Saturday, June 25, 2011

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 819 KB
Publisher: Allen & Unwin (November 9, 2010)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English

First sentence “Major Pettigrew was still upset about the phone call from his brother’s wife and so he answered the doorbell without thinking.

What a delightful and interesting book. I will be up front and say this not normally my thing. Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows I’m more of an Urban Fantasy, or Young Adult fan. But I had heard lots of people raving over this book and I thought why not give it a try after I read the blurb. To be honest I was expecting something light and fluffy that was a little bit funny; just a story about a little old man and an unlikely friendship.

This book was all that, I admit, but only on the surface. It was so much more. For starters it dealt with some pretty serious and topical issues like racism, family dynamics, life/death, love, discrimination, class relations, modern living, religious differences and cultural difference. It never delves in very deeply to these issues which is good otherwise the book would have been difficult reading for me (I hate being preached to in a book). But it highlights them enough you get a strong over all idea of the issues involved.

There is not much to hate about the main characters Major Pettigrew and Mrs Ali. They are both delightful characters with wonderful senses of humour. Dare I say it but they are rather perfect for each other. The book focuses on this relationship the most, and follows it as it grows from literally first contact to the deep friendship it becomes. Their dry wit, clever remarks, and quick responses to those around them really make this book. You are cheering for them to overcome the hurdles thrown in their way by the end of the book.

If you are looking for a feel good, delightful read this is definitely the book for you.

I found this clip of Helen Simonson reading an excerpt from her book. I hope you enjoy it!


  1. Great review and another reason to make me pick this one up!!

  2. You did a great review! I'm glad you liked it, even after all the fanfare. Sometimes when a book gets raves, it is hard to live up to them. This just a sweet, quiet story with fab characters. I read it when it first came out and just loved it. I've heard it called a 'wrinkly romance'.

  3. Wasn't this such a fun read. My book club chose it to read this month after I had read it earlier this year. I am looking forward to hear what they think of it, although I am a bit nervous.

  4. Oooh, I loved, loved, loved this book. I'm so glad you read it! I sure hope Helen is working on another story.

    Thanks for visiting yesterday. I did read about the emperor penguin. Heartbreaking! He's so far from home. I hope they can save him.

  5. This book sounds so sweet! I really want to read it.

  6. Sometimes reading outside my comfort zone makes the books better :) Glad this one worked for you. It looks good.