Flora a citified girl decides to go live with her rural relatives when she is orphaned. The move is not without its moments! The characters that Flora meets up with - extended family - are eccentric, strange and I thought some of them not quite there!!
Cousin Judith spends her days locked up in her room almost in love with her handsome son Seth who is out carousing with the village damsels and making everyone he meets pregnant. We get Amos breathing hell and damnation for all souls who do not follow his spiritual guidance. Their eldest son Reuben is depressingly despairing of making a life for himself, moving away from the farm, taking any kind of decision even a decision to improve the lot of the farm and then you get Elfine young and pretty whom Flora decides to take in hand before she also becomes a lost case. The oldest is Aunt Ada who hasn't left her room for twenty years and rules the household despite this with a rod of iron and you get Adam the household help, Jack of all trades, master of none and mad as a hatter.
Flora takes it as her right to lead the family one by one out of the dark mire that they have got into. First to be entranced is Elfine and with that the disintegration of the earlier rigid life they had begins. The manner in which Flora handles them is masterful - half the time no one realizes that she is doing it "her way".
I was determined to read the entire book (as I felt like chucking it halfway) which has been made into a mini series. I think a TV adaptation must be more humourous than the written word. Towards the end of the book I was beginning to get bored of the continuous round of depression, misery and negativity that surrounded the Starkadders. Too much of oppression can be depressing.