So while skyping with my family on Christmas morning, we got to laughing when my husband opened up the same gift from me that I had just opened from my sister (a wine aerator). This prompted my parents and sister to ask for a moment and they all went offscreen and returned to show us.....this:
Yep, all three of them had received Helen Simonson's Major Pettigrew's Last Stand for Christmas. Now I will admit that one of these copies I sent, and another I might have recommended, but the third was definitely not my doing! And I realized, when you can recommend a book to three different people, of varying generations and genders, well, then it's probably going to be a hit. Pennie, the book buyer at Costco agrees, and made Major Pettigrew's Last Stand her pick for last month. So you can pick it up there, and pretty much every place else. I for one, am putting this on my list for this year for sure.
In the small village of Edgecombe St. Mary in the English countryside lives Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson’s wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, the Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and regarding her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?