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Una passione tranquilla

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  108,439 Ratings  ·  11,312 Reviews
Ernest Pettigrew, ex maggiore dell'esercito britannico, è un uomo tutto d'un pezzo. Non perde tempo in frivolezze, né in inutili chiacchiere di paese. Ama la vita tranquilla, retta da valori solidi e intramontabili: decoro, senso del dovere e una tazza di tè fatto come Dio comanda. Ma la morte del fratello sembra aprire una breccia nel suo cuore, ed è allora che si abbando ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Piemme (first published 2010)
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Sherri Robinson I have found that many career military men are very dependent on their wives to negotiate life as a civilian. Their bafflement of navigating daily…moreI have found that many career military men are very dependent on their wives to negotiate life as a civilian. Their bafflement of navigating daily life can make them appear older when out of the routine. I thing small towns are universal because the people stay in them generation after generation. Staying means holding to the past and not even thinking there are different ways of doing things and being uncomfortable with changes. We've done it this way for decades, what is wrong with that?(less)
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Aug 09, 2010 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Whoever read my Olive Kitteridge rant, probably knows that I am not much into reading books about old people. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, however, proves that any book about any subject matter or any type of characters can become a great experience if written well.

This novel is, essentially, a love story between a 68-year old retired Major Ernest Pettigrew and a 58-year old Pakistani shop keeper Mrs. Ali, brought together by their loneliness and love of literature. Yes, it doesn't sound very
Kate Quinn
Jan 29, 2011 Kate Quinn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If Masterpiece Theatre doesn't make this book into a movie starring Derek Jacobi, it will be a crime. There has not been so perfectly English a read in its deadpan humor in a very long time. Meet Major Pettigrew: widower, retired army officer, and pillar of the community in his small English town. He is set in his ways: tea with acquaintances, shooting parties with friends, reticence at all times. But the Major's life starts falling into chaos when he falls in love, and with a most unsuitable ca ...more
Will Byrnes
May 31, 2010 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Major Ernest Pettigrew is a decent sort, 68, retired military, widowed, and coping with the death of his younger brother, Bertie. He is a respected fixture in a rural community, member of the local golf course club, romantic target for one of the local ladies, and defender of traditional values. He is disappointed with his son, who has made a religion of career ambition, and considers the provincial notions of his neighbors less than cricket. But everything changes when he encounters Mrs. Ali, a ...more
I say.... old chap... What a wonderful book. Delicious, full of humor, wit, it's colorful, delicate, wise.... cute, a big five star, very special! More to follow, as usual.
Highly recommended! I'll be looking for more work of this author.

This is the perfect book to read before bedtime. It is not an edge of your seat, can't put the book down, must turn the page to see what happens next type but the calm, touching, peaceful but poignant, close the book with a sigh kind. One to turn the lights off with a smile and a thought to slumber by.

Major Pettigrew is a 67 year old English widower who is trying to navigate the growing changes in the world, the dearth of discipline, the turning tide of etiquette, the lack of loyalties. H
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I am utterly baffled as to why this book is popular. I expected sweet and charming and got dry and dull. The obsession with the pair of guns was overdone, and was what finally made me stop reading the book. The book is also bogged down with architectural detail and long, pointless descriptions of landscapes and interior decor.

The author's stereotyping of Americans is appalling and insulting. She's clearly playing to British readers with this attitude. "...the ignorance of the bad-mannered"?! As
Tea Jovanović
Preporuka pred prve uskršnje praznike (prednost nas potomaka iz mešovitih brakova - sve praznike imamo duple, prim. ured.)... Sjajna knjiga, protkana finim sofisticiranim humorom... Lepo opisuje i kulturološke razlike u Britaniji (između krutog Britanca i udovice Pakistanke) a i jaz i nerazumevanje među generacijama (između oca i sina)... Ta knjiga mi se izdvojila u moru drugih koje sam te godine pročitala... 4 godine pokušavam da nagovorim nekog srpskog izdavača da je objavi, ali bez rezultata, ...more
Aug 09, 2010 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I hear "character-driven novel", I usually roll my eyes. I expect navel-gazing and lots of exploration of self, and it comes a bit too close to self-help for my tastes. But Simonson gets it absolutely right in Major Pettigrew.

Reading about a 68 year old, widowed, retired Major in a sleepy English village is not necessarily a draw for most readers, but there's an alchemy in the way the characters are written. Every single character in this book feels real and genuine. Some start off as stere
May 28, 2011 Claudia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One of the more frustrating books I have ever read. Some good writing, but with terrible characters and dodgy plotting--an infuriating combination.

The author can turn a nice phrase. But, the Major excepted, the characters are terrible. I know so little about Mrs. Ali, which is a shame; she seemed like she must have been a hell of a lady.

