Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Large Print - 2010
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Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) leads a quiet life in the village of St. Mary, England, until his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But will their relationship survive in a society that considers Ali a foreigner?
Publisher: Waterville, Maine :, Thorndike/Windsor/Paragon,, [2010]
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781410427526
Branch Call Number: LT FIC SIMO
Characteristics: 587 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
large print,rdafs,


From the critics

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Feb 21, 2020

Overcoming racism in modern England. For background, try Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown. Although this book has ethnic Pakistanis as the objects of disrespect, Rushdie delves more thoroughly into the problems of empire, whether political or religious.

Feb 11, 2020

reference by julia spencer fleming

Jan 28, 2020

Loved it! I wish Masterpiece Theatre would produce this novel.

Jan 03, 2020

Charming and very sweet book. Good to know chivalry isn’t dead!

Sep 06, 2019

I guess this is a book that you love or dislike based on the many reviews. Put me in the like very much camp. If you love the English wit and propriety it will entertain you. Agree that it would make a great Masterpiece Theater piece.

May 13, 2019

Alcona Caledona

Feb 14, 2019

After a promising first chapter, I read two more ... and quit. Totally predictable.

IndyPL_SteveB Nov 30, 2018

A completely charming, humorous, and skillfully written romance of modern English manners. Don't be put off by the word "romance." -- this is entertaining for BOTH male and female readers.

Major Ernest Pettigrew, retired as a soldier and retired a second time as a teacher at a boys school, lives alone in a small English village. His life is jarred when he receives news that his brother has died suddenly from a heart attack. Ironically, at the same time he realizes he is becoming attracted to the Pakistani widow who runs the local market and discovers that life just might have meaning again. Nothing could be farther from English tradition than a retired major falling in love with a “foreign” shop keeper. And yet, Jasmina is more like him than anyone else he knows. She is English-born, educated, thoughtful, and also trapped by her family’s tradition, which devalues a woman’s independence.

Every paragraph is polished, with witty observations that make you want to turn to your friends and read aloud. Simonson is also a master of characterization, with even minor appearances coming to complete life and with most characters having multiple layers revealed. A kidnapping, a rescue, and an attempted murder ramp up the excitement later in the story, without taking anything away from the charm, but further revealing the character of the Major. A great book.

One of my favorite books from this year. The story of an unlikely friendship between retired Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper, in rural England. They are brought together by a shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses – first, with friendship, and then perhaps moving toward something more. Although the Major was actually born in Lahore, and Mrs. Ali was born in Cambridge, he is treated as the local, while she is seen as the foreigner. A wonderful and heartwarming book. (submitted by SB)

Aug 24, 2018

Delightful read! The character and plot development will keep most any reader engaged.

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Aug 06, 2016

bbock291 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Jan 30, 2011

Romance of a very English retired Major and a Pakistani shopkeeper in a small English village. Likeable characters, although some rather caricatured. Gentle humour. The plot is a bit thin with some unlikely events and the pace rather slow in the middle section.


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Aug 06, 2016

(Pettigrew is talking with Mrs. Ali about a proposed housing development for the rich.)

"...Makes me feel old and foolish." He said. "I assumed progress couldn't touch our little corner of the world."

"It's not about progress. It's about greed."


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