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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Persephone…
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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Persephone Classics) (original 1938; edition 2008)

by Winifred Watson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,376None5,548 (4.16)347
Member:Becchanalia
Title:Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Persephone Classics)
Authors:Winifred Watson
Info:Persephone Books (2008), Edition: Revised, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:Read 2011, Humour, Aging, 1930s, England: London

Work details

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson (Author) (1938)

1001 (27) 1001 books (23) 1930s (60) 2008 (13) 2010 (10) 20th century (41) audiobook (11) British (48) British literature (22) classic (22) classics (22) comedy (10) England (44) English (19) favorite (10) fiction (253) governess (10) humor (58) London (34) novel (33) own (12) Persephone (112) Persephone Books (44) read (28) read in 2008 (16) read in 2011 (13) romance (28) society (12) to-read (53) women (22)
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» See also 347 mentions

English (91)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (93)
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
Quick read--very charming book...I liked the movie, but the book was even better! ( )
  goet0095 | Mar 27, 2014 |
A delight, pure and simple. ( )
  kokipy | Mar 22, 2014 |
Absolutely delightful, fluffy without being trite. I first came across this story with the movie -- never saw it and then years later decided to read the book. I am so glad I did! What a charming story (and surprisingly 'racy' for 1938)!
Due to a mixup at her employment agency, middle aged spinster Miss Pettigrew ends up at the house of a nightclub singer and almost immediately begins to help her out, without the nighclub singer having any idea who she is. Various hijinks ensue until the story reaches a satisfying ending.
On the one hand I am very curious to see a movie adaptation, but on the other this story is so ridiculously sweet and heartwarming that I'm not sure I want a movie version to cloud it up.
All I can say is do yourself a favor - read this book and spend an afternoon with Miss Pettigrew. You'll be so glad you did. ( )
  abookishcorner | Mar 4, 2014 |
delightful book, like an old Cary Grant movie. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
I adored this book! The characters, the story, the crazy action and romance - all of it. This book made me smile, a warm deep feeling. Pettigrew is a every-woman characters and yet, unique. To see her grow made me happy. Miss LaFosse is that woman we would hate except she so kind and effervescent, we love her instead. Each of the characters are well-drawn, complete, with depth and meaning. The story progresses just as it should, with the right things happening at the right time. I can't recommend this book enough.

Note: This book would be out-of-print if not for the brilliant efforts of Persephone Books. With their ever true discerning eye, they published this gem, including giving it one of their trademark interiors. For more about this book, go to their website here. ( )
  empress8411 | Feb 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
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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)

» see all 3 descriptions

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