The son, Roger, is particularly weak; he's a complete cartoon. Ooh, a shallow young man, who condescends to and fails to understand his dad? Really? Let me guess
Mar 11, 2010 Hayes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely charming. The Major, the last true Gentleman on Earth, is my new best friend.

Read and Release at
"I don't believe the greatest views in the world are great because they are vast or exotic," she(Jamina) said. "I think their power comes from the knowledge that they do not change. You look at them and you know they have been the same for a thousand years."

Major Ernest Pettigrew,Royal Sussex, retired, is an old curmudgeon of the traditional order. As prescribed by his military past, everything should be ordered, strictly predictable and, well, staunchly traditional, as honor and duty and his f
Feb 26, 2011 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Though at times charming, this book mostly left me wondering what sort of a world the author imagines England to be. Her characterizations are far more disjointed than the plot, which has its flaws but at worst they’re jarring, not heinous. However, the characterizations don’t work not merely because there are only two or three bearable people in the entire novel (and this isn't a farcical satire), but mainly because they’re a convoluted mess of contexts. Major Pettigrew’s manners and standards ...more
Oct 07, 2010 Marsha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, _fiction, 2010
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is a wonderful comedy of manners in which the multiculturalism, rudeness and self absorption of the present collide with the stiff upper lip, rigid social consciousness and self absorption of the past as portrayed by Major Pettigrew and his son. As the realities of 2010 Britain creep relentlessly into a village stuck in a time warp of Empire and English superiority, the character of the characters in each group is revealed. Some evolve, some are hopelessly stuck and ...more
Nov 06, 2010 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a great while a book comes along that reminds me why I love to read. I'm not big on giving out 5 stars for a book, but this novel deserves all of it's praise and more. I sometimes get so caught up in my frenzy of reading (so many books, so little time) and it takes a book like this one to slow me down and rekindle the pleasure of reading.

This is a slice-of-life book, which I'm not usually a big fan of, but what a huge exception we have going on here. Major Pettigrew is a retired wi
Feb 15, 2015 Camie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This New York Times bestseller is Helen Simonson's debut novel which I sought out after reading her second book , The Summer Before The War.
Taking place in a small pastoral town in the English countryside, this book features the unlikely " golden years" romance of Major Pettigrew a staunch believer in retaining the decorum of a proper Englishman and Mrs. Ali a beautiful and exotic widowed shopkeeper from Pakistan. It's admirable that they yearn to follow their hearts despite the adversity shown
Apr 10, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Major Ernest Pettigrew (Ret.) is a stickler for protocol; a man set in his routine in both action and philosophy, although he is not without the occasional witty retort. Major Pettigrew is a stout umbrella-toting man, a folding stool- carrying man, a man in control of his comfortable environment, until the day he answers his door to find the charming Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the local Pakistani shop owner, standing on his doorstep.

United by their love of Kipling and their lingering bereavement of their
Mar 03, 2010 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read a very positive review and bought this book the day it was available. I really loved it...witty and dry, great fun. The narrative has a very british perspective. Great charcters.

The sensitive subject of the british memories of the colonial era in contrast to other cutures and people are really handled well. It both entertains and provokes thought which to me constitutes a perfect book. I just happen to watch "Slumdog Millionaire" the same weekend and thought the two contrasted well.

The au
Cathrine ☯️

"I would like you to be happy Ernest," she said. "We all deserve that."

A heart warming story about people figuring out how, and then deciding to have, a meaningful and fulfilling life by letting go of preconceived notions, prejudices, and plans. If you read and enjoyed The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, or A Man Called Ove, I think you will like this one also.
Clif Hostetler
Sep 15, 2013 Clif Hostetler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
This is the best novel I’ve read this year and may be destined to make my top ten list. The well designed plot is pulled together with carefully crafted writing. I’m embarrassed to be so enthusiastic about it because it is actually a romance novel which is a genre I usually steer clear of.

But this is a romance novel that contains human lessons, tensions and struggles almost too numerous to count. The most obvious battle is racial, religious and cultural prejudices. Then there’s the struggle bet
Fred Shaw
Jul 10, 2017 Fred Shaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Major Pettigrew, a retired British Army officer, is a man who is used to being in control of his routine and social life. What little there is. He is a widower of 5 years and has recently buried his brother Bertie. He has a son who is mostly interested in himself and often refers to his 68 year old father as "elderly". The Major is also lonely. He has his Golf Club where he plays with a few close friends. His other activities include shooting events where he uses 1 of a matched pair of Churchill ...more
May 26, 2010 THE rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It is a truth universally acknowledged...that you cannot judge a book by its cover...or even dust jacket. Tis a pity, since this book possesses a stunning one adapted from a 1924 LIFE cover. I recommend framing it and placing what remains between the covers in the recycle bin.

