Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

  • By: Helen Simonson

  • Pub. Date: March 2010

  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

  • Format: Hardcover , 358pp

  • ISBN-13: 9781400068937

  • ISBN: 1400068932

  • Source: Library Copy

  • Synopsis:

    Written with a delightfully dry sense of humour and the wisdom of a born storyteller, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand explores the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of family obligation and tradition.

    When retired Major Pettigrew strikes up an unlikely friendship with Mrs. Ali, the Pakistani village shopkeeper, he is drawn out of his regimented world and forced to confront the realities of life in the twenty-first century. Brought together by a shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship on the cusp of blossoming into something more. But although the Major was actually born in Lahore, and Mrs. Ali was born in Cambridge, village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as a permanent foreigner. The Major has always taken special pride in the village, but will he be forced to choose between the place he calls home and a future with Mrs. Ali?

    My Review:

    I loved the writing in Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. The story progressed slowly.. but not so that it was boring, more that it flowed along at its own pace. I think the writing and progression match the characters and their narrative about the changes going on in their town and lives.
    Major Pettigrew is a 68 year old widower who has steady lifestyle and habits that keep his life rather calm and predictable. One day, though, he meets the 58 year old  Pakistani, widowed shopkeeper in his village. As Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali begin talking, they discover their shared interest in poetry. Their friendship blossoms very slowly and tentatively as neither want to upset the balance in their lives, especially Major Pettigrew. The story line is rather simple, but it's written so that the reader really cares for Major Pettigrew and wants him to find happiness in his life.

    I really enjoyed this book as I watched Major Pettigrew, an elderly man, take charge of his life again and begin really living. It was a sweet and entertaining story. I also really liked the cover of the book :)
    My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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