It’s been out for a while, but was recently read and reviewed by Circle of Friends Book Club. If you haven’t read it yet, then this is a recommended read. Don’t be fooled by what seems to be a sweet, quaint setting with quaint characters! The novel unfolds to reveal deep themes for the reader to reflect upon, all the while entertaining, never letting go of reader interest. The Circle of Friends loved the “brilliant descriptions”, humour and beautiful language.
They would “absolutely” recommend the book, and thought is an excellent first book by this author. Circle of Friends gave it 10 out of 10!
The book opens in the quintessential English village of Edgecombe St. Mary with the very proper Major Pettigrew dealing with the loss of his brother. This opens the door to an unexpected friendship with Jasmine Ali, a shopkeeper in the village, who migrated from Pakistan. This relationship blossoms into something more, breaking all the unwritten rules in the village, including a few of the Major’s own.
Here are a couple of quotes from the book:
“I believe there is a great deal too much mutual confession going on today, as if sharing one’s problems somehow makes them go away. All it really does, of course, is increase the number of people who have to worry about a particular issue.”
“It surprised him that his grief was sharper than in the past few days. He had forgotten that grief does not decline in a straight line or along a slow curve like a graph in a child’s math book. Instead, it was almost as if his body contained a big pile of garden rubbish full both of heavy lumps of dirt and of sharp thorny brush that would stab him when he least expected it.”