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Nightingale Wood: A Novel Paperback – April 27, 2010
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About the Author
Her first publication was a book of poems The Mountain Beast (1930) and her first novel Cold Comfort Farm (1932) won the Femina Vie Heuruse Prize for 1933. Amongst her other novels are Miss Linsey and Pa (1936), Nightingale Wood (1938), Westwood (1946), Conference at Cold Comfort Farm (1959) and Beside the Pearly Water (1954). Her Collected Poems appeared in 1950.
In 1933 she married the actor and singer Allan Webb, who died in 1959. They had one daughter. Stella Gibbons died in 1989.
Top Customer Reviews
One of the things that Stella Gibbons is famous for was her sense of humor, and nowhere is this more apparent than in Nightingale Wood. Stella Gibbons's humor is a little more maniacally funny, but the characters and plot of this one never fail to be entertaining.
There's a very surreal, Midsummer Night's Dream-esque feeling to this book--all kinds of people slipping away to the woods to conduct love affairs, licit and otherwise. So, often, this book reads like a fairy tale--a fairy tale with a twist, especially since the two Prince Charmings in this book doesn't always have the purest intentions...
The characterizations in this novel are especially strong. Viola isn't quite what you'd expect from a woman who married someone twenty years older than she; but she's all the more interesting for that because there's so much more to her personality than meets the eye. Mr. Wither is, as described above, a frightful bore; Madge is a middle-aged woman who's never totally grown up (as seen in her childlike delight over her new dog Polo); and Tina is a woman just dying to be loved. Well, she gets her wish, but not in the way she expected...Read more ›
There's no Flora Post in this one, but it's still populated with eccentric and memorable characters. There's Mr Wither, the patriarch, who "liked to feel money on all sides of him, like a stout fence"; his wife, of whom we are told, "Mrs Wither came in, but he took no notice of her because he had seen her before"; their elder daughter Madge, who wondered, "Who'd want a baby when they could have a dog?"; younger daughter Tina, who at 35 read a book on feminine psychology, looked into her soul, and discovered that she wanted to be sensible, but not as much as she wanted the family's (much younger) chauffeur; and Viola, the young widowed daughter-in-law, who "did not look quite a lady, which was natural; as she was not one." Between all the zingers there are some taut observations about the nature of happiness and family relationships, and it all adds up to a proper treasure of a novel.
Nobody is flawless in this novel, & that's what makes it so fine! The heroine is a shopgirl of great heart but minimal understanding, her family is a mess, her would-be lover is far from perfect but it all comes right at the end in fine style -as we knew it would. Great story, understandable if not always lovable characters & terrific fun throughout. I wish Stella Gibbons could give us more & more, but alas! SHE is no more!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The fundamental message is very important if you want to understand the world in which we live. Its well expressed in that the author uses examples well. Read morePublished 3 months ago by review
A nice story. It isn't quite as entertaining as "Cold Comfort Farm", but it is pretty readable.Published 4 months ago by Deborah Hahn
Was looking for something different, a throw back, if you will. While the book starts slow, it builds and builds until I found myself laughing and rooting for Tina and Viola. Read morePublished 19 months ago by C. E. Bastnagel
It's every bit as good as Cold Comfort Farm. Knowing and charming, realistic, exasperated and in love with it's highly limited characters, and so well-written.Published on May 16, 2014 by Annie Berrol
My favorite Stella Gibbons novel, after Cold Comfort Farm, of course! Tons of fun and oddness, with plenty of romance.Published on March 24, 2014 by Leslie
Talk about a boring story! Nothing really happens and I kept waiting for something interesting. I did read it all the way to the end, but I honestly can't recommend it. Read morePublished on February 27, 2014 by Kini
This is a calm, easy going story about people daring to go after what they want. I say "calm" because it is a gentle and sometimes slow story. Read morePublished on November 24, 2013 by JAScribbles
I love Cold Comfort Farm. Love love love it. Nightingale Wood is not quite as funny, but if you loved CCF, you'll like this. Read morePublished on October 17, 2013 by Elizabeth A. Austin