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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen…
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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand (edition 2010)

by Helen Simonson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,4083831,114 (3.97)683
Member:storytime930
Title:Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Authors:Helen Simonson
Info:Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2010), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:fiction, British, romance, racism, relationships, village life

Work details

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

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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 683 mentions

English (385)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Norwegian (1)  All (393)
Showing 1-5 of 385 (next | show all)
This was a story of love in later life set against the backdrop of village life and it's associated prejudices. It may sound dull and unexciting but it was amusing and well written, the characters developed and unfolded, in short I enjoyed the story, warmed to the Major, liked Mrs Ali and could have punched the obnoxious Roger. ( )
  Hanneri | May 21, 2017 |
Love this one.... absolutely loved it. At is heart, this story has a wonderful vibe and had me thinking of a lighter version of Jane Gardam's Old Filth, kind of like Old Filth] meets The Last of the Summer Wine what with the fantastic descriptions of the village of Edgecombe St. Mary and its inhabitants. Simonson has written a story with heart. All of the characters are well drawn - even the Major's son Roger, who I found to be the epitome of the modern day self absorbed corporate and social climber, completely oblivious of how inappropriately some of his comments and actions are. Major Pettigrew is all regimented in manners and action on the surface with a warm compassionate soul lurking underneath. Simonson captures the issues of cultural and tradition with a realistic eye, portraying Mrs. Jasmina Ali as a women caught between two worlds, struggling to be the contemporary English woman she is while her family's cultural values are pulling her back. The villagers are the perfect foil and through their various bumblings, Simonson is able to communicate a myriad of themes about culture, race, age-related prejudices and that it doesn't matter how old one is, courtship can have its awkward moments.

A delightful story filled with heart, compassion and humour. A refreshing reminder that things like joy and dignity can continue to exist, even in our crazy, fast forward materialistic world. ( )
  lkernagh | May 1, 2017 |
As this is not typical of the kind of book I would pick up, I found it surprisingly very good. Beautiful writing, and excellent main characters. Some of the supporting characters, Roger in particular, seemed somewhat one dimensional and unlikable, and other characters like Sandy and Grace seemed to move from the forefront of the story and then disappear when I would have liked to have seen more from them. The ending was a bit over the top for a story that seemed so very believable and true to life, but overall I very much enjoyed the book and will probably pick up another by this author. ( )
  lexxa83 | Apr 14, 2017 |
A delightful and funny little book. Major Pettigrew is a very proper gentleman who scandalizes the little English village where he lives, by his friendship with the Pakistani shopkeeper, Mrs. Ali. A love story with two (past) middle-aged, engaging protagonists. ( )
  CindaMac | Mar 26, 2017 |
I found this book to be a joyful delight, well worth the buzz it has received in recent years. It's a literary fiction novel about a romance between a 67-year-old retired British Major and a 57-year-old Pakistani shopkeeper, and it thoughtfully analyzes issues of race, culture, and privilege in a small British village. My one big complaint is that so many of the characters are selfish and unlikable (especially at the beginning) that it seemed too inevitable that the Major and Jasmina would come together, as they were the only decent people around! However, many characters gain more complexity as the book goes on. I appreciated Simonson's balanced look at various aspects of British society, from the old country stock to the modern up-and-comings to Muslim immigrants. This seems destined to be a Masterpiece Theatre piece. ( )
  ladycato | Mar 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 385 (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)

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