Friday, May 6, 2011

East Meets West

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
by Helen Simonson

It’s been a long time since I’ve read such a delightful book. Helen Simonson certainly tackles many weighty issues such as discrimination, honor, family relationships, and greed but does so within the framework of a story that is whimsical, laugh-out funny and unforgettable.


Major Pettigrew, 68, is a very proper widower with a wonderful English sense of humor who resides in the quaint village of Edgecombe St. Mary in Sussex. As the novel opens he realizes that the local shopkeeper, Jasmina Ali, is someone he has a lot in common with and that he is attracted to her. Of course, a Pakistani woman is not exactly what his son Roger or the other inhabitants of the village envision for the Major. There is also the matter of a family heirloom, matched Churchill hunting rifles, that the Major is fighting to keep his greedy relatives (including his son)from selling because he feels it symbolizes his family’s stature.

There are lovely romantic scenes, ones that are a testament to the human spirit and those that have marvelous understated humor. The book is also a lesson to never give up on life or love. For those who love the charm of the "Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society", you're in for yet another treat.



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