Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

June 23, 2012

I recently finished reading Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson.

It follows the elderly Major Ernest Pettigrew as he takes stock of his life and attempts to cultivate an unlikely friendship with Mrs. Ali — a widowed shopkeeper of Pakistani heritage — in an unfriendly environment.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The Major and Mrs. Ali were endearing as characters, and even Sandy and the ladies of the village had their moments. I mostly wanted to slap some sense into Roger, but I think that was Simonson’s intention.

There were points where I felt like it got a bit bogged down — like I had to sort of muddle through, but then I got past it and started enjoying the story again.

I will say that I don’t think Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand is for everyone. It seems to illicit very mixed reviews and I can mostly understand why. This book doesn’t have a very solid plot. It is mostly character driven. I am perfectly OK with that in this situation, but some people need more action in the books they read, and for them, I’d say maybe skip this book.

In any case, I thought this had a nice edge of being a tad bittersweet without being melancholy. I often find that books with older protagonists lean toward the didactic side of things, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that aspect lacking.

All in all, an enjoyable and fairly easy read.


In other news, the lovely Heather from bitsnbooks has nominated me for an Inspiring Blogger Award, which is amazing and humbling and terrifying and lots of other adjectives, so that post will be coming in the near future once I pull my mind together enough to write it.


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