Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) has a problem. The 68-year-old very proper British widower has a crush on Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani widow shopkeeper from his village of Edgecombe St. Mary.
Given the anti-immigration sentiment of the major’s son and people in his village, and the strict traditionalist values of Mrs. Ali’s relatives, the major has to jump through a lot of hoops to have a relationship with the kind and gentle Mrs. Ali.
Fighting him at every turn is the major’s son, Roger, an investment banker who lives the high life in London.
Roger is involved in a deal that, if successful, will destroy the major’s quaint way of life.
Roger is also after part of what he believes to be his rightful inheritance, a pair of Churchill guns, owned by the major and his recently deceased brother Bertie.
Mrs. Ali has her share of troubles, including a rigid nephew and an uncomfortable situation with a single mother.
“Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” is Helen Simonson first novel. While beautifully written, the story runs about 150 pages too long. The late in life love story gets swamped in minutiae of English country life.
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