willaful's Reviews > Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
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's review
Dec 16, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, bye, a-matter-of-class, out-of-the-ordinary
Read from November 24 to December 15, 2010 , read count: 1

(Won from First Reads)

I have a passion for English novels from past eras, and this book, though contemporary, hit that particular spot. The main character is such a throwback--aptly named Ernest, he is a believer in courtesy, civilized behavior, literature, preserving the treasures of the past, and all manner of outdated notions.

Yet Major Pettigrew isn't entirely mired in the past. Indeed, he is one of the few people in his small village able to see past insular prejudices to appreciate the intelligence and beauty of Jasmina Ali, a Pakistani shopkeeper

This is a delicate, intelligent love story, filled with witty and thoughtful passages that made me want to run for the GoodReads "quotes" section. I got somewhat bogged down in the middle of the book, having trouble following plotlines about Mrs. Ali's family; possibly my own fault, because I often read too fast and can miss subtle nuances. Everything to do with the Major and Mrs. Ali's relationship, I loved.
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Quotes willaful Liked

Helen Simonson
“...as I get older, I find myself insisting on my right to be philosophically sloppy.”
Helen Simonson, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Helen Simonson
“He opened his mouth to say that she looked extremely beautiful and deserved armfuls of roses, but the words were lost in committee somewhere, shuffled aside by the parts of his head that worked full-time at avoiding ridicule.”
Helen Simonson, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Reading Progress

11/24/2010 page 39
10.0% "Just lovely, so far. Exactly the sort of "old-fashioned" book I expected from the title."
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