Readlist: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Dear Friends and Followers,

as you know I read mostly mysteries and thrillers, but this week I want to talk about a book that does not fall in this category. It is a work of fiction but so well written that could be a piece of someone’s family history.  and it also contains one of the most lucid analysis on a modern and ever present topic: Gossip.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” by Helen Simonson revolves around a former military man, Major Pettigrew and his father’s firearms, a boy with no father, a cold American woman and a warm Indian one, noblemen who are not so noble, a manipulative son and a religious but desperate shopkeeper. Trust me this is not a tragedy, the book is quite a delight and it is also a witty analysis by Helen Simonson of social interactions in that vast gray area between jealousy and longing to be something else. Gossip and its entertaining albeit disruptive power is one of the topics of this book: but is it only a vice for stuck up middle aged British women? I don’t think so. If you have been in the centre of some annoying gossip or if you have gossiped yourself into judging other people’s life, you will find this book entertaining and witty.  You will probably get to the last page learning that no matter how much people gossip, there is strenght and courage in living life by your own rules, not caring for a single minute for what people will say.