Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
by Helen Simonson
A charming novel about a traditional British widow considering romance while facing the the limitations of himself and his changing world.
Appropriate for adults - adult situations, immoral behavior
I enjoyed this novel. Major Pettigrew is real, sometimes frustratingly so, and his reflections on modern England are compelling. His occasional jabs at America are among my favorites. Why do we Americans love being mocked by the British? It must be some kind of little brother hoping desperately to be noticed by his older aloof sibling. I found this book to be a well-crafted fusion of love story, rich characters, and insights into life an race/class relations in the modern UK.
Some of my favorite lines:
"The Major found much to admire in America but also felt that the nation was still in its infancy...Generous to a fault--he still remembered the tins of chocolate powder and waxy crayons handed out in his school even several years after the war--America wielded her huge power in the world with a brash confidence that reminded him of a toddler who has got hold of a hammer."
Mrs. Ali: "Abdul Wahid is still exploring his relationship to his faith. We all pick and choose and make our religion our own, do we not?"
Abdul Wahid: "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?"