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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand (Simonson) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
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Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

1. Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali have known one another for a time. What is it about this one moment, when he opens the door to her at the story's onset, that makes him fall in love with her?

2. How would you describe Major Pettigrew? In what way do we see him as "typically English"?

3. Reading and love of books play a defining role in how we are to perceive characters in this book. Talk about the differences in reading habits among Roger, Mrs. Ali, and Mr. Pettigrew.

4. How does Helen Simonson portray Americans in this novel? Is it a fair depiction...or over-drawn?

5. How are outsiders treated in this village...and who are considered outsiders?

6. Small mindedness is an underlying motif in this book. Who in the novel is small-minded? How does this parochialism lead to misunderstanding?

7. Talk about some of the book's humorous plot ingredients: the gun squabble, the aristocrat who loves to hunt, the golf club and its costume party tradition.

8. If you're a fan of English novels, especially the comedy of manners type, you will recognize Simonson's use of stock characters and set-up: a retired military man, a small quiet village, a local aristocrat, multiple misunderstandings. In what way does Simonson, while using these elements, create something deeper, more potent in Major Pettigrew's Last Stand?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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