Major Ernest Pettigrew leads a quiet life in the English village of Edgecombe St Mary. The Major takes pleasure in his well-organised and rational life. But his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village, which blossoms into something more.
Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) leads a quiet life in the small rural English village of Edgecombe St Mary where he values the proper things that Englishmen have treasured for generations - honour, duty, decorum and a properly brewed cup of tea. The Major takes pleasure in his well-organised and rational life until he finds that his patronising son, and the kind yet interfering ladies of the village seem to have their own plans for him. It's his brother's death, though, that sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But although the Major was actually born in Lahore, and Mrs Ali was born in Cambridge, village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as a permanent foreigner. Major Pettigrew finds himself contending with irate relatives, an outraged village and a mad old woman armed with a knitting needle, before he comes to understand his own heart.