Major Pettigrew is a 68-year-old widower who seems to be a bit of an anachronism is modern-day England. He may live in a small country village but even they have access to modern amenities yet he distrusts things like the internet and cell phones and clings to traditional morals and manners. Mrs. Ali is a 58-year-old widow of Pakistani ancestry who runs a local shop. She doesn't quite fit in local society because of her race despite having been born in England. The two meet and discover that, notwithstanding the obvious differences, they have much in common including a love of Kipling.
Major Pettigrew has always been conscious of how others view him which is at least partly why he clings so much to old-fashioned manners. He can get quite tedious about them in fact, which is why when he defies local convention to be with Mrs. Ali, it is quite delightfully shocking!
I loved these two main characters enough to tolerate all the deliberately-annoying minor characters in the book. At times I wish that Major Pettigrew were a little less polite and had a little more backbone and would tell them all off! I'm just glad that he had enough spine at the end to do the right thing.
I found this to be a pleasant enjoyable book and with very little objectionable parts. There was some minor swearing and some instances of unmarried adults sleeping together but no graphic details were involved. Rated PG-13 for some adult situations.