- Publisher: by Helen Simonson (July 12, 2009)
- ASIN: B004H72LIG
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,525 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,019,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson Paperback – July 12, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Major Pettigrew is a very proper and delightfully droll widower of 68 who resides in the quaint village of Edgecombe St. Mary in Sussex, England. He is the father of Roger, a posturing and preening young man who has incorporated none of the values of his dad. And he is also the accidental suitor of the proprietress of the village mini-mart, Jasmina Ali, a 50-something Pakistani widow who shares his love of Kipling and his wry look at the world in which they both reside. The two of them -- the quintessential local and the attractive outsider -- must navigate the gossip and outright prejudice of their stilted society. Helen Simonson writes, "He (the Major) had always assumed gossip to be the malicious whispering of uncomfortable truths, not the fabrication of absurdities. Was a life of careful, impeccable behavior not enough in a world where inventions were passed around as facts?"
This is by no means "chick lit", nor is it hard-hitting politically correct narrative, couched in fiction. It is a charming English comedy of manners -- in places, a laugh-out-loud comedy. A scene, for example, where the atrocities of Pakistani Partition are reduced to a bad-taste dinner show or where the favored ducks of schoolchildren are chosen as prey for a duck hunt are satirical and spot-on.
Yet despite its gentle humor, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand touches on many of the big issues: the clash of culture and religions, the greed of unbridaled globalization, the tension between fathers and sons...and families in general.Read more ›
The novel takes place in the little English village of Edgecombe St. Mary and the prejudices, and race and religious intolerances endemic in a small town are alive and well.
Major Pettigrew, a pukka sahib if there ever was one, is the endearing hero and he finds an unusual soul- mate in Jasmina Ali. The Major has a clipped grey mustache and twinkling blue eyes, and Mrs. Ali. who is Pakistani, has shiny black hair coiled into a bun and her dark brown eyes don't miss a thing. Seemingly yin and yang are these two- seemingly. Under the surface they discover a huge rapport. The Major and Mrs Ali are both widowed; the Major has an obnoxious son, Mrs. Ali has an obnoxious nephew. But it's their love of literature that really bonds them together as well as the fact they are both kind, caring individuals with fine senses of humor bubbling just beneath the surface.
The story is not sentimental or mawkish, it's sparkling and lively. True love will find a way but there are many thorns along this particular rocky path and the book builds up to a crescendo of a climax while you the reader are terrified something awful is going to happen to either the Major or Mrs. Ali.
To make yourself just feel good and indulge in a good laugh, grab this charming book! You'll love it, trust me!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent book by a relatively new author. She writes very well, develops characters, and intertwines their stories in a totally delightful way.Published 23 hours ago by Marsha Lindeken
I loved this book. Well written, with charming characters, especially Major Pettigrew himself.Published 1 day ago by Barbara Reynolds
I read Simonson's second novel, The Summer Before The War and loved it. As a result wanted to read this one as well as I think she's a terrific writer. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Ellen Merlo
A delight to read. Understated and delicious humor observing the challenges of clinging to the customs and rituals of days gone by.Published 4 days ago by NSO