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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel by…
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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel (edition 2011)

by Helen Simonson (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,7123981,000 (3.98)718
Member:janimar
Title:Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel
Authors:Helen Simonson (Author)
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (2010), 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:fiction, New York Times Bestseller

Work details

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

  1. 475
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    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)
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» See also 718 mentions

English (399)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Norwegian (1)  All (408)
Showing 1-5 of 399 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed the interaction between the two main characters. How every British indeed. ( )
  barrowedge | Jun 3, 2018 |
There are flaws, but I'm giving it five stars anyway because I just enjoyed reading it so much. And I loved Major Pettigrew. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
I love British fiction and this was a great story of a shy widower trying to build new relationships. Excellent portrayal of a type of British person, retired army type. To enjoy a story like this, it helps to have lived in the UK for a while as we have. It may be less interesting to those who have never been there and may not appreciate the subtle cultural nuances. ( )
  MitchMcCrimmon | Apr 27, 2018 |
Excerpts from my original GR review (Jun 2012):
- The center of this story is a budding friendship between widowed seniors of very different backgrounds. I don't go for schmaltz, so what appealed to me here was that the novel managed to surround the romantic theme with other, sustained elements. Of note, generational and racial-cultural issues. The sober issues were indulged enough to give the novel a pleasing depth. As a blog reviewer patly said, Simonson "does a fine job of marrying sweetness with reality". At times the story did edge toward silliness, e.g. the slapsticky dinner party at Pettigrew's snobbish golfing club, which oozed Britishness.
- All around a good effort, especially as a first fiction. A good book club entry. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Apr 26, 2018 |
Fantastic! I love this book SO MUCH! ( )
  capriciousreader | Mar 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 399 (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 (43 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Helen Simonsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Altschuler, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tapia, SoniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wallis, BillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
Quotations
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.
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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.
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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)

(summary from another edition)

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