Have you read “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand,” by Helen Simonson? I was cruising the book offerings at Costco, picked it up, opened to the first page and started to read; when I looked up for the first time and remembered where I was standing, I’d already read 23 pages!
The protagonist, a retired Major, lives a quiet, orderly life in the country town of Edgecombe St. Mary in England. When the Major’s brother dies suddenly Mrs. Ali, the Pakistani widow who runs the local grocery, appears at his door on an errand; she helps him cope with the immediacy of his loss and a friendship ensues. The couple is drawn to each other based on a love of books as well as their circumstances as widow and widower. Over time and many cups of tea their friendship grows into something more.
The Major, a stand-up guy and very proper Englishman, is clearly surprised and delighted by his feelings for Mrs. Ali, but even more important, he is quietly outraged at his friends’ view that Mrs. Ali is a “foreigner” and therefore unsuitable for him. He takes his stiff upper lip and forges on with what may be the most important relationship of his life. And Mrs. Ali? She steps out from behind cultural expectations and rules to walk toward her heart’s desire.
This quietly sincere romance between an older couple reminds me that love can arrive at any age and turn the world topsy-turvy. <sigh>
© Adventures of a Middle Age Mom, 2009-2012.