Rated of 5
This book is a bit lighter than my usual fare, but I was absolutely charmed by it. If I lived in Edgcumbe-St.-Mary, I think I'd be in love with the major, too. It's the gentle tale of a widowed retired major who is grieving for his recently-deceased brother when friendship blooms with Mrs. Ali, the widow of a Pakistani shopkeeper. Friendship inevitably turns into stronger affection--but what will the members of the club say (let alone the major's son, a broker schmoozing his way up the corporate ladder)? And will the major ever succeed in reuniting a pair of Churchill shooters given to his father by a maharajah and divided between his sons at his death? Much of the novel is centers on conflicts between the "older generation" values of the major and the new values of "progress." Mrs. Ali, too, has conflicts with her own beliefs and the traditional Islamic values of her husband's family.
If I could give this book 4.5 stars, I would. It's not quite a 5, but awfully close!