Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson is an enjoyable novel about a widower living in a small English village who falls in love with a woman of Pakistani descent who owns and manages the local Quick Mart. The Major has a grown son who lives his life in pursuit of money, connections, and prestige. Jasmina Ali, the shop owner, has a collection of relations with a myriad of their own problems. In addition, a pair of valuable old shotguns and the right of their ownership are at play in the story.
This is a story about breaking with tradition and recognizing the importance of the things we value in life. It is well-written and has its suspenseful moments. As in the famous Chekhov quote, if you introduce a gun in the first act, it must go off in the second or third, Simonson uses the antique guns as a literary device throughout the novel with savvy acumen. I liked it and hope you will too!