Monday, October 03, 2011
Monday Review - Major Pettrigrew's Last Stand
But it's also one of those books I kept forgetting to buy. I'm not very good at keeping lists and, even for the writers I love, I tend to see their books in the bookstores and then buy them when I see them.
A friend gave it to me to read and I was delighted she did. It didn't quite, in my opinion, live up to the terrific cover and the terrific title, but it was close. I enjoyed it, read it basically in one short sitting and did not at all feel like I'd wasted my time.
I guess for me the thing that didn't work was the fact that I felt I'd met all these characters - and the locations - before. The elderly (and he felt elderly even though he was only 68) curmudgeonly English major; his greedy yuppie son; the sweet middle-aged woman in the perfect English village; the evil bankers and developers; the lord of the manor losing his property; the lovely yet sad Mrs. Ali; the terrible gossiping and judgmental women at the golf club.
I'm not saying it wasn't worth spending the time with these characters, it was. But for me it was kind of like friends you enjoy for an evening but wouldn't want in your house for a weekend - I liked these people, I found them interesting enough to spend a few hours with them, but they're not going to be invited to spend the weekend.
What really did work for me was the lovely, sweet and pretty darn sexy flowering of the relationship between the Major and the widowed Mrs. Ali. That was unusual, that was interesting.