Major Pettigrew's Last Stand - Helen Simonson

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

By Helen Simonson

  • Release Date: 2010-03-02
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 423 Ratings


BONUS: This edition contains a Major Pettigrew's Last Stand discussion guide.

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 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 more. 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?

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  • Full of Humor & Humanity

    By LisaGG92
    What a quiet and charming book with great humor and humanity. This book is witty and sweet and snuck up on me. By the end I found myself not wanting to leave the residents of Edgecomb St. Mary.
  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

    By S&JL Rogers
    This was a great read, from start to finish. The author portrays the character flaws and actions so many of us commit or endeavor to avoid.
  • A Real Gem

    By Libbie Bailey
    Full of imagery and subtle but solid commentary, the author nails what a novel ought to be. I've read it three times and it just gets better every time. Would make an excellent film.
  • The Major

    By Peter 14
    Lovely story...
  • Sgb

    By Charlie kiddo
    This is one of my favorite books. I have read it twice already and chuckled through it both times. The characters are believable and interesting. Then situations they get drawn into are pure British comedy at its best. A book that is both interesting and fun to read, what more can a reader ask for?
  • Great read

    By Cupcake monster
    I enjoyed these characters! Major Pettigrew, in particular, made me laugh out loud. I just finished reading the last chapter, and I feel content and satisfied. Thank you to the author for sharing your obvious pleasure in writing Major Pettigrew's Last Stand.
  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

    By DrSEL
    Not my usual style ... Read for book club. We have not met yet but I am looking forward to the discussion. The book started a bit slow but once I gave myself over to the story I really became engrossed and wanted to keep reading. It really is a beautiful story and is worth the time spent. Many lessons to be learned between the pages. Enjoy!
  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

    By Helen Downing
    In all deference to the author, this book would make a wonderful presentation for NPR.Right up there with Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey, but in our own era. It has drama,suspense, humor,romance,racial controversy, and,best of all, people over 30! As a person of age, I feel such a connection to the major and his contempt for the digital age and what can seem such a precipitous decline of manners, communication, and appreciation for family and our shared history. The changes that have revolutionized our society have made the differences between generations into monumental chasms; the effort to keep up with those changes ,a constant challenge. The major's ability to somehow perceive the difference between what is truly important and the arrogant and petty opinions of shallow minds that live in a world founded on nothing but the quicksand of prejuidice and self-promotion, is what made this book a constant pleasurable surprise for me. I never knew how he would react to a particular set of events. Just when I had decided he was an honorable person, he would retreat as a sodden old git;just as I had decided he was an SOD, he would suddenly peel back a layer to reveal his humanity and true grit. The characters that the author creates for us all reveal themselves in the same fashion: layer by layer and thoroughly three dimensional. Their lovableness, or the lack thereof, their histories, their pain, and their guilt. Without giving anything away, read this book and revel in language that tells us of a love the author has for the language, a deft hand at plot without formula, and familiarity of setting so real you feel as though you too are in an English fog!
  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

    By vista ann
    Loved this book. A fascinating look at family and community. I wish Simonson's other books were in translation.
  • Movie

    By paternostri
    Can't wait for the movie with bill nye playing major pettigrew. Deb