- By Helen Simonson

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

  • Title: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
  • Author: Helen Simonson
  • ISBN: 9780385668644
  • Page: 392
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Major Pettigrew s Last Stand You are about to travel to Edgecombe St Mary a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills thatched cottages and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familia

    You are about to travel to Edgecombe St Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew retired , the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson s wondrous debut Wry, courtly, opinionated, and compYou are about to travel to Edgecombe St Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew retired , the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson s wondrous debut Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction, and from the very first page of this remarkable novel he will steal your heart.The Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea But then 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 But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as the permanent foreigner Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition

    1 thought on “Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

    1. Whoever read my Olive Kitteridge rant, probably knows that I am not much into reading books about old people. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, however, proves that any book about any subject matter or any type of characters can become a great experience if written well. This novel is, essentially, a love story between a 68-year old retired Major Ernest Pettigrew and a 58-year old Pakistani shop keeper Mrs. Ali, brought together by their loneliness and love of literature. Yes, it doesn't sound very [...]

    2. If Masterpiece Theatre doesn't make this book into a movie starring Derek Jacobi, it will be a crime. There has not been so perfectly English a read in its deadpan humor in a very long time. Meet Major Pettigrew: widower, retired army officer, and pillar of the community in his small English town. He is set in his ways: tea with acquaintances, shooting parties with friends, reticence at all times. But the Major's life starts falling into chaos when he falls in love, and with a most unsuitable ca [...]

    3. Major Ernest Pettigrew is a decent sort, 68, retired military, widowed, and coping with the death of his younger brother, Bertie. He is a respected fixture in a rural community, member of the local golf course club, romantic target for one of the local ladies, and defender of traditional values. He is disappointed with his son, who has made a religion of career ambition, and considers the provincial notions of his neighbors less than cricket. But everything changes when he encounters Mrs. Ali, a [...]

    4. I say. old chap What a wonderful book. Delicious, full of humor, wit, it's colorful, delicate, wise. cute, a big five star, very special! Highly recommended! I'll be looking for more work of this author.

    5. 4.5/5.0This is the perfect book to read before bedtime. It is not an edge of your seat, can't put the book down, must turn the page to see what happens next type but the calm, touching, peaceful but poignant, close the book with a sigh kind. One to turn the lights off with a smile and a thought to slumber by.Major Pettigrew is a 67 year old English widower who is trying to navigate the growing changes in the world, the dearth of discipline, the turning tide of etiquette, the lack of loyalties. H [...]

    6. Sjajna knjiga, protkana finim sofisticiranim humorom Lepo opisuje i kulturološke razlike u Britaniji (između krutog Britanca i udovice Pakistanke) a i jaz i nerazumevanje među generacijama (između oca i sina) Ta knjiga mi se izdvojila u moru drugih koje sam te godine pročitala 4 godine pokušavam da nagovorim nekog srpskog izdavača da je objavi, ali bez rezultata, no ne gubim nadu Hrvatski čitaoci su u prednosti, prava je kupio AlgoritamEpilog:Skoro pet godina je trajalo ubeđivanje sa sr [...]

    7. "I don't believe the greatest views in the world are great because they are vast or exotic," she(Jamina) said. "I think their power comes from the knowledge that they do not change. You look at them and you know they have been the same for a thousand years." Major Ernest Pettigrew,Royal Sussex, retired, is an old curmudgeon of the traditional order. As prescribed by his military past, everything should be ordered, strictly predictable and, well, staunchly traditional, as honor and duty and his f [...]

    8. کتاب جالب و خوندی ای بود. پر از کمدی، درام و نقد اجتماعی. توضیحات و توصیفاتش راجع به حومه شهرهای انگلیس زیبا و دقیق و با جزئیات بود و سیستم روایتیش هم کاملا سبک انگلیسی بود. نثرش ساده بود و خوندنش آروم و خوب جلو می رفت و دید خوبی درباره موضوعات ذکر شده میداد. در آخر هم داستان خوب و [...]

