A good book is like the perfect fruit tart; how juicy the filling, how flakey the crust depends not only on using the freshest ingredients but also on the deft hands of the baker. In her debut novel, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
, Helen Simonson crafts an enchanting tale, brilliant in its simple yet profound insight into human nature - a light and crisp perfection. Her characters etch themselves into your head and heart, lingering long after the last page has been savored.
Major Pettigrew, resigned to the fact that the happiest years of his life have passed, resides in the small English village of Edgecombe St. Mary. A stately widower of 68, the Major has lived his life with propriety; honor and duty to family and country rule the day. He is first introduced to us wearing his deceased wife's housecoat, which he puts on from time to time for the comfort that it...
Beyond the Book
Helen Simonson shares some thoughts on her writing, her life and Major Pettigrew in an interview with our reviewer, BJ Nathan Hegedus:
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand offers an enlightening view of the divide between provincial and cosmopolitan, traditional and contemporary. What made you want to write about this? Was there a Major Pettigrew or Mrs. Ali in your childhood village?
Major Pettigrew may look, at first, to be the very image of the tradition-bound, English man who would live in a village like mine. Yet I wanted to show that none of us is our own stereotype not even the English! The Major is an individual...