Major Ernest Pettigrew, retired, of Edgecombe St. Mary, England, is more than a little dismayed by the sloppy manners, narcissism, and materialism of modern society. The decline of gentility is evident everywhere, from tea bags to designer sweaters, to racism masquerading as tolerance.
Mutual grief allies him with Mrs. Ali, a widowed local shopkeeper of Pakistani descent who has also resigned herself to dignified, if solitary, last years. The carefully suppressed passion between these two spawns twitters of disapproval in their provincial village, but Pettigrew hasn't time for such silliness: real estate developers are plotting to carpet the fields outside his back door with mansionettes and his sister-in-law plans to auction off a prized family firearm. Meanwhile, Mrs. Ali's late husband's Muslim family expects her to hand over her hard-won business to her sullen, fundamentalist nephew, a notion she finds repellant and chauvinistic.
It's a testament to Simonson that in this delightful novel, PettigrewPettigrew would approve.
Discussion 1- Chapters 1-7 July, 8th
Discussion 2 - Chapters 8 -13 July 15th
Discussion 3 - Chapters 14 -18
Discussion 4 - Chapters 19 - the end July 29th
Can't wait to talk about this one! Have you read it? Do you own it? How do you plan on obtaining it? Are you joining us??