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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen…

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

by Helen Simonson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 732 mentions

English (403)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (412)
Showing 1-5 of 403 (next | show all)
Sometimes a comedic farce, sometimes cringeworthy political in correctness, some very unlikeable characters (son) but otherwise a gentle love story - lots to discuss at bookclub. ( )
  siri51 | Apr 24, 2019 |
Lovely book, but kind of boring. ( )
  AngelClaw | Apr 22, 2019 |
I read the reviews of this book and confess to starting it with a heavy heart, but it has instead taught me never to believe what other people think! This was a beautifully written book about love and guns in a small town in Sussex - how diverse can you get?!

The love story that develops is well handled, and so too are the issues surrounding it. One criticism of the book has been that the racism angle is a little over-egged. However, I can believe that some people of certain standing in society can think like this. I can also understand how these people can totally misrepresent an entire culture and country through one event, albeit with good intentions, and at the same time cause upset and outrage at the same time.

The fickleness of Roger is also believable - someone wanting to be more than he is and attracted to shiny, rich people, imitating where he can to try to fit in. The American characters are a little stereotypical, but I have seen these characters in films such as Beethoven! In fact, Sandy is revealed to be human later in the book, and the bravado yuppiness she shows is a mere facade.

The obsession with the guns is more to do with tradition and honour than simply an inheritance. We all know stories of families fighting after a death and this is just an illustration of such an argument.

After working with older volunteers in country houses, I can say I have met people like those living in Edgecombe St Mary; they mean well and would be horrified to think they are offending anyone, but their upbringing has formed the ideas they hold - look at all the 1970s BBC comedies that are now considered racist (Mind your Language springs gloriously to mind...), but as the book also shows, those who are prepared to be more open are often the better for it.

Read this book...it's wonderfully lifting and a nice change from young people thinking about bonking, talking about bonking and actually bonking! (but there is bonking in this book, be warned!!) ( )
  peelap | Feb 3, 2019 |
Began slow, but I did like the ending. ( )
  rmarcin | Jan 22, 2019 |
Major Ernest Pettigrew with his proper English manners and desire to uphold duty and decorum is an interesting character. I gained more respect for him as the novel progressed. Besides Pettigrew, The story was populated with many characters from diverse age and cultural backgrounds. Also, the storyline ranged from duck hunting to romance and much in between. After a slow start, I found myself caught up in the vagaries of their lives until the end when Major Pettigrew made his last stand. ( )
  Rdglady | Nov 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 403 (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
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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.
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
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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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