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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
An enchanting tale, brilliant in its simple yet profound insight into human...
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Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Created: 03/24/11

Replies: 51

Posted Mar. 24, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 369

Expert

What's your opinion of this book?

Overall, what did you think of "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand". Did you enjoy it? If so, what sort of people would you recommend it to?


Posted Apr. 28, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 16

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Here's the review I just posted.
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is a delight. It's a cup of hot chocolate after a walk in the freezing cold. It's the pillow of whipped cream on pumpkin pie. It's the purr of a kitty cat sitting in your lap. You get the idea! The characters were so well crafted, I felt like an eavesdropper in the next room. And yet there is a hard message delivered amid all these feel-good attributes: about our reaction to others who differ from us, whether they are members of our own family or another culture. The plot involves Major Pettigrew still mourning over the loss of his wife and now the death of his brother. These deaths are a metaphor for the loss of a way of life, traumatic and dispiriting events which can lead to better times through the willingness to embrace change. Major Pettigrew's life becomes enmeshed with that of Mrs. Ali, a widow and local shopkeeper of Pakistani heritage. I won’t say more about their relationship now but was very happy to have made their acquaintance for 358 pages.


Posted Apr. 29, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rayp

Join Date: 04/29/11

Posts: 3

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Well written but a bit too slow for my liking. I did not necessarily agree with the comparisons to Jane Austen or "Romeo and Juliet". However, the lead characters of Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali were quite engaging and I felt that the story picked up whenever there was interaction with the two of them (and dragged when they were apart).


Posted May. 02, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
DeniseD

Join Date: 05/02/11

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

It took me a while to warm up to the characters. Then about half way through the book I could not stop until I finished. I enjoyed the story very much. I kept trying to guess what situation would end up being Major Pettigrew's last stand but I never would have imagined the final one. I admired the Major's ability to keep a sense of honor and tradition yet break out of his comfort zone to such a degree.


Posted May. 03, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
againstthetide

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 10

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I am only about half way through the book so far (sorry - - not the world's fastest reader over here!), and I absolutely love it so far. For some reason, it reminds me so much of Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It isn't the type of book with a hard driving plot or huge suspense - - but it focuses beautifully on the smaller elements of life, love, and relationships. The characters are beautifully drawn and so truly human.

I will definitely check in later with a more comprehensive review, but so far, I'm just basking in the little details that this author uses so deftly.


Posted May. 05, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Auntie Mame

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 13

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I truly enjoyed this book. I think it got better as it went along, once you got all the characters straight. I love reading books set in England especially if they take place in a small village. Was glad to see that it was "modern" and not with outdated stereotypical characters.

There were some surprises so I won't say too much here in case anyone has no finished the book. I really look forward to reading more by this author.


Posted May. 06, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
trezelineb

Join Date: 04/24/11

Posts: 16

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

The book was well written and very interesting. I loved the character, Major Pettigrew and I thought all of the characters were well developed. I did enjoy the book


Posted May. 07, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lesliew

Join Date: 05/07/11

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I loved the beginning, the middle and the end of this book. Savoring every page, I did not want this book to end! and was so very sad when it did!!!


Posted May. 07, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
virginiaw

Join Date: 05/07/11

Posts: 7

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I really liked the book and romance between Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali. He is so chivalrous and protective of Mrs. Ali but yet he gives her the space to be her own person. The subtlilty of their evolving relationship was engaging. I did get confused about some of the minor characters of which there were many. I would recommend this book.


Posted May. 07, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sandrae

Join Date: 05/07/11

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I found this book a joy. It made me cringe (in the face of the bigotry and small-mindedness of some of the villagers), hold my breath (while reading the last paragraphs of Chapter 24, which I erroneously thought was the last one!), and truly laugh out loud (most often at the rapier-like, dry wit which the major displays in the face of his son's absurdities - or the equally insightful comments of Mrs. Ali as she so gracefully negotiates bias and ignorance, not only from British villagers, but from her own family).

I found it an irresistible delight and astonishing for a first novel.


Posted May. 08, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
scknitter

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

This is not normally a type of book I would ever have picked up to read. I normally am bored unless I am reading a thriller or adventure novel. However, I have now discovered that good writing, wit, and humor as well as endearing characters are enough to keep me from being bored. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and can't imagine anyone not liking it.


Posted May. 08, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
beckyh

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 41

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I found myself savoring the word usage and use of simile and metaphor. In fact, the beautiful writing ALMOST interupted the story! One of my favorites is on page 65.

"a rumpled parka the color of an oil spill" I can picture this. The use of the image of the oil spill gives a clearer description of "messiness" and emphasizes the "rumpled" look of a well worn parka.

