In the English village of Edgecombe St Mary two mature-aged people are drawn together by loss, literature and love. Over a cup of tea Major Pettigrew and Mrs Jasmina Ali develop a connection neither was expecting and readers follow them down a path where they are met by disappointed relatives, friends and social acquaintances. Major Pettigrew is a retired 68-year-old charming, polite, admirable and witty man who believes in doing the right and proper thing. Mrs Jasmina Ali is the village’s Pakistani shopkeeper who loves to read, drive cars like men do, is compassionate and has a vibrancy about her. Both are widowed and recently the Major’s brother Bertie passed away, which is where this story begins.
There are many issues covered in this novel, multiculturalism and religion being two of the most prominent. Family issues are brought to the fore via the Major’s son and Mrs Ali’s nephew. Social classes provide much entertainment and are also thought provoking. Love is the centre of the book, showing how it can make even a 68-year-old man feel like a teenager again.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand was a delight to read. Definitely a book I would recommend reading with a cup of tea; it just seems right to do so. This is Helen Simonson’s first novel and she has done a superb job of letting us into the characters’ lives and emotions, it feels as though you are there floating over the village watching the story unfold through silk chiffon; a beautiful experience. I love the humour in the book, the Major reminded me a little of Clint Eastwood’s character in Gran Torino with some of the remarks he makes. There is much to take away from this story and one thing I take away is this lovely feeling I get when I think about my reading experience, all cosy and enveloped by warmth. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are things that occur which are not at all warm or cosy, but such is life. This book is just written so beautifully that it whisks you away into a pleasant reading experience which lends to a sigh of contentment when that last page is turned.
Thank you once again to Jessica at Allen & Unwin for providing me with a copy of this book and giving me the opportunity of having a wonderful reading experience.
Click here to go to Helen’s profile on my website where you will find links to the blurb of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, my interview with Helen, her website, her Goodreads profile and a link to purchase Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand