I loved my first book of 2013. At the suggestion of my very well read friend Jennifer, I picked up Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson, the story of two older people finding love after losing their spouses (this is the simplest summary- the story itself has many more layers). The characters are so well written that little quirks and flaws seemed natural and made the characters loveable. And the love story between two older characters was sweet, inspiring and real. Simonson has a keen ability to keep a reader interested in the lives of a retired British Major (hence the title) and the local shopkeeper and their families. She also navigated themes of grief, moving on and cultural conflict with ease and a sense of humor. Thank you Jennifer for a great recommendation!