Have you checked out SantaThing, LibraryThing's gift-giving tradition?
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

by Helen Simonson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,2164181,462 (3.97)749
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?… (more)
  1. 495
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (cransell, readr)
    readr: Both stories have settings rich with flavor and details, a slower pace, yet filled with witty observations.
  2. 163
    84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (wisemetis)
  3. 110
    A Room with a View by E. M. Forster (kiwiflowa)
  4. 146
    The No. 1 Ladiesʼ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (brenzi)
  5. 51
    A Passage to India by E. M. Forster (kiwiflowa)
  6. 30
    Lamb in Love by Carrie Brown (mysterymax)
  7. 30
    The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise by Julia Stuart (teelgee)
  8. 41
    A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (Electablue)
  9. 10
    Tempest-Tost by Robertson Davies (Cecilturtle)
  10. 1110
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (cransell)
  11. 10
    White Teeth by Zadie Smith (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Readers will enjoy White Teeth and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand for their character development and humor, along with lighthearted treatment of serious topics such as race relations, religious fanaticism, self-understanding, and similar aspects of modern English life.… (more)
  12. 00
    The Thing About Alice by Jean-Luke Swanepoel (Anonymous user)
  13. 00
    Motorcycles & Sweetgrass by Drew Hayden Taylor (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Although one book takes place in England, and the other on a Canadian First Nation's Reserve, both are humourous reads that include religious differences, cultural differences and historical and current prejudiced perceptions.
  14. 00
    Illyrian Spring by Ann Bridge (inge87)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 749 mentions

English (412)  French (3)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (2)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  All languages (421)
Showing 1-5 of 412 (next | show all)
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is a delightful book about manners, class structure, and village life, both positive and negative.

This is a story about Major Pettigrew, a retired military Major who lives a quiet life in his small English Village. When the owner of the local convenience store helps him after his brother dies, a relationship begins, starting a chain of events that shows Major Pettigrew who his friends are, and what is he willing to take a stand on.

This book is basically about culture - with the culture of the small English village and compared to the culture of the Pakistani family, showing both the good, and the bad.

The ending seemed a bit out character for Major Pettigrew, and too much was happening. I quieter ending would have been more appropriate.

Its a beautifully written story, with great characters, and a great plot. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Sep 24, 2020 |
Wish I could give this book 6 stars. Loved this debut novel. I can't wait to read what she writes next! ( )
  ShannonRose4 | Sep 15, 2020 |
this has been on my list since i heard the author on NPR a while ago. a patron reminded me of it the other day - said it's so good. i have to get through it faster than i normally read because there are holds on it!


so far, major pettigrew has badmouthed vegetarian lasagna and librarians. two strikes!


This was really good, once the Major stopped being so stuffy. I especially appreciated that Roger was somewhat redeemed at the end. Nice and tidy wrap-up! ( )
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
This ended up on many "top ten" lists of 2010, so I'm a bit late to the game. Charming book. One of those you can suggest when someone wants a non-depressing book or a light read for a book group (race and class issues make it meaty enough for discussion). Excellent audio book. ( )
  ljohns | Jun 15, 2020 |
What a delightful novel! It is sweet without the stickiness of syrup, and so very well written. I may keep this book to read it once again at some stage because some passages made me laugh out loud, loaded with the typical sarcasm of the Brits...very refreshing!
I look forward to more books by this author, hoping they will be just as exquisite. ( )
  MissYowlYY | Jun 12, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 412 (next | show all)
Simonson .. is having a great time with her first novel. She is unsparing in her willingness to send up her characters and their little village, and she is often downright funny – that intelligent kind of funny that catches readers by surprise and makes them re-read a sentence several times to figure out how the author managed to make them laugh out loud so unexpectedly.The book is almost always pitch-perfect in its demonstration of how ridiculous our small ignorances can be – and how magnificent we are when we rise above them.
This thoroughly charming novel wraps Old World sensibility around a story of multicultural conflict involving two widowed people who assume they're done with love. The result is a smart romantic comedy about decency and good manners in a world threatened by men's hair gel, herbal tea and latent racism..When depicted by the right storyteller, the thrill of falling in love is funnier and sweeter at 60 than at 16. The stakes are higher, after all, and the lovers have stored up decades of peculiarities and anxieties
As with the polished work of Alexander McCall Smith, there is never a dull moment but never a discordant note either. Still, this book feels fresh despite its conventional blueprint. Its main characters are especially well drawn, and Ms. Simonson makes them as admirable as they are entertaining. They are traditionally built, and that’s not just Mr. McCall Smith’s euphemism. It’s about intelligence, heart, dignity and backbone. “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” has them all.

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Helen Simonsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Altschuler, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tapia, SoniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wallis, BillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For John, Ian and Jamie
First words
Major Pettigrew was still upset about the phone call from his brother's wife and so he answered the doorbell without thinking.
He finished his tea and rose from the table to go to his room. "But I must ask you, do you really understand what it means to be in love with an unsuitable woman?" "My dear boy," said the Major. "Is there really any other kind?"
"Careful, careful," he said, feeling a splash of scalding tea on his wrist. "Passion is all very well, but it wouldn't do to spill the tea."
Too few people today appreciate and pursue the delights of civilized culture for their own sake.
The stems were as unpleasant as rusty wire and the leaves curled and crisped, but the flowers, as big as tea plates, shone like claret-colored velvet against the old brick wall. (P. 110) ISBN 978-0-8129-8122-3
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


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?

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Major Ernest Pettigrew, having retired to a quiet life in Edgecombe St. Mary, raises a few eyebrows in the small English village when he begins a relationship with widow Mrs. Jasmina Ali, a Pakistani shopkeeper.
Haiku summary

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Helen Simonson's book Major Pettigrew's Last Stand was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.97)
0.5 2
1 17
1.5 1
2 51
2.5 22
3 328
3.5 144
4 800
4.5 165
5 448

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 152,488,977 books! | Top bar: Always visible