If you are looking for a fast-paced action read, then this debut novel by Helen Simonson is not for you. However, if you love all things British and are interested in a gentle, entertaining read, then Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is a novel you should not miss!
Ret. Major Ernest Pettigrew has lived his entire life in the small community of Edgecombe St. Mary, but in recent years many changes have come about putting the Major quite off his routine. First, his wife passed away and now his only sibling, his younger brother, Bertie, has died. The passing of his brother causes the Major to re-examine his own life and the burgeoning relationship with a Pakistani widow, Jasmina Ali, who owns the little shop in town where he buys his tea and shares a great love of literature with the Major. Ms. Simonson does a remarkable job of slowly bringing the Major along to some life-changing realizations throughout the novel making for an entertaining time for the reader. The cast of characters surrounding the Major, especially the side story of Mrs. Ali's nephew, adds to the overall enjoyment of the novel. This is a definite "must read" for Anglophiles everywhere.