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Anastasia

Pilot Hill, CA, United States | Member Since 2007

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  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Helen Simonson
    • Narrated By Peter Altschuler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2450)
    Performance
    (1163)
    Story
    (1155)

    You are about to travel to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family. Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson's wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction.

    jc says: "Charming book with an excellent narrator"
    "A lovely gem for our times"
    Overall

    I am a patient reader/listener, but have to admit I struggled to get into this book. Thank God I stuck with it!

    This is a lovely little love story, complete with overtones of race, class, and being good enough. It is about people trying to survive in cultures not native to them. It is about finding love late in life in surprising places. And mostly, it is about Helen Simonsen's deeply crafted characters, artfully captured by a gifted narrator.

    I must say that it was the narroator's spot on interpretation of the peevish, upper crust, social striving Major Pettigrew that put me off at first. But this is the mark of a fully developed character--one I am compelled to know more about, even though I don't like him much.

    By the way, I loved him completely by the end, even more so because his flaws were so genuine.

    If you liked "Natherland," "Let the Great World Spin," or "The Elegance of the Hedgehog," I believe you will find this a very excellent listen. If your TV viewing leans toward BBC and "The Tudors," you will love this book.

    37 of 38 people found this review helpful

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