    9. I am utterly baffled as to why this book is popular. I expected sweet and charming and got dry and dull. The obsession with the pair of guns was overdone, and was what finally made me stop reading the book. The book is also bogged down with architectural detail and long, pointless descriptions of landscapes and interior decor. The author's stereotyping of Americans is appalling and insulting. She's clearly playing to British readers with this attitude. "e ignorance of the bad-mannered"?! As if a [...]

    10. When I hear "character-driven novel", I usually roll my eyes. I expect navel-gazing and lots of exploration of self, and it comes a bit too close to self-help for my tastes. But Simonson gets it absolutely right in Major Pettigrew.Reading about a 68 year old, widowed, retired Major in a sleepy English village is not necessarily a draw for most readers, but there's an alchemy in the way the characters are written. Every single character in this book feels real and genuine. Some start off as stere [...]

    11. One of the more frustrating books I have ever read. Some good writing, but with terrible characters and dodgy plotting--an infuriating combination.The author can turn a nice phrase. But, the Major excepted, the characters are terrible. I know so little about Mrs. Ali, which is a shame; she seemed like she must have been a hell of a lady.The son, Roger, is particularly weak; he's a complete cartoon. Ooh, a shallow young man, who condescends to and fails to understand his dad? Really? Let me guess [...]

    12. Though at times charming, this book mostly left me wondering what sort of a world the author imagines England to be. Her characterizations are far more disjointed than the plot, which has its flaws but at worst they’re jarring, not heinous. However, the characterizations don’t work not merely because there are only two or three bearable people in the entire novel (and this isn't a farcical satire), but mainly because they’re a convoluted mess of contexts. Major Pettigrew’s manners and st [...]

    13. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is a wonderful comedy of manners in which the multiculturalism, rudeness and self absorption of the present collide with the stiff upper lip, rigid social consciousness and self absorption of the past as portrayed by Major Pettigrew and his son. As the realities of 2010 Britain creep relentlessly into a village stuck in a time warp of Empire and English superiority, the character of the characters in each group is revealed. Some evolve, some are hopelessly stuck and [...]

    14. Every once in a great while a book comes along that reminds me why I love to read. I'm not big on giving out 5 stars for a book, but this novel deserves all of it's praise and more. I sometimes get so caught up in my frenzy of reading (so many books, so little time) and it takes a book like this one to slow me down and rekindle the pleasure of reading.This is a slice-of-life book, which I'm not usually a big fan of, but what a huge exception we have going on here. Major Pettigrew is a retired wi [...]

    15. This New York Times bestseller is Helen Simonson's debut novel which I sought out after reading her second book , The Summer Before The War. Taking place in a small pastoral town in the English countryside, this book features the unlikely " golden years" romance of Major Pettigrew a staunch believer in retaining the decorum of a proper Englishman and Mrs. Ali a beautiful and exotic widowed shopkeeper from Pakistan. It's admirable that they yearn to follow their hearts despite the adversity shown [...]

    16. Major Ernest Pettigrew (Ret.) is a stickler for protocol; a man set in his routine in both action and philosophy, although he is not without the occasional witty retort. Major Pettigrew is a stout umbrella-toting man, a folding stool- carrying man, a man in control of his comfortable environment, until the day he answers his door to find the charming Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the local Pakistani shop owner, standing on his doorstep.United by their love of Kipling and their lingering bereavement of their [...]

    17. This is the best novel I’ve read this year and may be destined to make my top ten list. The well designed plot is pulled together with carefully crafted writing. I’m embarrassed to be so enthusiastic about it because it is actually a romance novel which is a genre I usually steer clear of. But this is a romance novel that contains human lessons, tensions and struggles almost too numerous to count. The most obvious battle is racial, religious and cultural prejudices. Then there’s the strugg [...]

    18. I read a very positive review and bought this book the day it was available. I really loved itwitty and dry, great fun. The narrative has a very british perspective. Great charcters.The sensitive subject of the british memories of the colonial era in contrast to other cutures and people are really handled well. It both entertains and provokes thought which to me constitutes a perfect book. I just happen to watch "Slumdog Millionaire" the same weekend and thought the two contrasted well.The autho [...]