A few pages later she states "happiness like a closely banked fire" again a clear word picture of warmth, peace, enjoyment, serenity. All of this in just a few well chosen words. This is just wonderful writing. I'm so glad I read this book. Just for the shear pleasure of the writing -- and it is a great story besides. What more could you want from a book.


Posted May. 09, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davidv

Join Date: 05/09/11

Posts: 9

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I loved this book and was hooked from the first chapter. It is a wonderful story filled with so many interesting elements: humor, pathos, a small English village, petty jealousy, discrimination in many forms. I found myself stopping to jot down phrases and points made by the author. For example: "She said if I maintained my aversion to change I risked being reincarnated as a granite post". The characters were very interesting and easy (or difficult, depending on one's perspective) to identify with. I can't wait for the next installment.


Posted May. 10, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
marthad

Join Date: 05/10/11

Posts: 25

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

The word that kept coming to my mind while I read this was charming. There was a charm cast over the whole story. I loved that there was a real romance between these two "older" characters. I was amused by the fact I kept changing my mind on what I thought the Major's Last Stand was going to be. In the end I really loved what it actually was.


Posted May. 10, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
againstthetide

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 10

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Here's my more comprehensive "review" . . .five stars is best for me.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
4 stars

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is a wonderful, sweet read that reminded me tremendously of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. It features a relationship between two older people, both of whom have lost their spouses. The path to true love does not run smooth, especially given that the two protagonists do not share the same ethnicity or religion. What makes this book such a delight to read is the subtle British wit that completely infuses every chapter. It is a story where the details really bring it to life, and one that features characters developing as they might in real life - - without a great deal of melodrama. In fact, the only reason I didn't give it five stars is I felt that the climax of the book wasn't really consistent with the rest of the writing . . .it just seemed less realistic and believable, and the rest of the book was so authentic that I found the change a bit jarring. But overall, I'm really looking forward to see what else this new writer delivers.


Posted May. 11, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
wendyr

Join Date: 04/12/11

Posts: 2

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

This particular book hit just the right spot for me. It was charming, without being overly sweet. I took to the two main characters right away. The book touched on a variety of topics from romance between two different ethnicities, family issues, expectations, and discrimination. The family issues especially stood out for me--perhaps because of my own relationship with my parents and now with the birth of my daughter. I can see why so many people love this novel. It is full of heart and makes for a good book to read when someone doesn't want something overly dark and serious. That isn't to say it doesn't deal with serious issues--it does, but does so in such a way to keep the mood on the light side more often than not.


Posted May. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
barbarae

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I really enjoyed this book. I found it charming from the first. I thought the characters were especially well-drawn and compelling as was the village. The cast of characters and the subtle wit of the Major were just pitch perfect. It is a wonderful tale second love and change later in life. I have recommended this book to everyone I know.


Posted May. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
chetyarbrough.com

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 14

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Enjoyable audio book. Character development is a little slow in the beginning but once Major Pettigrew becomes real, the story is engrossing.

Life is not over after 60 and therein lies its greatest demographic appeal.


Posted May. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Beth350

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 62

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I felt is was a delightful novel filled with interesting people. I thought the friendship between the Major and Mrs. Ali rang true, as did some of the unfortunate racial problems that developed because of their relationship. I really loved the characters in this book and felt that the book came to an end too soon - before I was ready to be done with them.


Posted May. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
mary annb's Gravatar
mary annb

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 14

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

When I first started reading, I wasn't sure if I was going to like the Major. He appeared to be "stiff upper lip" material. But as they say looks can be deceiving. He was a real suprise. I really enjoyed that he was able recognize things in himself that weren't pleasant, and made the effort to do the right things.


Posted May. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
cecileg

Join Date: 04/25/11

Posts: 2

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I found Major Pettigrew's Last Stand to be an interesting and well written Novel. The characters were interesting and well developed. Definitely, I would have liked a longer look at the lives of the major and his new wife. I would recommend it to readers who like British novels and who enjoy reading about social
and moral situations.


Nickey
Posted May. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Ann

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I must admit I also love mysteries & adventure stories but since joining my book club I have expanded my reading & I am going to put this book up for our new list, I really enjoyed reading it, loved the characters & the English side of it. I will enjoy reading it again even if the book club do not pick it.


Posted May. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
eileenh

Join Date: 05/13/11

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I enjoyed the book. I felt it was a charming, easy read, but with some underlying pearls of wisdom. I found the Major, although "set in his ways" was actually more open minded about people than was his son, of a younger, more "open minded" generation. I found much humour in several of the situations, in the interchanges between the characters, and found the dialogue delightful.


Posted May. 15, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
normar

Join Date: 05/15/11

Posts: 5

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I enjoyed the book. It is always fun to read about book with characters from a small English village. The story intrduced the reader to the peculiar personalities of the village's residents. But it also showcased some more serious issues that have to do with different cultures mixing.


