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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen…

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand (edition 2010)

by Helen Simonson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,9163401,314 (3.98)620
Title:Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Authors:Helen Simonson
Info:Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2010), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:fiction, British, romance, racism, relationships, village life

Work details

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

  1. 425
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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 620 mentions

English (339)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (347)
Showing 1-5 of 339 (next | show all)
Thoroughly enjoyable, love the Major!
  Fliss88 | Nov 24, 2015 |
I absolutely reveled in the time I spent in Edgecombe St. Mary . . a small village in the English countryside . . visiting Major Ernest Pettigrew and the various 'n' sundry cronies, acquaintances, friends, neighbors and family members who breathed life into this book. As is often true, in small insular communities (I've lived in more than my share of them!), Major Pettigrew - as a community leader - felt he had *standards* to maintain and he did so, scrupulously - UNTIL!

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is a charming book . . fun, funny, poignant and well, the Major definitely grew on me as the story unfolded! I enjoyed, as well, the personality instilled into each and every character (there are many!) via the superb narration provided by Peter Altschuler - Peter absolutely nailed it - he brought Helen Simonson's characters to life!

Helen Simonson's debut novel pulls the reader into the ambiance 'n' angst of village life and, very much, into the lives of those who live there! By the time all was said and done, I was ready to pack my bags - gather up my recalcitrant cat - and relocate to the English countryside! 4.5 stars. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote idajo2 | Nov 3, 2015 |
I really enjoyed this book. It was quite entertaining and very well written, and even had some humor here and there. I had a friend who read it at the same time and when we discussed it afterward we both thought it would make a good movie (if it were in the hands of a good director, of course). I thought it was great getting to know the main characters -- they are very interesting, and I like how they are not perfect (especially Major Pettigrew) but they learn and change and improve as the story develops. I have seen other people's reviews of this book and some have said the characters are too stereotypical, and I think that is true for many of the supporting characters, but I think the main characters have more complexity. ( )
  writerfidora | Oct 26, 2015 |
An excellent, touching read of the English countryside and the attitudes that lie not-so-far beneath the surface. Major Pettigrew, widower and staunch defender of the British empire and his little village, is turned around by his attraction to Mrs. Ali, a Pakistani widow and shopkeeper. As their attraction grows, family problems emerge from both sides and few in Edgecombe St. Mary are sympathetic. At a costume ball featuring fancy dress colonials and "native" caterers, propriety is breached and the Major is lost until he receives a stunning rejection from the local Vicar and unexpected encouragement from another widow.

This subject has been explored previously (and taken to higher heights) by Jane Gardam in her "Old Filth" trilogy, but this is a fine first novel, both humorous and heartfelt. ( )
  froxgirl | Oct 24, 2015 |
I love books that take place in England, but this one was a little dull at times. The dry humor of Major Pettigrew and the budding romance kept me intrigued. My book club enjoyed it. ( )
  amanaceerdh | Oct 20, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 339 (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 (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Helen Simonsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Altschuler, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wallis, BillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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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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