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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel…
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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Helen Simonson

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4,2933741,150 (3.97)663
Member:gladshack
Title:Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel
Authors:Helen Simonson
Info:Random House (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

  1. 455
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (cransell, readr)
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    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)
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» See also 663 mentions

English (375)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Norwegian (1)  All (383)
Showing 1-5 of 375 (next | show all)
The writing in this book is almost better than the story, though the story is charming as well. There is one quote from the book that I like: "We are all small-minded people, creeping about the earth grubbing for our own advantage and making the very mistakes for which we want to humiliate our neighbors." -- Helen Simonson (via Major Pettigrew)

There are likely several other good quotes in the text. For an American, part of the charm lies in the British setting of the story. If one has visited the English countryside and has friends there, it's all the more charming and real. I liked the characters and found spots of the book thought-provoking. Oh that everyone could write such a good first novel!

Please find synopses of the story elsewhere. For the writing alone, the book should be read.

( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
This is a novel of cliche characters, the dowdy but reliable country woman, the polite, fair and pompous major, the exotic and wise women and the greedy bankers and developers, they are all here. Set on the south coast of Sussex, the 'north' is seen as somewhere dismal and the one visit there is to a street of scruffy houses, whereas the south is pretty villages and cottages, generally the idea of being sent to the north is similar to being sent to a Siberian work camp. The novel covers the difficulties of being an outsider in a small village and the conservative membership rules of a golf club. This is an easy and mostly jolly read that was entertaining. I was pleased when Major Pettigrew eventually realised that people were more important than possessions but it took him a long time to get there. I completely support his love of proper leaf tea. ( )
  Tifi | Jan 20, 2017 |
3.5 stars - this is a well written, shrewdly observed reflection on our lives today, the judgements we live with & unconsciously make about others, and the cost of staying silent on things that matter to us for fear of drawing criticism from our peers. Very easy reading with lots of dry humour, I enjoyed this book - perfect for a long flight or sleepless nights. ( )
  essjay1 | Jan 11, 2017 |
I loved the character of Major Pettigrew. He was such a gentleman with a sharp dry wit. I also loved Mrs. Ali. They were BOTH class acts 100%. I was rooting for them both throughout the novel. This book made me laugh. It kept me engaged and I highly recommend either reading it or listening to the audiobook. I did both. If you like a snapshot of small english country village life, mixed with a bit of cultures clashing, then I highly suggest this read. I'm looking forward to more from this author. ( )
  Likeitorlumpit | Dec 3, 2016 |
Very charming although parts of it made me squirmy. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 375 (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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

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