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In the very proper English town of Edgecombe St. Mary, retired Army major Ernest Pettigrew has problems. They include his social-climbing son, Roger; a valuable matched pair of Churchill shotguns; and the Major’s growing affection for Mrs. Ali, a Pakistani widow. Helen Simonson’s delightfully flawed characters struggle with rigid social conventions, their own prejudices, and their conflicting desires in ways that either make you want to cheer for them or slap them upside the head. You’ll be inextricably hooked from the opening scene of this quirky but old-fashioned novel. (Random House)

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