Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Thoughts    Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand  by Helen Simonson, Random House Trade Paperbacks 2011 (orig 2010), 368 pages

I was hoping to enjoy this novel as a light romantic read and I was not disappointed. Actually, the term ‘light’ is most apt when considering the terms of bright and hopeful and engaging and not to describe a novel as superficial and/or easily digested.   With themes of social injustice and prejudice and defying cultural expectations, this story is quite weighty yet handled with aplomb.

So if you want a book of romance and a bit of farce and great witty dialogue and retort, plus you enjoy Britishisms and settings of small towns and village living, then this is a good choice. I recommend.

FOUR slices of pie!    Raspberry Pie.     

“To be once again in a sanctuary far from the voices of women is balm to the anguished soul.”

“I can’t promise it will last,” said the Major. “My neighbor Alice Pierce is rather fond of singing folk music to her garden plants. Thinks it makes them grow or something.”  The Major had often wondered how a wailing rendition of “Greensleeves” would encourage greater raspberry production but Alice insisted that it worked far better than chemical fertilizers, and she did produce several kinds of fuit in pie-worthy quantities.  “No sense of pitch, but plenty of enthusiasm,” he added.

For other opinions and more thorough ‘reviews’, do check out these results for this title at Fyrefly’s Book Blog Search Engine.

Clicking on the book cover above will take you to…


Copyright © 2007-2011. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

28 thoughts on “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

  1. It sounds like the kind of book I have to be in the right mood for. Charming can fall flat when you’re feeling snarky. I love the movie Elf, but last Christmas I met someone who was feeling snarky when he watched it.

    1. Jeanne, I think you would like the humor in this one. I guffawed a few times. And guffawing isn’t really lady-like, yaknow. I will read more by this author.

    1. I would have offered this to you when you visit but it’s not mine to offer. So good that you got your own copy. I turned down some pages even tho it wasn’t mine…

  2. I’ve heard so many good things about this one! I love that it is light in terms of wittiness and not in terms of superficiality. Also, I just adore the title.

    1. I was a tad worried because I had been missing my reading-attn-wowza and I was afraid that this ‘delightful’ book would end up not being so delightful but it really captured my heart in the last half. NOT that the first half was slow but that I was having trouble carving time to read.

  3. Excellent point that this book is light in tone but still deals with weighty issues. That is a nice thing about this book, and it differs from what I was expecting.

  4. For a minute there, I thought you might have read a different “Major Pettigrew” than I did. But using your definition of “light” I would totally agree.

  5. I just started listening to the audiobook version of this one today, and just saw your review tonight. So far I’m enjoying the humor of the book. The style of writing reminds me of Anne Tyler.

  6. Oh man–raspberry pie sounds DIVINE! This is one I’ve started recommending to others but haven’t read yet (did the same thing with The Help). I’m sure once I finally get to it I’ll love it too.

    1. It is fun to recommend books, read or not. I just got my neighbor to buy Goon Squad and I have yet to read it. She also got Still Alice and was half way thru in in less than a day! SO I did good.

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