Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson*****

majorpettigrewHad this story not received such wide acclaim and been made into a movie (which I’ve yet to see, but I watched the Oscars), I would probably never have gone near it. I like working class protagonists, and I don’t read many romances, because often as not, they are corny, soft porn, or both. But I saw it at the library and decided to give it a try, and I quickly remembered, upon reading it, that some rules are made to be broken. So even if you usually don’t read romances, and even if a retired British pensioner is not your idea of an interesting protagonist, this should be the exception to the rule.

 I loved this story!

Major Pettigrew has difficulty with some sorts of change. He doesn’t want to see his village built up and the green spaces developed. He has lost his wife and his brother, and loss of any type is very difficult. His solitude is not splendid; he is a lonely, lonely man.

And in some ways, he seems to have lost his son, who has become arrogant, dismissive, and wants nothing more from him than his wallet and his bank card.

On the other hand, he has found something really precious, but what he has found is so controversial that the whole wide world seems to be against him.

Perhaps the hook for me was the interracial marriage, since mine is one also. But on the other hand, maybe the hook is just excellent writing. A really great writer can make us enjoy a genre we didn’t think we cared for; I believe this is one of those.

I hit a certain point in this story and could not go to bed until it was done. I usually read lying down before I go to sleep, but I was literally sitting upright on the edge of my bed leaning forward when this climax broke.

You have to read this story. It’s glorious, and it’s available to the public. Highly recommended!

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