Posted May. 19, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
caryll

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

This book was enjoyable, but a little slow. I guess I would call it a "beach book". Not much that is stimulating about it, but it was charming. Not much real character development.


Posted May. 19, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lorie

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 24

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I loved the book. I thought it was well-written and a good story about life as an older person, family dynamics, racism, etc. I agree with previous posters that those who like Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society would also enjoy this book.


Posted May. 19, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Laura

Join Date: 04/13/11

Posts: 18

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I enjoyed the book. It was a bit too slow for me but I thought the characters were unique and quite charming. A lot of people have compared it to "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society", which I absolutely loved, but I don't see similarity. They are both unique books with very interesting characters but very different in my opinion. Would definitely read another book by this author so will be watching for the next one.


Posted May. 19, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
marcher08

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I bought this book at a library sale and it sat on my shelf for over a year before I read it. I thought it wouldn't be quite my cup of tea. I was completely surprised. I loved (not liked, loved) this book. I am a character driven reader. No matter how wonderful the plot I have a hard time if the characters are not well developed. The characters in this book were wonderful. Even the minor characters were well developed and gave you a real feel for this little town. I particularly enjoyed the development of the Major's relationship with his son throughout the book. I would recommend this book for readers who really like to connect with the characters.


Posted May. 19, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
portrait of a bookstorep

Join Date: 05/17/11

Posts: 2

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

This is a charming novel with characters that are definitely familiar, certainly the Major has been seen in novels and films in the past. What makes it fresh and contemporary are the racial issues which seem to have replaced class issues in the Major's village. I felt that in the ending the author worked too hard to wrap up all the loose ends and got a bit unrealistic in doing so. Perhaps a better ending would have been after the Major and Mrs. Ali have their first extended time together and walk off hand in hand before the sword and gun nonsense.


Posted May. 19, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Lea Ann

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 68

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I read this book some time ago, and enjoyed it very much. I thought Major Pettigrew was a brave old soldier in his relationship with Mrs. Ali and his community. Being well over 60 myself, it's comforting to read of "older" folks having romance in their lives and being open to changing their ways. While I now live in a metropolitan area, I lived in a very small community as a young child and a medium sized one from age 10 until adulthood, so I understood at least somewhat the dynamics of the village that was home to Major Pettigrew. The writing was crisp, even though the action was sometimes a bit slow. However, the subject called for deliberation and for letting the change of hearts of some of the folks to develop. All in all a most satisfacory read, IMO.


Posted May. 20, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bgw

Join Date: 05/05/11

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I had mixed reactions to this book. For me, it was like watching "Driving Miss Daisy;" it was a sweet, well-written story but not one that I'd see again. While I didn't find myself rushing to pick up the book, as it was definitely slow for my tastes, I was always drawn in when I started reading. The chemistry between the Major and Mrs. Ali was quite palpable but away from scenes with her, the Major came across as a bit more 2-dimensional to me. Overall, an enjoyable read but it's more the overall feel of the book I'll remember, as opposed to any particular part of it standing out.


Posted May. 21, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
janer

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I am only 1/3 of the way through the book, but I'm enjoying. Like others have commented, I read a lot of mysteries or thrillers, so it's taking me a while to adjust to the style of this book. It reminds me of a Jane Austen book, so much so, that I'm having a difficult time remembering that it takes place in a contemporary time. I read a bad review of it on Amazon, where the reviewer said he/she found no humor in it. While it is subtle, I find it quite humorous. I'm thinking that it would make a great movie.


Posted May. 21, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
catskee

Join Date: 05/21/11

Posts: 2

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

As I read the book, I thought it was sweet little story but did not feel it worth a recommendation for my book buddies. However, I find that I think about parts of it from time to time in more depth and meaning.


Posted May. 22, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
suej

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 3

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I absolutely loved it. Really enjoyed the characters. So many topics in this book - culture, bigotry, romance. One of those rare books -- I simply didn't want it to end. My mother and six members of my book club have borrowed my copy. This is a book which I would reread.


Posted May. 22, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
shirleyf

Join Date: 04/25/11

Posts: 15

RE: Overall, what did you think of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I liked the book and think that there is a lot to discuss in it. It did start out a little slow but I don't think the Major would have wanted it any faster. He has his proprieties and procedures, and they have worked for him for 60 yrs. He was a fun character to learn about, and Mrs Ali certainly made him think outside the box. His son Roger was a real creep and it was difficult to read about the Major's acceptance of him in spite of his total
self-absorption and opportunism. The ending was a bit of a surprise after I thought I was able to read the Major but I'm sure the characters will have a happy ever after.


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