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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

by

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand Cover

ISBN13: 9781400068937
ISBN10: 1400068932
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

Absolutely delightful! Simonson's deftly drawn characters continue to surprise, even when you think you've got them pegged — and Major Pettigrew reminds us that thinking we've got someone pegged is only one of the failures of modern manners. Pettigrew subscribes to the old-fashioned notion that manners are for putting other people at ease, in stark contrast with their more common use: pointing out who doesn't fit in. However, extending grace and goodwill to all does not mean passing up an opportunity for the spot-on one-liner. When the Major attends a duck shoot at the local manor house, he is confronted by the outrageous get-up of a wealthy American: "a shooting jacket of a tartan with which the Major was unfamiliar. Blinding puce, crossed with lines of green and orange... [Ferguson] raised his arms to show stretchy green side panels that resembled a medical corset." The American says, "You're old school, Major. Say, how do you like my neoprene sweat panels?" The Major's reply both avoids a falsehood and causes the American to delight in his dry sense of humor: "Do those assist one in swimming after the ducks, perhaps?" Major Pettigrew is well aware of his own proclivities toward pride and perhaps a touch of greed, but at the same time, his compassion causes him to defy convention and follow his heart, contradicting all the manners and presumptions that his little village in the heart of Sussex, England, can throw his way, ultimately redefining what it means to be a hero.
Recommended by Kelly L., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

You are about to travel to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family. Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson's wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction, and from the very first page of this remarkable novel he will steal your heart.

The Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?

Review:

"Unexpectedly entertaining, with a stiff-upper-lip hero who transcends stereotype, this good-hearted debut doesn't shy away from modern cultural and religious issues, even though they ultimately prove immaterial." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"There is a great deal going on in these pages.... Simonson handles it all with great aplomb, and her Major...is the perfect lens through which to view contemporary England." Booklist

Review:

"In the noisy world of today it is a delight to find a novel that dares to assert itself quietly with the lovely rhythm of Helen Simonson's funny, comforting, and intelligent first novel — a modern day story of love which takes everyone, grown children, villagers, and the main participants, by surprise — as real love stories tend to do." Elizabeth Strout

Review:

"I love this book. Courting curmudgeons, wayward sons, religion and race and real-estate in a petty and picturesque English village – Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is surprisingly, wonderfully romantic and fresh. Unsentimental, intelligent and warm, this endlessly amusing comedy of manners is the best first novel I've read in a long, long time." Cathleen Schine, author of The Love Letter and The New Yorkers

Review:

"This irresistibly delightful, thoughtful, and utterly charming and surprising novel reads like the work of a seasoned pro. In fact, it is Simonson's debut. One cannot wait to see what she does next." Library Journal, starred review

Review:

"The real pleasure of this book derives . . . from its beautiful little love story, which is told with skill and humor. . . . That love can overcome cultural barriers is no new theme, but it is presented here with great sensitivity and delicacy. . . . As for happy endings, [the book] deserves all available prizes." New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Funny, barbed, delightfully winsome storytelling... As with the polished work of Alexander McCall Smith, there is never a dull moment but never a discordant note either... [the book's] main characters are especially well drawn, and Ms. Simonson makes them as admirable as they are entertaining... It's all about intelligence, heart, dignity and backbone. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand has them all." New York Times

Review:

"When depicted by the right storyteller, the thrill of falling in love is funnier and sweeter at 60 than at 16... With her crisp wit and gentle insight, Simonson is still far from her golden years... but somehow in her first novel she already knows just what delicious disruption romance can introduce to a well-settled life." Washington Post

Synopsis:

Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside is filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and contains a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of readers' own families. Their interactions are both hilarious and heartbreaking.

Synopsis:

A profoundly moving, deliciously suspenseful novel about an American grandfather and a newly orphaned boy racing across the Norwegian wilderness, fleeing demons both real and imagined.

