Welcome to September's book club thread.
Until such time as JWD closes I will post the book thread both here (assuming there is still participation) and on http://modernchat.madmooseforum.com/index.php Once JWD closes I will continue the book club there.
This month we are discussing Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. This book was suggested by tinker. The format is open to any discussion you wish to have about the topic at hand, but if you're looking for something to stimulate some discussion you are welcome to use the questions below or come up with some of your own for others to answer.
Possible Topics for Discussion
- Flora’s mother ‘wished people to live beautiful lives and yet be ladies and gentlemen.’ How does Gibbons bring together these two (satirized) ideas in the novel?
- How is the theme of money and the ability to acquire it used for comic effect in the novel?
- What did you think of Flora Peters as a character? Were you drawn to her?
- Are the Starkadders merely comic characters or did they engage your sympathies?
- Flora suggests there is ‘no limit … to the amount one may impose on one’s relatives.’ Do you agree with her? How does her belief change over time?
- What role do age, maturity and ‘generation gaps’ play in the novel?
- How effectively does Flora ‘take her relatives in hand’ and ‘tidy up affairs’?
- What does the book have to say about modern marriage?
- How useful does education seem to be in the novel?
- Compare Mrs Smiling’s Mouse Place in London with Cold Comfort Farm in the country.
- How does Flora’s romance with Charles evolve? What did you think of it?
- We never learn what the ‘something nasty in the woodshed’ that Ada saw was. Did you form your own ideas as to what it might be?
- Is the book about a dysfunctional family or do you think it reads more as connected scenes of a melodrama?
- What problem does Flora think each character has and how does she set about fixing them? Does she manage to ‘fix’ her own problems?
- What role does Mr Meyerburg play in the novel?
- Does this book have a period or nostalgic feel or does it retain the modern edge Stella Gibbons wanted to create?
- What part does fatalism play in the story? What does the book have to say about the nature of vocations?
- Hobben sad life was ‘poor, nasty, brutish and short, something that Gibbons feels about the life of a journalist. Does the novel say the same about country life?
- Cold Comfort farm is littered with literary allusions – to the Brontes, to D H Lawrence, and especially to Jane Austen. Many of the charcters reflect literary heroes. Can you spot who they might be?
- What do you think was Stella Gibbons main purpose in writing the novel?
Next month we will be discussing Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. This selection was suggested by myself.
If you have any book selections you would like added to the list of books to be discussed please send me a pm.
Last month we discussed 1984 by George Orwell. If you missed last month and would like to read through it or add to it the link is here: