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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred…
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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (original 1938; edition 2000)

by Winifred Watson

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1,404975,398 (4.17)361
Member:debnance
Title:Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Authors:Winifred Watson
Info:Persephone Books Ltd (2000), Edition: Facsimile of 1938 ed, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson (Author) (1938)

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English (95)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (97)
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson; (4 1/2*)

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is rather a modern Cinderella tale that is so uplifting and fun! It's a fizzy champagne cocktail for your mind and spirit. It is a totally believable tale that is so uplifting it pulled me out of the doldrums and I know that it is one I will read again. So light, so funny, so quirky, so everything good.

When Miss Pettigrew is sent mistakenly to the wrong address on a job interview she gets caught up in a life changing day. Here she meets a glamorous night club singer, Miss LaFosse. As in the description of the book: "The sheer fun, the lightheartedness in this wonderful 1938 book feels closer to a Fred Astaire film than anything else". So true.

Life has treated Miss Pettigrew badly but this book describes the day when a change has come her way. I liked that none of the characters in the book are mean or cruel towards her other than the man who wishes Miss LaFosse to be at his beck and call and Miss Pettigrew makes quick work of him. The rather clueless beautiful young people are eager to be taken in hand by someone like Miss Pettigrew even though she isn't one to force herself on one.

I love that the reader is in the head of Miss Pettigrew and as such is privy to the funny thoughts and the all too real emotions that pass through her mind. They are refreshingly human and easy to relate to. In fact this entire book is easy to relate to.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is a delightful and charming story and I highly recommend it. ( )
1 vote rainpebble | Aug 16, 2014 |
I just loved this book! It was utterly charming. The characters are a delight; the dialog is quick and witty; the plot is light and fun. I actually listened to the audio book narrated by Frances McDermond who did a spectacular job. A happy, light read and I miss Miss Pettigrew and the other characters terribly now that I'm done. ( )
  DonnaB317 | Aug 5, 2014 |
A cracking read. Screwball comedy written in 1938, wonder why it wasn't filmed then? Miss Pettigrew is made over by a famous actress/ night club singer in a re-telling of Cinderella, sort of. She saves the day by ensuring the actress gets the right guy. Funny and moving. I read it in one sitting. ( )
  MsStephie | Jul 12, 2014 |
This is a fabulous, sparkling, witty little book. Miss Pettigrew is a middle aged gentlewoman down on her luck. She is looking for a post as a governess when she is sent (erroneously, as it turns out) to attend the glamorous Miss LaFosse. Instead of a formal interview for a job, she ends up being whisked up in the mad social whirl that is Miss LaFosse's existence. She brings a down to earth view to the rather heated (and not always logical) metal processes of the set Miss LaFosee frequents. It's not just a onesided transformation, as while Miss Pettigrew starts as an outsider, seeing how the other half live, she ends up being taken to their centre and being indispensable. Told over the course of one day, it races around from bed, to boudoir to cocktail party to nightclub and back again. A hectic round of social whirl, yet somehow Miss Pettigrew's solid sense cuts through the mess of overheated emotion while, at the same time, the adventures mean that she actually learns to live a little and to enjoy life for what it can be, rather than live f fear of what it might be. Published in 1938, it occasionally shows its age, but the original illustrations add greatly to the charm of the evolving story. ( )
  Helenliz | Jun 1, 2014 |
The Cinderella story of Miss Pettigrew is absolutely delightful to read as Winifred Watson handles it so well. The tale of the eponymous heroine, a middle aged spinster who is treated to an experience of how the other half live when she is accidentally sent to apply for a job at the wrong address and is then adopted by beautiful nightclub singer Miss LaFosse, could easily have been sickly sweet and sentimental. Equally, the storyline lends itself to cruel humour at the expense of Miss Pettigrew or the wealthy people among whom she finds herself, but Watson deftly avoids becoming either saccharine or satirical. This book is entirely without malice, and yet it is full of social humour which reminded me at times of Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde, although Winifred Watson's style is very different.

The characters in the book are enjoyable and likeable: the sort of characters who make you hope that everything will work out for them. Miss LaFosse is endearingly naive for all her worldly ways, and is full of warmth and understanding. Miss Dubarry is hardened and insightful but also vulnerable and emotional. The cast of accompanying men are equally amusing, and they are all believable though none are particularly complex characters. It is impossible not to warm to Miss Pettigrew herself as she is alternately shocked and delighted by the new, permissive world she discovers. It is highly entertaining to watch her adapt to her surroundings and the people around her adapt to Miss Pettigrew's own particular character. Coming from her mouth, Winifred Watson puts more meaning in the single word "quite" than many authors do in whole paragraphs of dialogue. The book reminded me of the classic films from this era, and I loved every minute of it. ( )
  Ygraine | May 7, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Watson, WinifredAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McDormand, FrancesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomson, MaryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Twycross-Martin, HenriettaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Miss Pettigrew pushed open the door of the employment agency and went in as the clock struck a quarter past nine.
Quotations
In a dull, miserable existence her one wild extravagance was her weekly orgy at the cinema, where for over two hours she lived in an enchanted world peopled by beautiful women, handsome heroes, fascinating villains, charming employers, and there were no bullying parents, no appalling offspring to tease, torment, terrify, harry her every waking hour.
What dangerous den of vice had she discovered? She must fly before she lost her virtue. Then her common sense unhappily reminded her that no one, now, would care to deprive her of that possession.
A knock on Miss LaFosse's door heralded adventure. It was not like an ordinary house, where the knocker would be the butcher, or baker or candlestick-maker. A knock on Miss LaFosse's door would mean excitement, drama, a new crisis to be dealt with. Oh, if only for once the Lord would be good and cause some miracle to happen to keep her here, to see for one day how life could be lived, so that for all the rest of her dull, uneventful days, when things grew bad, she could look back in her mind and dwell on the time when for one perfect day, she, Miss Pettigrew, lived.
All these years and she had never had the wicked thrill of powdering her nose. Others had experienced that joy. Never she. And all because she lacked courage. All because she had never thought for herself. Powder, thundered her father the curate, the road to damnation
She was not fifty yet, but some day she would be, with no home, no friends, no husband, no children. She had lived a life of spartan chastity and honour. She would still have no home or memories. Miss LaFosse would reach fifty some day. Suppose she reached it equally without home and friends. What then? How full would her memories be?
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Disambiguation notice
French title is "Cette Sacree Vertu"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 190646202X, Paperback)

Miss Pettigrew is about a governess sent by an employment agency to the wrong address, where she encounters a glamorous night-club singer, Miss LaFosse. 'The sheer fun, the light-heartedness' in this wonderful 1938 book 'feels closer to a Fred Astaire film than anything else' comments the Preface-writer Henrietta Twycross-Martin, who found Miss Pettigrew for Persephone Books. The Guardian asked: 'Why has it taken more than half a century for this wonderful flight of humour to be rediscovered?' while the Daily Mail liked the book's message - 'that everyone, no matter how poor or prim or neglected, has a second chance to blossom in the world.' Maureen Lipman wrote in 'Books of the Year' in the Guardian: 'Perhaps the most pleasure has come from Persephone's enchanting reprints, particularly Miss Pettigrew, a fairy story set in 1930s London'

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:40 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Miss Pettigrew, a governess looking for work, is sent by mistake to the home of Delysia LaFosse, a glamorous nightclub singer involved with three different men and is invited to stay after offering Miss LaFosse common sense advice about her love life.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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