Major Pettigrew's Last Stand By Helen Simonson
You are about to travel to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family. Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson's wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction, and from the very first page of this remarkable novel he will steal your heart.
The Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?
Rate & take
When our book club was started at work it was decided that each person would suggest one book. This book was my pick so you can imagine I had a little more invested in the group enjoyment of it, no use having a riot this early in the clubs existence! I had nothing to worry about, the book was enjoyed by all and because of the many themes (ageism, elitism, racism, class-ism, and one or two more "ism's" that I might have missed) we had a great discussion. I first read this book four years ago and found it even more enjoyable this time around. I did feel the story got off to a slow start but more than made up for it later. Beyond all the themes in this book there is a sweetness that radiated with me long after I finished.