This book is a very charming blend of "old fashioned" (in the nicest way) and contemporary fiction. The only thing that prohibited me from giving it a higher rating is that I felt the author lost her way a bit in the middle of the book and worked too hard to highlight the insensitivity of some characters (and the political correctness of others).
But, on the whole, I loved this book and it felt like an old friend from page one forward. The principal character, Major Pettigrew, is a wonderful, vivid creation and I would enjoy following his sunset year adventures either in my imagination or in a sequel.
Helen Simonson has done something rather remarkable: her novel is fresh, thought provoking and totally timeless. Well done!