Friday, July 29, 2011

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

A charming first novel about  a small English village trying to cope with the influx of foreign-born and, to the insular inhabitants of this village, sometimes outlandish, people.  The protagonist of this narrative is Major Ernest Pettigrew, a retired Army Major.  He is a very likeable hero from the start.....courtly, wry, dignified,  intelligent....the very epitome of the  best in the British character.  The village is populated with a mix of people who are somewhat reminiscent of the folks in the Lucia books, transplanted to today's world.  The story revolves around the friendship of Major Pettigrew with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani proprietor of a village shop. Small-town- type crises arise, petty rivalries abound, snobbery as only the British can do snobbery,  all leading to a happy ending for the Major and Mrs. Ali.  A gentle book, humorous without being comic,  principled without being preachy, a very pleasant summer read.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand     Helen Simonson     Random House

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