Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Review: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Title: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Author: Helen Simonson

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: January 2010

Genre: Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand AloneSynopsis can be found here


Review:
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand is a charming story that takes place in the English countryside. As the Major finds himself drawn to Mrs. Ali, a widow who owns the local shop, the townspeople and their own families throw them obstacles which each must overcome in order to be together.

The language rolls over me, warm with beautiful descriptions. Every character is brought to life vividly.  This is a book about a sleepy town and the prejudices that crawl to the surface. The book is on the slower side, but not in a bad way. I felt the rolling of the English countryside and the quietness of the town which accents nicely the mayhem of the shooting party and the drama that unfolds later in the novel. To its core, it is an incredibly romantic story, about two people finding love but having to cross many barriers to be together.


Major Pettigrew, for all his upright and conservative views, is a kind and gentle man. Simonson makes him sympathetic without being narrow-minded and old. Mrs. Ali on the other hand is like a breeze of fresh air. Their courtship starts slow and it’s amazing to read about these two people whose relationship blossoms so slowly and naturally.
Roger, the major’s son is certainly on the other end of the spectrum. He’s equally parts yuppie young man and aimlessly wandering son. While he isn’t a totally unlikeable character, I found myself cringing at Roger’s comments.

I listened to the audiobook, read by Peter Altschuler, which was breathtakingly beautiful. The words and descriptions of the townspeople of Edgecombe St. Mary are well developed, even to the most minor of characters. And Altschuler does a superb job of reading in Major’s narration, his voice rich. 


Review 8 Cookie Worthy, bordering on 9!

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