cold comfort farm has been on my list of books to read for about a decade, ever since i watched the movie in high school.
it is about flora poste, a young woman who cannot stand untidyness. upon the death of her parents, decides to go live with some relations in the country.
the relations agree to take "robert poste's child" on in order to make up for a wrong done to her father many years before, but she is warned to never ask about what the wrong was.
upon arriving at the farm flora is confronted with a backward group of relations who live in a broken-down farm. the bulk of the novel revolves around her efforts to tidy-up and organize the farm and lives of her relations.
cold comfort farm is a comic novel, poking fun at the popular novels of the time (much the same way as jane austen's northanger abbey pokes fun at the popular gothic novels of her time). it must not be taken too seriously. if you read it in the right frame of mind, it is immensely funny. if not, it comes off as ridiculous.
the lesson to be learned, of course, is that the best answer to any question is, "i saw something nasty in the woodshed."