Monday, September 5, 2011
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
From Publishers Weekly: "In her charming debut novel, Simonson tells the tale of Major Ernest Pettigrew, an honor-bound Englishman and widower, and the very embodiment of duty and pride. As the novel opens, the major is mourning the loss of his younger brother, Bertie, and attempting to get his hands on Bertie's antique Churchill shotgun—part of a set that the boys' father split between them, but which Bertie's widow doesn't want to hand over. While the major is eager to reunite the pair for tradition's sake, his son, Roger, has plans to sell the heirloom set to a collector for a tidy sum. As he frets over the guns, the major's friendship with Jasmina Ali—the Pakistani widow of the local food shop owner—takes a turn unexpected by the major (but not by readers). The author's dense, descriptive prose wraps around the reader like a comforting cloak, eventually taking on true page-turner urgency as Simonson nudges the major and Jasmina further along and dangles possibilities about the fate of the major's beloved firearms. This is a vastly enjoyable traipse through the English countryside and the long-held traditions of the British aristocracy."
Amazon and I are getting to be quite the friends, it's where I get some of my best book suggestions. This book showed up on the list of "people who bought...also bought this book" so I decided to give it a try. I was looking for something light and easy and this worked perfectly. It was a little wordy in parts, and I had a little difficulty relating to any of the characters, but the story was fun and it was worth the read.
A few of my favorite quotes:
*"You are a wise man, Major, and I will consider your advice with great care and humility, 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?"
*"The world is full of small ignorances, we must do our best to ignore them and thereby keep them small."
I gave it a solid B, leaning towards a B+