Sunday, June 26, 2011

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


Since I am plugging through the very last days of my work contract, I figured it was time to get a library card at my local library. Two months loom before me with nothing to do but pack, read, cook, bake and explore the remaining to-do's on my Washington, D.C. list. This book was one of my first check outs during my inaugural library visit and it couldn't have been more splendid. From the very first page, I was totally enamored with the amazing characters. The main character in particular, Major Pettigrew, had me totally besotted in an old-fashioned, grandpa sort of way. He is exactly how I imagine a proper, curmudgeonly English gentleman of an era gone by to be. In fact, I think society today could benefit from a healthy dose of Major Pettigrew's morals, standards, etiquette and behavior.

If anyone has read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, this story reminded me so much of that wonderful novel. Despite grief and sadness lingering in the shadows of lives of the main characters, there is hope, love and the potential for happiness. It is a charming story and ultimately has a happy ending, although all of the pieces don't tie up in a neat, tidy, sparkly little bow. If they did, I would be insulted and it would feel ingenuous.

I don't really want to get into the details of the plot, as I would probably give something important away, all I can say is this is a story about people finding love, happiness and their place in the world late in life and in the most shocking of places.

Please read this book, you won't regret it!

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