Margin Notes: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Major Pettigrew's Last StandMajor Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Written with a delightfully dry sense of humour and the wisdom of a born storyteller, Major Pettigrew's Last Standexplores the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of family obligation and tradition.

When retired Major Pettigrew strikes up an unlikely friendship with Mrs. Ali, the Pakistani village shopkeeper, he is drawn out of his regimented world and forced to confront the realities of life in the twenty-first century. Brought together by a shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship on the cusp of blossoming into something more. But although the Major was actually born in Lahore, and Mrs. Ali was born in Cambridge, village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as a permanent foreigner. The Major has always taken special pride in the village, but will he be forced to choose between the place he calls home and a future with Mrs. Ali?

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I struggled with what to give this book--beautifully written, but it took me quite a long time to read it. I thought the characters were really well developed, but I think this is a book I'd appreciate more if I were retired. I couldn't be empathetic to the characters, only sympathetic, which isn't quite as compelling. Perhaps a good one to recommend to Mom, but not something I'd recommend to my girlfriends.

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