The characters in this book are so well drawn that ten days after finishing the book I am still reminding myself they don't exist. The book is beautifully written and laugh-out-loud funny. I'm putting it on my top 20 books of all times list. Is anyone else?
I love this book so much, I'm slowing down and taking it in small doses -- just to prolong the pleasure. I'm only about 1/3 through it. When I finish I will write about it at margiereinssmith.weebly.com. Where has Helen Simonson been for the last 20 years? I hope she's working on another novel with a protagonist as engaging as Major Pettigrew.
This story took my breath away! I laughed out loud one minute and found myself tearing up the next. On the face of it, many of the characters seem like stereotypes but each one emerges as unique and surprising. I borrowed this from the library but I'm buying a copy because there is no doubt that I'll be re-reading it and probably be marking it up. I must own it and I don't care what Helen Simonson writes next, I'll be the first in line at the bookstore.
This one popped up on my Kindle recommendations because I had enjoyed Kate Morton's 'The Forgotten Garden', another well written bit of chick lit for smart ladies. The Major had me hooked on page one. Can't think of a better contemporary comedy of manners. I'd love to see a good movie version so I can enjoy it again with friends.
I loved this book. A really beautiful piece of work with characters so real they could walk off the page. I think the son should be played by Jude Law. Jude can pull off smarmy and insensitive really well.
I am listening to this book in my car and I have been laughing out loud, can't imagine what other drivers think. I want to get my hands on the book so I can reread some of the scenes. The characters are very well drawn. My husband and I have been imitating the Major and chuckling.
I'm only half way through the book, but I'll be finishing it today. I've always been a fan of British fiction and this entry is refreshingly delightful, beautifully well-written (I'm using up my space for notes on my Kindle), and also comfortingly familiar in style, pacing, and emotional environment. A rare current book to find, and I read, on average, 3-5 books a week. I'm so happy to discover Helen Simonson, and pleased that I also live in the D.C. area, and wonder if she is also a member of Sisters in Crime?
I agree. I just read a library copy but since this is one of those books that I will keep going back to I will also add it to my kindle library. To the author: You gave me so much pleasure and I hope that there will be more books to follow. I agree that the book would make a great movie or maybe even more a series on pbs. And then Ms Simonson can keep adding on new adventures!
I just finished it. One the best I've read in a while. I enjoyed the mature characters, good story, consistent narrative view, and internal monologue showing personal growth and sometimes a little wisdom.
No kidding--this is such an amazing read and so beautifully written--I found myself reaching for a yellow highlighter, wanting to highlight the words of wisdom these characters brought to life! I will never in a million years be able to write like this! Le sigh!
I am listening to this as an AudioBook, found it recommended in Nancy Pearl's new "Book Lust to Go", and love it, and wondered if anyone can think of similar authors with the same type of "feel" as this book. Unfortunately, this is a debut by this author, so no back-list to go to.
I am in Major Pettigrew's generation and really enjoyed the juxtaposition of the way things ought to be done and how they are done; the melt down in manners of the present generation; all intertwined with things that must be changed. Great book and I am looking forward to her next book. Right on!