I rarely fall for the protagonist in the books I read, but I have to admit that I have developed a slight crush on Major Pettigrew. He's just so charming. He's the ultimate gentleman. Brave. Wise. Very, very polite. And mature. A rare find among men today (we're talking fictional, literary heroes--just so you know).
It took me almost two weeks to read Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson only because I was busy over the Thanksgiving holiday and then my brother-in-law finally was successful in getting us hooked on the television series, Arrested Development. When I did get a chance to hide away and read, I savored each and every word of Simonson's debut novel.
This modern day Romeo and Juliet-type story is unique in that the characters are older and finding love unexpectedly the second time around. Major Pettigrew, retired and widowed, falls quietly in love with Mrs. Ali the shop keeper. Not everyone is delighted by their subtle yet deep romance. Pettigrew's ambitious son, Mrs. Ali's family and the nosy citizens of the village of Edgecomb St. Mary find the relationship "inappropriate".
I adored this novel. It is definitely one of the best romance novels I've read in years. It's witty and clever and emotionally stirring. Kudos to Simonson. I hope she keeps writing. She has a gift and I can't wait to read her next novel. (Note to Annika: she was a stay-at-home mom.)
I received a free copy of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand from GoodReads.com. This review is my own, honest opinion and I received no compensation.