My friend and I have been at war. She laughs in the face of danger, she claims to dislike Jane Austen without even opening one of her books or at least watching the BBC version of P&P. While of course part of me is just miffed that she doesn't like something that I so love, the other part of me finds it hard to understand the lack of curiosity...after so much general female adoration of Mr Darcy, doesn't she at least want to see Colin Firth and that wet shirt scene?
I thought maybe we would have to part ways until she gently reminded me that we liked lots of the same other sorts of things, like vintage tea cups, cute little chickens, op shopping, pretty scarves, you know general sort of nice things, so maybe we could just overlook our differences about Jane Austen. Nothing beats a rational argument like that.
Yet, though I knew she had a point, it was still abit of a niggle, so when she said one day "I don't like Jane Austen, but I do like Cold Comfort Farm", I took notice. I thought I would show her how generous-spirited and open-minded I was. So, I hunted down Cold Comfort Farm and I read it.
|Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons|
At first I thought I had struck on a comfortable book with a flavour of The Great Gatsby (well, the nice bits of The Great Gatsby). I liked the idea of that, and settled in for a pleasant read. But quickly, Cold Comfort Farm got dark and dingy, and I wasn't sure I liked where we were headed, so I put it down for a while. But for the sake of showing off my ability to be accommodating and generous, I picked it up again, and a few pages later it dawned on me...Stella Gibbons was making fun!! What I was reading was a parody on all my favourite old classics, (dark dingy = gothic overtones) and unfaithful as I felt, I guiltily found I was quite enjoying it...actually I was loving it.
By the end of it I had to concede that Cold Comfort Farm is one of the funniest books out. I certainly wanted to read every other line out loud to whoever was nearby, and I hadn't done that since the magic mushroom scene in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.
But still, I wish my lovely friend would just try a Jane Austen book, one with a cute little cover and nice binding. But if she never does, that's ok, because she is a darling friend, and at least we can now add Cold Comfort Farm to our list of things we both love.
What have you been reading this month? Please check in and let me know, and I promise I will reply.
And do try some of this delicious Nigel Slater Chocolate Hazelnut cake from Bake Club
|Nigel Slater's Chocolate Hazelnut cake made by Gin|