    19. It is a truth universally acknowledgedat you cannot judge a book by its coveror even dust jacket. Tis a pity, since this book possesses a stunning one adapted from a 1924 LIFE cover. I recommend framing it and placing what remains between the covers in the recycle bin.British village life novels have long been a cherished enterprise, much adored by the public since the age of the divine Miss Austen and continuing with E. F. Benson, P. G. Woodhouse, Agatha Christie, and a variety of modern writer [...]

    20. I really loved this book and I have a wistful smile on my face just thinking about it.A lot of it is sentimentality as it is a very English book and the Major reminds me somewhat of my Dadhis values and his thinking and his jokes! And the village he lives in is very similar to this one.This was quietly hilarious - the Major's dry sense of humour and the sometimes ridiculous situations he gets himself into purely down to social niceties and perceived face-saving is very funny.A lot of interesting [...]

    21. 3.75★"I would like you to be happy Ernest," she said. "We all deserve that."A heart warming story about people figuring out how, and then deciding to have, a meaningful and fulfilling life by letting go of preconceived notions, prejudices, and plans. If you read and enjoyed The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, or A Man Called Ove, I think you will like this one also.

    22. Major Pettigrew, a retired British Army officer, is a man who is used to being in control of his routine and social life. What little there is. He is a widower of 5 years and has recently buried his brother Bertie. He has a son who is mostly interested in himself and often refers to his 68 year old father as "elderly". The Major is also lonely. He has his Golf Club where he plays with a few close friends. His other activities include shooting events where he uses 1 of a matched pair of Churchill [...]

    23. Is it enough to tell you Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand Is delightful?It was like seeing a garden of the most fragrant, beautiful flowers, with one dandelion, the only one that could be picked. This audiobook turned out to be the beauty. It is the story of two persons with completely different backgrounds willing to find common ground. The Major (Earnest, aptly named) – Retired British Army, military attitude, and strong values, almost stuffy with an air of ostentation.Mrs. Ali (Jasmina) – A [...]

    24. Yeah, so I'm old and jaded and cynical. Books about fresh, dewy eyed youngsters meeting and falling instantly in love, make me roll my eyes and grimace. LUST at first sightTHAT I understand. But when a couple meets and they are instantly struck with the world-stopping, earth-shaking, (insert mushy love related cliche here), knowledge that they will be together until the end of timeoh, give me a break!When Major Pettigrew meets Mrs. Ali, the earth does not move, or stop, for that matter. She's ju [...]

    25. I thought this would be a light weight charming read, and it was charming. It just had deeper characterizations than I was expecting and some wonderful dry humor. Major Pettigrew and I share a sense of humor. Major Pettigrew in his sixties is charmed and attracted to Mrs. Ali, a widow and owner of the local convenience store. In his stuffy and status conscious world their friendship is frowned upon. The relationship is finally threatened by the world's most ghastly dinner dance at the golf club, [...]

    26. Major Pettigrew is a widower who lives a quiet, comfortable life in a cozy English village. He believes in proper manners, in following the rules, in fitting in. That all changes after the death of his brother and when he becomes friends with a local woman of color. This book deals with love, racism, grief, being a parent, and finding meaning again when society says you should be happy to just sip tea and fade away in the shadows.I adored the characters here, the sharp edges and wit, the vivid n [...]

    27. What a great story! I loved it. It starts a bit slow, but really packs an enjoyable punch through to the ending. I really grew attached to the Major and this great cast of characters. Some laugh out loud momentsme very poignant moments and a very enjoyable love story. I love the blending of the cultures and the new and older generations. You got a feel for all sides of the story and it made for both sad and wonderful outcomes. This story surprised me many times. I thought I would end up disappoi [...]

    28. Major Ernest Pettigrew is literally reeling around his house in shock on the morning his younger brother dies. A knock comes at his door and it is the lady from the village shop--Mrs. Ali. Mrs. Ali is there to collect money for the paper boy, but she takes one look at the Major and decides that someone needs to assist him. She helps him back inside, makes him a hot cuppa, and just listens as the Major begins to work through his grief. She only leaves when she is sure that he's going to be alrigh [...]

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