Synopsis:

Crime Writers Association John Creasey Dagger Award winner

An ECONOMIST TOP FICTION TITLE OF THE YEAR

A FINANCIAL TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

A GUARDIAN BEST CRIME AND THRILLER OF THE YEAR

A KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR

A luminous novel, a police thriller, and the funniest book about war crimes and dementia you are likely to read

Sheldon Horowitz—widowed, impatient, impertinent—has grudgingly agreed to leave New York and move in with his granddaughter, Rhea, and her new husband, Lars, in Norway: a country of blue and ice with one thousand Jews, not one of them a former Marine sniper in the Korean War turned watch repairman, who failed his only son by sending him to Vietnam to die. Not until now, anyway.

Home alone one morning, Sheldon witnesses a dispute between the woman who lives upstairs and an aggressive stranger. When events turn dire, Sheldon seizes and shields the neighbors young son from the violence, and they flee the scene. But old age and circumstances are altering Sheldons experience of time and memory. He is haunted by dreams of his son Sauls life and by guilt over his death. As Sheldon and the boy look for a haven in an alien world, reality and fantasy, past and present, weave together, forcing them ever forward to a wrenching moment of truth.

Norwegian by Night introduces an ensemble of unforgettable characters—Sheldon and the boy, Rhea and Lars, a Balkan war criminal named Enver, and Sigrid and Petter, the brilliantly dry-witted investigating officers—as they chase one another, and their own demons, through the wilderness at the end of the world.

Synopsis:

US

Video

About the Author

Helen Simonson was born in England and spent her teenage years in a small village in East Sussex. A graduate of the London School of Economics and former travel advertising executive, she has lived in America for the last two decades. A longtime resident of Brooklyn, she now lives with her husband and two sons in the Washington, D.C., area. This is her first novel.

Table of Contents

Part I

The 59th Parallel 1

Part II

River Rats 105

Part III

New River 193

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

melu, January 29, 2012 (view all comments by melu)
Wonderful! British civility, love, acceptance blended with dry humor.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
lindajo528, January 25, 2011 (view all comments by lindajo528)
A gentle old fashioned love story in a very modern context. Widowed Major Pettigrew comes from a distinguished old family in a small English town. He befriends another widow, Pakistani Mrs. Ali, who runs the local grocery. Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali are kindred spirits, but in their small English town, socials mores still rule the day. Told with wry humor and a light touch author Simonson deftly navigates through the seas of prejudice and delivers a smart story in which love truly does conquer all.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Martha Bullen, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Martha Bullen)
One of the most enjoyable novels I've read in recent years.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400068937
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Simonson, Helen
Author:
Miller, Derek
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
Widows
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
fiction;england;romance;racism;british;relationships;prejudice;humor;pakistanis;novel;family;village life;love;contemporary fiction;sussex;widowers;love story;widower;comedy of manners;contemporary;widow;country life;britain;pakistan;family relationships;
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20100302
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.08 lb

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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Random House - English 9781400068937 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Absolutely delightful! Simonson's deftly drawn characters continue to surprise, even when you think you've got them pegged — and Major Pettigrew reminds us that thinking we've got someone pegged is only one of the failures of modern manners. Pettigrew subscribes to the old-fashioned notion that manners are for putting other people at ease, in stark contrast with their more common use: pointing out who doesn't fit in. However, extending grace and goodwill to all does not mean passing up an opportunity for the spot-on one-liner. When the Major attends a duck shoot at the local manor house, he is confronted by the outrageous get-up of a wealthy American: "a shooting jacket of a tartan with which the Major was unfamiliar. Blinding puce, crossed with lines of green and orange... [Ferguson] raised his arms to show stretchy green side panels that resembled a medical corset." The American says, "You're old school, Major. Say, how do you like my neoprene sweat panels?" The Major's reply both avoids a falsehood and causes the American to delight in his dry sense of humor: "Do those assist one in swimming after the ducks, perhaps?" Major Pettigrew is well aware of his own proclivities toward pride and perhaps a touch of greed, but at the same time, his compassion causes him to defy convention and follow his heart, contradicting all the manners and presumptions that his little village in the heart of Sussex, England, can throw his way, ultimately redefining what it means to be a hero.

