Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
This book is great. I loved it. I laughed out loud several times, stayed up until unholy hours finishing it and find myself thinking of the characters all morning (this is always a sign of a really good book in my opinion). However, I must say I almost quit the thing. I started it and maybe I am shallow but was really disturbed by the ages of the main characters. They are old widow/widowers and it really was hard for me to get past the idea the love interests in a book need to be young and fresh. (don't judge me and my shallow ways)
However, this book was a gem. I loved the message - clever writing -dry humor- and most of all I loved that these characters had the depth and story that can only come from someone a little more seasoned. This book made be detest obnoxious whippersnappers like myself and excited for the golden years when things really start to get fun!!
From Publishers Weekly:
In her charming debut novel, Simonson tells the tale of Maj. Ernest Pettigrew, an honor-bound Englishman and widower, and the very embodiment of duty and pride. As the novel opens, the major is mourning the loss of his younger brother, Bertie, and attempting to get his hands on Bertie's antique Churchill shotgun—part of a set that the boys' father split between them, but which Bertie's widow doesn't want to hand over. While the major is eager to reunite the pair for tradition's sake, his son, Roger, has plans to sell the heirloom set to a collector for a tidy sum. As he frets over the guns, the major's friendship with Jasmina Ali—the Pakistani widow of the local food shop owner—takes a turn unexpected by the major (but not by readers). The author's dense, descriptive prose wraps around the reader like a comforting cloak, eventually taking on true page-turner urgency as Simonson nudges the major and Jasmina further along and dangles possibilities about the fate of the major's beloved firearms. This is a vastly enjoyable traipse through the English countryside and the long-held traditions of the British aristocracy.