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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (1938)

by Winifred Watson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,0141466,147 (4.09)453
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.
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English (143)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (146)
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
Charming Cinderella-type tale: Miss Guinevere Pettigrew is a 40 year old spinster on hard times. Sent by the employment agency for a domestic position she desperately neds, she finds herself drawn in the fast, morally dubious world of Miss LaFosse, a nightclub singer with three beaux on the go...
Gradually leaving behind her puritan upbringing...yet maintaining her good sense..Miss Pettigrew enters, for the first time in her life, a glorious world of luxury and fun..But can it last?
Utter delight. ( )
  starbox | Aug 6, 2021 |
No novel for an old man. The movie is probably better. Add a star if you are an innocent young person; you will learn some things. ( )
  KENNERLYDAN | Jul 11, 2021 |
I have mixed feelings about this book. In the middle of a fun, fluffy story was a slap upside the head of casual racism. My 21st century sensibilities were shocked. It was written in 1938; the world was a different place. Still, very much a turd in the punchbowl. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
This is quite simply one of the happiest books I have ever read. I skipped through it (and skipping is exactly the word to use here) with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. It has the spirit of one of those marvellous Hollywood comedies that featured Cary Grant & Katherine Hepburn or a Fred & Ginger musical extravaganza. The characters are so wonderfully and expertly drawn you instantly know who to like and who is a bounder.everything fizzes and sparkles and makes us whisk we could have a day just like Miss Pettigrew in our lives. I may have to read it again immediately. ( )
  Patsmith139 | Mar 15, 2021 |
For what is apparently a "forgotten novel of the 1930s" this was actually a charming read. I've seen the film (and also liked it), so my perspective is a bit biased, but I don't normally find such frivolous feminine novels this appealing. The characters are usually insipid - and poorly written at that - but Miss Pettigrew is instantly heartwarming and hilarious, and her encouragment of the silly female characters prompts them to reveal more positive personality attributes.

Having read quite a few of the more modern chick lit books (what, I get tired of reading nothing but legitimate fiction), it's pretty clear that novels like Miss Pettigrew were the transition between the first female-inspired books and the modern ones. Jane Austen's fiesty female protagonists are transplanted to the glamourous 30s, and then travelled on to populate books like Candance Bushnell's Sex and the City. The question is, where will they go next? ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Winifred Watsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
McDormand, FrancesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murillo Fort, IsabelTranslatorsecondary 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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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.

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