Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What I read in August (2013)

This is my monthly recap of the books I've read and reviewed on my book blog. For full reviews of these books, click on the title to go to Marie's Book Garden.

My reading quantity has gone down some over the summer, as Mike commented yesterday. This month I have only one book to review, which must be a record low. I was actually reading three books this month, but I put one of them aside and have just picked it up again. I also just finished a book this morning, which is September. 

As of today, I have finally gone back to the gym (after 10 months away--oh my!!), so I'm hoping that increases my reading. (I read on the treadmill and elliptical.) Here's August for you:

Major Pettigrew's Last StandMajor Pettigrew's Last Stand, by Helen Simonson

Major Pettigrew is an old-school English military man, of the type we wouldn't typically find in the United States. He insists on being called "major," even by civilians. As a widower and father of a shallow, materialistic son, he doesn't seem to have much purpose in his life until he finds late-blooming love.

The object of his affection is a Pakistani shop keeper in his small village, Mrs. Ali, also a widow. Of course, the narrow-minded villagers, along with Major Pettigrew's and Mrs. Ali's own family members, do not think very highly of their blossoming relationship.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand has been described as Austenesque, and I would agree with that. Two unlikely lovers, humorous (and horrifyingly obtuse) situations and people in the midst of serious issues, and exquisite storytelling. I think many things about the story are quintessentially English. Perhaps it's just a matter of a small English village--even our American small towns are not quite the same way--or the class structure so firmly entrenched in English culture and history. Although Major Pettigrew starts out as an uptight English snob, he evolves during the novel.

The ending seemed a bit far-fetched, but I still enjoyed this book and would recommend it!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a lovely story. Good luck finding more time to read. I don't spend much time on the machines exercising when it's nice outdoors -- but that is a great way to pass that time when I do. I'm working my way through three books myself and am doing so at a snail's pace. Reading does seem like a luxury. I need to find other ways to fit it into my schedule.