"Review" by , "Unexpectedly entertaining, with a stiff-upper-lip hero who transcends stereotype, this good-hearted debut doesn't shy away from modern cultural and religious issues, even though they ultimately prove immaterial."
"Review" by , "There is a great deal going on in these pages.... Simonson handles it all with great aplomb, and her Major...is the perfect lens through which to view contemporary England."
"Review" by , "In the noisy world of today it is a delight to find a novel that dares to assert itself quietly with the lovely rhythm of Helen Simonson's funny, comforting, and intelligent first novel — a modern day story of love which takes everyone, grown children, villagers, and the main participants, by surprise — as real love stories tend to do."
"Review" by , "I love this book. Courting curmudgeons, wayward sons, religion and race and real-estate in a petty and picturesque English village – Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is surprisingly, wonderfully romantic and fresh. Unsentimental, intelligent and warm, this endlessly amusing comedy of manners is the best first novel I've read in a long, long time."
"Review" by , "This irresistibly delightful, thoughtful, and utterly charming and surprising novel reads like the work of a seasoned pro. In fact, it is Simonson's debut. One cannot wait to see what she does next." Library Journal, starred review
"Review" by , "The real pleasure of this book derives . . . from its beautiful little love story, which is told with skill and humor. . . . That love can overcome cultural barriers is no new theme, but it is presented here with great sensitivity and delicacy. . . . As for happy endings, [the book] deserves all available prizes."
"Review" by , "Funny, barbed, delightfully winsome storytelling... As with the polished work of Alexander McCall Smith, there is never a dull moment but never a discordant note either... [the book's] main characters are especially well drawn, and Ms. Simonson makes them as admirable as they are entertaining... It's all about intelligence, heart, dignity and backbone. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand has them all."
"Review" by , "When depicted by the right storyteller, the thrill of falling in love is funnier and sweeter at 60 than at 16... With her crisp wit and gentle insight, Simonson is still far from her golden years... but somehow in her first novel she already knows just what delicious disruption romance can introduce to a well-settled life."
"Synopsis" by , Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside is filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and contains a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of readers' own families. Their interactions are both hilarious and heartbreaking.
"Synopsis" by , A profoundly moving, deliciously suspenseful novel about an American grandfather and a newly orphaned boy racing across the Norwegian wilderness, fleeing demons both real and imagined.
"Synopsis" by ,
Crime Writers Association John Creasey Dagger Award winner

An ECONOMIST TOP FICTION TITLE OF THE YEAR

A FINANCIAL TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

A GUARDIAN BEST CRIME AND THRILLER OF THE YEAR

A KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR

A luminous novel, a police thriller, and the funniest book about war crimes and dementia you are likely to read

Sheldon Horowitz—widowed, impatient, impertinent—has grudgingly agreed to leave New York and move in with his granddaughter, Rhea, and her new husband, Lars, in Norway: a country of blue and ice with one thousand Jews, not one of them a former Marine sniper in the Korean War turned watch repairman, who failed his only son by sending him to Vietnam to die. Not until now, anyway.

Home alone one morning, Sheldon witnesses a dispute between the woman who lives upstairs and an aggressive stranger. When events turn dire, Sheldon seizes and shields the neighbors young son from the violence, and they flee the scene. But old age and circumstances are altering Sheldons experience of time and memory. He is haunted by dreams of his son Sauls life and by guilt over his death. As Sheldon and the boy look for a haven in an alien world, reality and fantasy, past and present, weave together, forcing them ever forward to a wrenching moment of truth.

Norwegian by Night introduces an ensemble of unforgettable characters—Sheldon and the boy, Rhea and Lars, a Balkan war criminal named Enver, and Sigrid and Petter, the brilliantly dry-witted investigating officers—as they chase one another, and their own demons, through the wilderness at the end of the world.

"Synopsis" by , US
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