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 Library Staff

Lily King's comfort read (author of "Writers & Lovers")

A retired major leads a quiet life in an English village until his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with a Pakistani shopkeeper. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and loss of their spouses, a friendship blooms.

From the critics

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Jan 13, 2021

Thoroughly enjoyed the storyline although the wording and detail were at times lengthy and found myself refocusing quite often in order to get through quite a lengthy read.

Mar 09, 2020

English country living in modern time, with traditional ways, e.g. the English house (cottage, manor, garden, cabin), golf, shooting game, country club (ball, feast), etc., detailed and enlivened in amusing narrations and witty repartee.
Aside from the leading man and woman - winkled love birds, Grace and Sandy surprised me in author's smart depiction. Twin Churchill's fate, in contrast with a predictable fate of the romance, manifest the moral, rather than dwelling on a disappointment.
A few exaggerations are not in sync with my sensibility though, I resonate with the clashes of race, religion, material wealth, property, class.

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.

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Jan 13, 2021

He could not remember any other place to which he had any attachment at all. The world seemed to have shrunk to fit quite perfectly inside the room.

He wondered whether it was his fault. Roger had the perceptiveness of concrete.

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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Aug 06, 2016

bbock291 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Summary
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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