meriam's problem

3. What "problem" does Flora think each character has?
4. How does Flora "fix" each character's problem?

I'll start with Meriam Beetle, the hired girl. In chapter 6 Flora, wanting her curtains washed, went to visit Meriam. It was just after the birth of a fourth child, whose father was apparently Seth Starkadder. The problem, as Flora saw it, was that Meriam needed to know about birth control. So Flora proceeded to explain contraception. [Sukebind is a weed whose flowering in the spring symbolises the quickening of sexual urges in man and beast.]
"...I will tell you how to see that nothing happens. And never mind about the sukebind for a minute (what is this sukebind, anyway?) Listen to me."

And carefully, in detail, in cool phrases, Flora explained exactly to Meriam how to forestall the disastrous effect of too much sukebind and too many long summer evenings upon the female system.

Meriam listened, with eyes widening and widening.

"'Tes wickedness! 'Tes flying in the face of Nature!" she burst out fearfully at last.

"Nonsense!" said Flora. "Nature is all very well in her place, but she must not be allowed to make things untidy. Now remember, Meriam -- no more sukebind and summer evenings without some preparations beforehand..."
5. Does Flora herself have a problem?

Yeah, I think she's a busybody. On the other hand, maybe it was helpful to bring Meriam up to date with the world as it was in 1932, when this book was first published.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

CCF ~ discussion questions

"The heroine, Flora, stays at Aunt Ada Doom's isolated farm in the fictional village of Howling in Sussex. As is typical in a certain genre of romantic nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century literature, each of the farm's inhabitants has some long-festering emotional problem caused by ignorance, hatred or fear, and the farm is badly run. Flora, being a level-headed, urban woman, applies modern common sense to their problems and helps them all adapt to the twentieth century."

I found this summary online (won't say where ... yet ... because of the spoilers there). Flora sets out to change these relatives of hers, according to this, and I've found that to be so:
Mrs. Beetle calls Flora "Miss Interference" (p. 78)
Flora wants to "tidy up affairs at Cold Comfort" (p. 80)

3. What "problem" does Flora think each character has?
4. How does Flora "fix" each character's problem?
5. Does Flora herself have any problems, in your opinion?

Here are the characters:

Judith Starkadder: Flora's cousin, wife of Amos.
Seth Starkadder: younger son of Amos and Judith.
Ada Doom: Judith's mother, a reclusive, miserly widow, owner of the farm.
Adam Lambsbreath: extremely ancient farm hand.
Mark Dolour: farm hand.
Amos Starkadder: Judith's husband, and hellfire preacher at the Church of the Quivering Brethren. ("Ye're all damned!")
Amos's half-cousins:
... Micah, married to Susan
... Urk, a bachelor
... Ezra, married to Jane
... Caraway, married to Lettie
... Harkaway
Amos's half-brothers:
... Luke, married to Prue
... Mark, divorced from Susan and married to Phoebe
Reuben Starkadder: Amos's heir.
Meriam Beetle: hired girl, and mother of Seth's four children.
Elfine: an intellectual, outdoor-loving girl of the Starkadder family.
Mrs Beetle: cleaning lady, rather more sensible than the Starkadders.
Mrs Murther: landlady of The Condemn'd Man public house.
Mr Meyerburg (whom Flora thinks of as "Mr Mybug"): a writer who pursues Flora and insists that she only refuses him because she is sexually repressed. He is working on a thesis that the works of the Brontë sisters were written by their brother Branwell Brontë.
Rennet: unwanted daughter of Susan and Mark

And also:
Graceless, Aimless, Feckless and Pointless: the farm's cows, and Adam Lambsbreath's chief charge. Occasionally given to losing extremities.
Viper: the horse, pulls the trap which is the farm's main transportation.
Big Business: the bull, spends most of his time inside the barn.

And we met these in London:
Flora Poste: the heroine, a nineteen-year old from London whose parents are deceased.
Mary Smiling: a widow, Flora's friend in London.
Charles Fairford: Flora's cousin in London, studying to become a parson.

Monday, December 10, 2007

CCF ~ genealogy

I hope there's nothing here that would be a spoiler, but with all these characters it seemed like a good idea to share this chart. Click on it to enlarge it.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

CCF - A Late Start!

I suppose this was not the best time of year to make my entry into the book-blogging world! I just bought the book two days ago after a long, fruitless search of the library for two lost copies. I almost never buy books, having limited funds and space, so I am savoring the quirkiness of the cover art and the freedom to underline and write silly notes in the margins!
I watched this movie a year or so ago, and though I loved the bizarre mood of the movie, a lot of it went over my head and I didn't really get the point. I also don't remember it too well. (I only came upon it because one of my favorite actors was in it--Rufus Sewell who plays Seth.) I've always wanted to read the book to see if I can get more out of it, so, despite the lack of enthusiasm from other entries, I've begun the novel with what can only be described as giddy pleasure (perhaps this is due to Rufus Sewell flashbacks?)

