Book Review-let: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson


Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
Helen Simonson

Although I had been tempted to buy and read this book for some time, It was Frances from Nonsuch Book that pushed me over the edge. When I was in my reading funk recently and looking for suggestoins to get me out, Frances suggested Major Pettigrew. So I went out to the independent bookstore in my new neighborhood, the excellent Politics and Prose, and bought a copy. I don’t often buy brand new books and even then not hardcover, but in this case I am glad I made an exception. Not only did it get me out of my reading funk but it was such a wonderful read it was an antidote to all that ailed me.

There have been so many other good reviews out there that I hesitate to try and re-cap any of it here. Let’s just say I found it charming, fun, and unputdownable. This definitly qualifies for a good summer read. Something to pick up when you need a pick up. [Insert additional lavish econmium here.]

Others who say it well:
Random Jottings
Cornflower Books
Letters from a Hill Farm
Rochester Reader

By no means a perfect book, but perfect enough to be wonderful. And a first novel at that. And for those of you a fan of E.F. Benson’s Mapp & Lucia books, as I read this book I kept thinking of Major Benjy. Especially as he was portrayed by Denis Lill in the television serialization of those wonderful books.


10 thoughts on “Book Review-let: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

  1. music-books-steve July 16, 2010 / 7:16 pm

    Good for you for supporting the independent! Also good for you for buying a new book. Someone has to buy new books (and eventually sell them)to keep used bookstores like the one I work at in business!


  2. Kerry July 17, 2010 / 8:43 am

    I've heard Politics and Prose is a great spot. Thanks for the review – I've had this on my shelf for a while but I keep delaying reading it for no reason at all. Maybe I just needed more motivation…


  3. Marie July 17, 2010 / 11:03 am

    I adored this book. I love that you said it was “perfect enough to be wonderful.” I couldn't agree more!


  4. Frances July 17, 2010 / 11:57 am

    Yay! So glad this did the trick for you. Just loved it! Loved it so much I am thinking of an immediate re-read. And even purchased at my favorite store. Be careful in there! Very dangerous.

    Currently reading another wonderful book of eight novellas – The Most Beautiful Book in the World. Ultimately all about love and also just perfect for me now. Happy reading!


  5. Danielle July 17, 2010 / 9:12 pm

    I've heard many good things about this and even sat in on an interesting virtual discussion about it (how Americans are presented in the story), but I've yet to pick it up. For a long time there was a line at the library for it, but I might just have to see if there are copies on the shelves now.


  6. irisonbooks July 18, 2010 / 6:07 am

    I have heard so many good things about this book that I know I have to read it soon (and I have told myself that I need to read it for I think a year now). I should stop thinking and start reading, I guess ;)


  7. Thomas at My Porch July 18, 2010 / 6:11 pm

    music-books-steve: You sound like John now. He is always encouraging the purchase of new books.

    Kerry: I think once you start it you won't need motivation.

    Marie: That's all that matters isn't it?

    Frances: Great recommendation. Thanks.

    Danielle: I saw some discussions of the American thing as well. I meant to write about that but I forgot to…

    Iris: You will be glad you did.


  8. Elaine July 18, 2010 / 6:44 pm

    thanks for the link and so pleased you enjoyed it!


  9. Joan Hunter Dunn July 20, 2010 / 3:21 am

    Thank you for reviewing this. i've seen it in the shops but sonehow think it's trying to ride on the back of 'Miss Pettigrew lives for the day' by using the surname. I shall now overcome that feeling and at least pick it up and peruse.


  10. Thomas at My Porch July 20, 2010 / 9:37 am

    Elaine: My pleasure.

    Joan: I avoided even reading about this book because I thought the same thing about the Pettigrew connection. And I think the author may have been counting on the connection–or her publisher was. Seems a little fishy. Happily for me the two are unrelated because I am not a fan of Miss Pettigrew.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.