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Helen Simonson

Författare till Major Pettigrews sista chans

4+ verk 7,819 medlemmar 596 recensioner 10 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Helen Simonson was born in England, lived many years in Brooklyn, N.Y. and currently resides in the Washington, D.C. area. Simonson's literary inspirations include Virginia Woolf and Henry James. Her novels, Major Pettigrews Last Stand and The Summer Before the War, are New York Times Bestsellers. visa mer (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre
Foto taget av: Nina Subin

Verk av Helen Simonson

Major Pettigrews sista chans (2010) 5,910 exemplar
Sommaren före kriget (2016) 1,834 exemplar
Midnight Crossroad 1 exemplar

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Absolutely loved this charming tale of finding love later in life. My book club was split; some felt there was not enough action or plot to keep it interesting. However, I disagree. I found both Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali to be wonderful characters, and was completely enchanted by their quiet love story. As I neared the end, I slowed my reading, as I didn't want the book to end. I wasn't quite ready to leave this lovely little world. Highly recommend.
kdegour23 | 462 andra recensioner | May 29, 2024 |
I absolutely loved the book [b:Major Pettigrew's Last Stand|6643090|Major Pettigrew's Last Stand|Helen Simonson||6837577], so when I heard that author Helen Simonson wrote a second book I was thrilled to have the chance to read an early copy. Unfortunately, this book was a huge disappointment.

Simonson's charm and wit, which made "Pettigrew" so enjoyable, are present in this book but they are buried among superfluous pages and words. Rather than stand out they are lost in the shuffle. There are far too many characters -- most of them indistinguishable from each other. Eventually I stopped trying to keep them straight. The elements of a good plot exist here, but the story just muddles along. I've read instruction manuals that were more exciting.

This might have been an entirely different book with more ruthless editing. At 496 pages I'm wondering how much got left on the cutting room floor. It easily could have been half the length -- which might have let the charm shine through and given space for the worthwhile characters to be developed. At one point in the story there is reference to a book: it was a dense tome, printed in close-set type, as if the printer had struggled to squeeze its impossible length into some manageable slab of pages. I felt that was apropos here!

While the book left much to be desired, it did provide much food for thought on the subject of refugees. As part of the story, the villagers need to decide whether to take in Belgian refugees, and what form of hospitality to provide them. I couldn't help but think of the parallels with today's Syrian refugees.

I do hope this book is an aberration and that Simonson continues to write. I would certainly read her future books. Many other reviewers seem to like this book, so readers should consider other reviews, and not just mine.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for a galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.
… (mer)
jj24 | 122 andra recensioner | May 27, 2024 |
I received a galley via NetGalley.

Fantastic historical fiction. Though a bit slow to start, the story soon revs up. Set in a British beachside resort in the aftermath of World War I, the ardently feminist tale touches on deep issues with incredible finesse and heart. The treatment of disabled veterans is addressed, as is sexism (oh so much sexism), classism, and racism. Constance is the main character, a young woman of compassion and business savvy, but the entire cast is delightful, especially Mrs. Fog, who develops in such a surprising and touching way. I'll be recommending this one for my local book clubs!… (mer)
ladycato | 9 andra recensioner | May 22, 2024 |
Helen Simonson’s new book is a great comfort read. Set in 1919 at the end of the Great War, readers meet a cast a characters at a seaside hotel and the some of the village residents. It is a small community so there aren’t many secrets that aren’t found out.

Constance, our main character is at the hotel to chaperone and help Mrs. Fog, who is recovering from an illness. Constance has lost both parents and has been at the mercy of her mother’s best friend from girlhood. However the friend has a bit of a mean streak and is not looking out for Constance’s best interests.

While residing at the hotel both Mrs. Fog and Constance agree to pursue their own interests and give each other some freedom. Constance meets a group of young people and is befriended by Poppy. Poppy is innovative and has started a motorcycling taxi service for women. She also aspires to start a flying club for women.

Unfortunately, the war has put a dent in the family wealth and it is up to her brother Harris to try and get their finances set right. Harris has been devastated by a war injury but he is ready to prove himself worthy of his position.

Mixed in with all the nice characters were a few naughty ones who kept the story exciting. I just loved how their politeness often caught them out. This was such an enjoyable read.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Dial Press for allowing me to read an advance copy. I am happy to recommend this book to other readers.
… (mer)
tamidale | 9 andra recensioner | May 20, 2024 |



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