- Author Stella Gibbons
I’ve only heard of this as a vague recollection of some BBC adaptation, but I can’t say I ever saw it or knew what the story was about. Thus, I opened it up with fresh eyes, and ploughed on. It’s sold as a satire, and whilst it doesn’t take itself too seriously, I’m not sure I found it that funny either.
It’s a great tale, though, following Flora as she heads down to some distant relatives and completely turns their lives around. I’m still not 100% sure how she does it, because the only real influence she has on anyone is buying the dress and making Elfine look glamorous. She has a chat with Aunt Ada but we never get to find out what she said, and we never get to find out what happened in the woodshed.
I was so happy when I saw that this is where the phrase “something nasty in the woodshed” comes from. I love stuff like that.
They are some interesting characters, although there are quite a lot of them. It’s not too long, and it’s quite easy to read - except for the odd sentence or two written in local dialect.
Overall, I quite enjoyed it, but I’m not sure I’m any the better for reading it. Except for the woodshed thing.