Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

A Novel

Simonson, Helen

Book - 2010
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) leads a quiet life in the village of St. Mary, England, until 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 will their relationship survive in a society that considers Ali a foreigner?

Publisher: New York : Random House, c2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781400068937
Characteristics: 358 p. ;,25 cm.


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List - Popular Book Club by: Cleveland_Recommends Aug 26, 2011

Literary Book Club: September 7, 2011

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Sep 02, 2014
  • pugterranian rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This debut novel should fill your heart and put a smile on your face. Like David Lodge's best work in the 80s and 90s, Pettigrew is a British comedy of manners in which meek, stodgy middle-aged men are given a new lease on life by smart, vibrant women. It’s a comic love story in that vein, a gentle (but still sharp) satire faintly bubbling with whimsy. The lovestruck Major and Mrs. Ali are very well-drawn characters; both are enormously likable and sweet. A slew of scheming relatives, obnoxious Americans and stuffed shirts round out the very entertaining cast of characters.

Aug 01, 2014
  • ITC rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A charming, easy read (or in this case listen).

Jun 13, 2014
  • Char4800 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book is witty, charming, provoking, & full of some real characters! If you want something to warm your heart, make you chuckle & have ups & downs throughout - this is one you will enjoy.

May 26, 2014
  • VRMurphy rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A charming, intimate slice of life. Not treacly at all, and the characters read as very realistic. Strongly recommended.

Mar 28, 2014
  • rowanquincy rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Enjoyed this book immensely. I look forward to further books from this author.

Jan 25, 2014
  • jthomas1527 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Enjoyed the book. Loved Major Pettigrew's bravery in life, as well as his blunt presentation towards his son. Little details make it clear that the narrator is a woman, and that's okay. The chaotic ending reminded me of Zadie Smith's formula. Lastly, and this is silly - I saw Jim Broadbent as Major Pettigrew. Masterpiece Theater is calling!

Nov 14, 2013

Also available in audiobook

Oct 13, 2013
  • Sansha rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I loved this book.

Sep 11, 2013
  • GLNovak rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This is a lovely story of an older retired military man living in his ancestral home in rural England, and how he deals with a very eventful year. His ordered comfortable life is disrupted when his brother dies, and things just keep going badly. He must deal with each issue using his lifelong set of principles, even though his decisions put him in conflict with his family, his neighbours and the villagers. Sounds very heavy but the tone of the writing is light and in parts quite humorous. His bewilderment at times is very endearing and I found myself rooting for him to come out all right. His resolve carries him, and the excellent writing carries us.

Aug 29, 2013
  • raydat51 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I'm puzzled by the reviews that love the book but seem to treat it in the mode of Jane Austen. This book is notable on so many levels and I find a new one each time I look at it again. First, this is a realistic friendship and then love relationship that develops between to mature adults who have experienced life, loss and sorrow and the scars left behind. I found it lovely and unexpected. Second, this is an interracial love story, with prejudice to spare on both sides of the relationship. Both characters need to learn to throw off their own reticence to rock the boat and strive for happiness. The major, in particular, comes to rethink his value system. Third, the relationships of parent to child are well developed, including the subconscious tendency of children to begin thinking of their parents as boring old farts and their astonishment when they turn out to be very much alive with desires of their own. I loved this book. It is wise, which can't be said of literature often enough.

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Jan 30, 2011
  • louise_claire rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Romance of a very English retired Major and a Pakistani shopkeeper in a small English village. Likeable characters, although some rather caricatured. Gentle humour. The plot is a bit thin with some unlikely events and the pace rather slow in the middle section.


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