Monday, April 16, 2018

Major Pettigrew, unlikely romantic hero

     Helen Simonson. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand (2010) A romance. Major Pettigrew, widower, with an obnoxious social-climbing son, notices Mrs Ali, widow, shopkeeper in Edge-combe St Mary’s. They marry, of course, after overcoming their hesitancy and social and family objections. Like any good romance, a social comedy, well-observed, with nice riffs on the usual stereotypes, but with attractive leads. Mrs Jasmin Ali has more practical common-sense, the Major must overcome his small vanities to prove worthy of her, both are reticent , unwilling to give offence or cause embarassment. They both have to accept family responsibilities. A feel-good story with Important Themes, tailor-made for the reading clubs that will study the helpful questions included at the back of the book.
     The book is above average for the genre. Unusually, it tells the story from the male lead’s point of view, which adds to its charm. As one of Jasmina’s young relatives says, “You’re a good man, for an old git.” Precisely, and the touch of fantasy is what makes romances fun reads. I liked this one. ***

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