What do you think of Flora Poste?

If I knew Flora personally, I would hate her. As a character in a novel like this, I admire her lack of desire to please anyone no matter what they may think of her, and am amused with her goal to "civilize" the residents of Cold Comfort Farm. I am interested in her name, "Flora" representing the plant world, or flowers? There are also several references to seeds and their fruit. I also looked up "post" in the dictionary, and thought there were many directions to go there: post as in the mail (her letters to the family), post as in to enter on a public listing (she almost advertises herself to her relatives to get them to take her in), or post as in the prefix meaning after ("after"-maybe her name meaning after dwelling on the plant world--the novel being written as a reaction to the agricultural/rural novels of the time.) Does anyone have any other thoughts on that?

What do you think of the other characters?
Again, I was drawn to the names:
The last name Starkadder: "stark"-rigid, conforming, absolute; "adder"- a venomous viper. There are numerous descriptions comparing the land and characters to snakes--like Judith' hair. The snake references also make me think of the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
Adam Lambsbreath: Adam makes me think of the first man, and Adam must be the oldest person there?"Lambs breath maybe refers to the fact that he is so close to the animals, or like one himself. On page 46, it says of him, "He was a tree-trunk; a toad on a stone; a pie thatched owl on a bough. Humanity left him abruptly." Hilarious, though, that he does not realize that his beloved cow has lost a leg!
Mrs. Smiling: It just fits her, doesn't it? And how can you not love a character who collects bras?
Amos: The name of a prophet in the Old Testament. He does seem to have a bit of "fire and brimstone" in him so far. I want to say that Ian McKellan plays him in the movie, but I'm not sure.
Aunt Ada Doom: This name just speaks for itself, though we've only gotten a glimpse of her character.
Seth: Another Biblical name--a son of Adam and Eve. He is someone I would also detest in real life, but in the setting of the book/movie is comically endearing. He seems to represent the basic instincts of man without any societal constraints.
Judith: I don't know much about the name Judith, but she is often described in snake-like terms (Starkadder), and it is always noted that she is wearing a bright red shawl. What's the significance of that? She is definitely obsessed with her son Seth, what with all those picture of him in her room (poor Reuben!) which is slightly disturbing to me.
The Cows: I just love their names, but don't know if there is any further meaning!

I still feel that there is a lot going over my head that was probably more humorous for contemporaries of the novel, but I still enjoy the quirkiness. I feel like there is more behind the characters that was making fun of specific situations in these rural novels she was poking fun at that I will never get, having never read them. I keep trying to think of parodies of our time, and all that comes to mind readily is Spaceballs (sorry!) A movie like Spaceballs would only be mildly funny if you hadn't seen Star Wars or Star Trek. Maybe someone else can think of a better example!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

CCF - some thoughts

Just got the book today. Was sent the wrong reprint. I wanted the current one, because of the illustrations of the characters. So, being upset about the book, I read around 20 pages. I did laugh a few times. However, I found Flora's logic ludicrous. Most teenagers/young adults want to be independent & here she had a friend that would be there for her as well as others. I know that this is tongue & cheek, so maybe that was the whole idea of the plot. As for changing others, ha. Naive or conceited. A bit of the ego. Ludicrous or not, it sets us on a path of what will happen next with built in conflict.
I was going to answer the questions from BSP, but I gave the book to my father to read. Then, my nephew came over & I gave the book to him to read. The questions were in the back of the book. I'm not sure how you copy Bonnie's questions other than to type it in. Anyway, I really enjoyed what others had to say & didn't have much more to say anyway. I was shocked by the end of the book.
I just saw a movie on TV the other day, Pictures of Hollis Woods. I cried at the end. The movie was based on a book of fiction. Would anyone want to consider this book for a future book selection?

CCF - Some Early Thoughts

Given how dissatisfied everyone is, I'm a bit reluctant to post! First, I should tell you that I'm not to chapter 5 yet. We are in the last week of classes, so I have not done much reading outside of student work. That said, I am enjoying the quirkiness of the early chapters.

