Book Review of
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
In the small village of Edgecombe St. Mary in the English countryside lives Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson’s wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, 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 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 regarding her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?
I have heard so many good things about the book Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand that I knew I had to read it. It has been on my to read pile for a long time. When I found the book at a used bookstore, I knew it was time to finally read it.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand was nothing like I expected it to be, but I really enjoyed it. It took a little bit to get into the book, but once I read a few chapters, I had trouble putting it down. It is the story is of a Major, who is a retired widower that lives in an English village. He forms an unlikely friendship with a shopkeeper. The book deals with everyday life issues like kids, retirement, friendship, marriage, family, and community, in a well written way.
If you like books set in England or books like the Mitford series, I think you will enjoy this one.