British village life novels have long been a cherished enterprise, much adored by the public since the age of the divine Miss Austen and continuing with E. F. Benson, P. G. Woodhouse, Agatha Christie, and a variety of moder
May 07, 2017 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4000-books, may-17
This novel was well-liked at book club and led to a very interesting discussion.
Mar 09, 2010 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this would be a light weight charming read, and it was charming. It just had deeper characterizations than I was expecting and some wonderful dry humor. Major Pettigrew and I share a sense of humor. Major Pettigrew in his sixties is charmed and attracted to Mrs. Ali, a widow and owner of the local convenience store. In his stuffy and status conscious world their friendship is frowned upon. The relationship is finally threatened by the world's most ghastly dinner dance at the golf club, ...more
Mar 19, 2010 Grey853 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Major Pettigrew is a widower who lives a quiet, comfortable life in a cozy English village. He believes in proper manners, in following the rules, in fitting in. That all changes after the death of his brother and when he becomes friends with a local woman of color.

This book deals with love, racism, grief, being a parent, and finding meaning again when society says you should be happy to just sip tea and fade away in the shadows.

I adored the characters here, the sharp edges and wit, the vivid n
Dec 16, 2011 Melki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah, so I'm old and jaded and cynical. Books about fresh, dewy eyed youngsters meeting and falling instantly in love, make me roll my eyes and grimace. LUST at first sight...THAT I understand. But when a couple meets and they are instantly struck with the world-stopping, earth-shaking, (insert mushy love related cliche here), knowledge that they will be together until the end of time...oh, give me a break!

When Major Pettigrew meets Mrs. Ali, the earth does not move, or stop, for that matter. Sh
Nov 01, 2010 Shelli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great story! I loved it. It starts a bit slow, but really packs an enjoyable punch through to the ending. I really grew attached to the Major and this great cast of characters. Some laugh out loud moments...some very poignant moments and a very enjoyable love story. I love the blending of the cultures and the new and older generations. You got a feel for all sides of the story and it made for both sad and wonderful outcomes. This story surprised me many times. I thought I would end up dis ...more
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Major Ernest Pettigrew is literally reeling around his house in shock on the morning his younger brother dies. A knock comes at his door and it is the lady from the village shop--Mrs. Ali. Mrs. Ali is there to collect money for the paper boy, but she takes one look at the Major and decides that someone needs to assist him. She helps him back inside, makes him a hot cuppa, and just listens as the Major begins to work through his grief. She only leaves when she is sure that he's going to be alrigh ...more
Sep 23, 2011 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Is it enough to tell you Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand Is delightful? It was like seeing a garden of the most fragrant, beautiful flowers, with one dandelion, the only one that could be picked. This audiobook turned out to be the beauty.

It is the story of two persons with completely different backgrounds willing to find common ground.
The Major (Earnest, aptly named) – Retired British Army, military attitude, and strong values, almost stuffy with an air of ostentation.
Mrs. Ali (Jasmina) – A Pak
Apr 01, 2012 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a charming novel set in an English village. It's the story of Major Pettigrew, retired and a widower, who strikes up a friendship with a Pakistani woman who runs the local shop. The two share a love of books and ideas, and the Major falls in love. But his multicultural romance causes waves in the community and soon he is forced to make a decision.

There is much more going on in the book, including a family battle over heirloom rifles, a social-climbing son and a whole cast of townspeople,
Julie Christine
Feb 22, 2010 Julie Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Julie Christine by: Janet Maslin/NY Times
Pitch-perfect, beautifully-crafted with the lightest of touch on the heaviest of issues. There are so many laugh-out-loud moments, yet Simonson never lets screwball comedy reduce the dignity of her characters- she lets them sacrifice their dignity all on their own.

The narrative is lively and bright even in its darkest turns of plot and the characters are either endearing or maddening (or both). The story is almost too polished- its edges are smoothed by a well-tooled plot outline that begs for
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Helen Simonson was born in England and spent her teenage years in a small village in East Sussex. A graduate of the London School of Economics with an MFA from Stony Brook Southampton, she is a former travel advertising executive who has lived in America for almost three decades. A longtime resident of Brooklyn, she is married with two sons. Her debut novel, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, was a NY ...more
More about Helen Simonson...

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“Life does often get in the way of one's reading.” 127 likes
“You are a wise man, Major, and I will consider your advice with great care—and humility." He finished his tea and rose from the table to go to his room. "But I must ask you, do you really understand what it means to be in love with an unsuitable woman?"

"My dear boy," said the Major. "Is there really any other kind?”
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