Author(s): Helen Simonson
Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) leads a quiet life in the small rural English village of Edgecombe St Mary where he values the proper things that Englishmen have treasured for generations - honour, duty, decorum and a properly brewed cup of tea. The Major takes pleasure in his well-organised and rational life until he finds out that his patronising son, and the kind yet interfering ladies of the village, seem to have their own, rather special plans for him...It takes news of his brother's death, though, to open the Major's eyes to Mrs Jasmina Ali, the village shopkeeper, and confound all those carefully laid plans. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But although the Major was actually born in Lahore, and Mrs Ali in Cambridge, village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as a permanent foreigner...A most unlikely hero, Major Pettigrew finds himself contending with irate relatives and an outraged village before he comes to understand his own heart...Written with warmth, feeling and a delightfully dry sense of humour, this very modern love story will have you cheering wildly for the Major and Mrs Ali and believing that sometimes life does give you a second chance.
Helen Simonson is an Englishwoman who spent her teenage years in a small village in East Sussex, near Rye. She moved to the US over twenty years ago and lives in the Washington, DC, area, with her American husband and her two sons. A graduate of the London School of Economics and former travel advertising executive, she recently completed an MFA at Stony Brook Southampton and her short stories and essays have appeared in several publications. Her first novel, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, was an international bestseller. Her second novel The Summer Before the War will be published in April 2016.