I think it's important to keep in mind that Gibbons wrote this book in 1932 as a parody of novels that romanticized rural life. We can't read it as a modern novel. Some readers are having difficulty with the notion of Flora foisting herself on family. However, relations, even distant ones in this time period would have taken in an orphaned child, even one at such an advanced age. Flora's view that she can set everyone to rights is spot on of the view cultured, urban dwellers had regarding their country cousins. Perhaps the reason I am enjoying this so far is because it is so tongue-in-cheek.

Alright, I need to get back to grading. I hope to get more read this weekend and will post some further thoughts. For those of you not enjoying the book, I hope you find something redeeming before it's over!

CCF ~ Bonnie's take on it

This cover is from the DVD, though I haven't tried to find out when it was filmed. The cover intrigued me because it says she's found the branch of the family with all the nuts. I also don't know how closely the DVD follows the book.

1. What do you think of Flora Poste?
Not much, as Jo said. It's astounding that she just assumes relatives will take her in. She is "in her twentieth year" (first page of chapter 1), so she is 19 years old. In spite of her "expensive, athletic and prolonged" education (same page), she seems not to know very much.

2. What do you think of the other characters?
Mrs. Smiling is the only one I like so far, and I have no idea why she seems to like Flora. I'm mostly wondering why Flora's relatives feel they owe her something, which I guess is the great secret we are waiting to discover.

I can't say I am particularly enjoying the book either, but I am somewhat curious to see what happens. I need to go tell Tricia, who suggested the book, to come help us think about it. More later.

CCF questions 1 & 2

I am not enjoying this book. I have finished about half the book in hopes it would improve. I still am not enjoying it. I will probably finish it because it is a group read. I understand from the prologue that this book is intended to funny, but I haven't found the humor as yet. I find it to be more satirical than humorous.

1. What do you think of Flora Poste?
Not much. She is supercilious and egotistical.

2. What do you think of the other characters?
They seem one dimensional for the most part. I find little to endear me to Adam except for the small mystery he brings with his musings about Elfine. She seems a free spirit wrapped in what little mystery the book contains so far. Judith seems like a very sad soul and Amos revels in the negative. Seth is useless and Reuben is wrapped up in farming the land no matter how poor.

Monday, December 3, 2007

CCF- Questions 1 & 2

At first I really didn't care for CCF. Once I started to get more familiar with the language (especially Adam's lol) I found myself enjoying the book a little more. I kind of knew it was going to be a bit corny by the cover. And then when the cow's leg fell off well that kind of reinforced it. I try to make analogies when I read. For this book the best I could come up with was a modern person from the city suddenly living in Armish Country or Flora a kind of Dorothy where we learn later that she is sick with a fever and this is all a dream. Lol.

1. What do you think of Flora Poste?

I think Flora is a spoiled girl that is used to getting her own way. I can't wait to see what sparks will fly or not when she meets with Aunt Ada Doom.

2. What do you think of the other characters?

I think that Adam is quite the character, he is strange but tends to grow on you. I don't know enough about the other characters yet to really form an opinion.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Cold Comfort Farm

Although I am finding this book somewhat humorous, I am not particularly enjoying it as it is more corny than my type of humor and I prefer more believable story lines.

I keep reading hoping that it will become more interesting and knowing that the discussion should make this worthwhile.

I did find the new posted cover interesting. It appears to add to the possibility that these folks could be real. Scary thought.

1. What do you think of Flora Poste?
I don't like her eagerness to mooch off of unknown relatives even though she was given an opportunity and encouragement to become self-sufficient. I also dislike her determination to change the lives of the Cold Comfort Farm residents. Flora obviously doesn't believe in the adage of not biting the hand that feeds her.

2. What do you think of the other characters?
I like Mrs. Smiling's offer to help Flora become self-sufficient and her genorosity in wanting her to remain with her.
I haven't met Aunt Ada Doom yet.
Elfine I haven't formed an opinion of yet.
Seth sounds like quite a jerk. However, his high opinion of himself and his belief that he is God's gift to women were traits that were developed because of his mother.
I don't find Reuben or Adam to have much substance. Such dull lives.
Judith and Amos are quite the couple. Amos seems more realistic than most of the other folks.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Cold Comfort Farm ~ discussion questions

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons is a comic novel. Flora, a recently orphaned 19-year-old socialite, moves in with her country relatives, the gloomy Starkadders of Cold Comfort Farm. It's time for our discussion, so here are our first two questions.

1. What do you think of Flora Poste?
2. What do you think of the other characters?

CCF discussion schedule
Nov 23-30 ~ start reading CCF
Dec 1-7 ~ discuss chapters 1-5
Dec 8-14 ~ discuss chapters 6-10
Dec 15-21 ~ discuss chapters 11-16
Dec 22-31 ~ discuss chapters 17-23

Genealogy of characters