Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wisdom From The Major

Last night I finally finished the novel "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand" by Helen Simonson.  I say 'finally' because it took me two weeks to read it.  The book was really, really good...but I have been falling into bed exhausted at night.  Between the garden and the canning and cooking dinner, many nights I drifted off halfway through a chapter.

(If you would like to check out the reviews at just click on the link in the book title above.)

Image taken from

I am not going to even attempt a book review as I would do it a huge injustice.  But I did want to share five quotes that have me thinking.  (I love it when a novel can entertain and provoke me to meditation!)

Quote #1:
"Don't rush to trade places with an old man...Youth is a wonderful time of vigor and action.  For possibilities, and for collecting friends and experiences."  Major Ernest Pettigrew

(I need to remind myself of this these days.  Youth may have left me about twenty years ago, but I am still guilty of thinking that I might get myself together during the next stage of life.  I need to enjoy where I am now.  I certainly look back on the last ten years and think...'man, I wish I had relaxed and enjoyed it more!')

Quote #2:
"We're all in favor of preserving the countryside until we see how much money we can make by adding on, or adding up, or building down the back of the garden.  Every one's green except for their one little project, which they assure us won't make much difference - and suddenly whole villages are sprouting attic windows and two-car garages and mum-in-law extensions."  Alice 

(Reminds me of the story I once heard about a room full of Pastors being asked the question, 'how big of a house is too big?'  One honest soul spoke up to say, 'Anything bigger than mine.'  I know that I am guilty of thinking anything more than what I have is too much...or anyone who doesn't do things the way that we do it is just crazy!)

Quote #3:
"I know something of shame...How can we not all feel it?  We are all small-minded people, creeping about the earth grubbing for our own advantage and making the very mistakes for which we want to humiliate our neighbors."  Major Pettigrew

(I have a friend whose favorite saying is, "If you spot it, you got it!"  Why is it that the things that bother us the most about someone else are the very areas where we ourselves are weak but refuse to see it?  I have to remind myself that if someones behaviour is really bothering me, I need to ask the Lord to reveal my own motivations in that area.)

Quote #4:
"They are a motley and ragged bunch...but they are what is left when all the shallow pretense is burned away."  Mrs. Ali

(I just love this one.  It reminds me that while I may not have as many people on my Facebook friends list as someone else, I would rather have those who are true friends and not those who are indulging in shallow pretense.  And I used Facebook just as an example...I don't really worry about how many friends I have on my list!)

Quote #5:
While standing on a cliff side park: "But on a spiritual level, there is something about the edge of the land that does make one feel closer to God."  Major Pettigrew

(My favorite quote and the one holding closest to my own belief.  I don't know what it is about the water that soothes my soul and causes my mind relax...but it is where I feel closest to God.  And that is also why I am sooooo looking forward to our family vacation at the lakehouse next month!  Woo Hoo!)

Well, I hope I helped to whet your appetite for this one.  It was named #3 in "O" magazine's top five Best Fiction in 2010 and #13 in Amazon's Best Books of 2010.  But you better read it fast, because rumor has it that we may be watching the movie version as early as next summer! 

If you would like my copy, just let me know.  I would be glad to pass it along!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will have to look this one up on my Kindle.