Thursday, February 17, 2011

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day; Winifred Watson



 Title: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Author: Winifred Watson
Publication Year: 1938/2008-audio book 
Publisher: Persephone
Edition: audio book and softcover
Reader: Frances McDormand (excellent)
Source: Library
Date Completed: 2/14/2011
Setting: London
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Recommend: Yes 

Miss Pettigrew is a plain Jane, 40-something woman,  who can't seem to keep a job as a governess once she finds one. Probably because she doesn't exactly love little children.  Her life is boring, she's lonely,she  has never even been kissed, and to make matters worst, she can't seem to hold onto a job, so once again she finds herself  out of work.

When a misunderstanding leads her to the home of Delysia LaFosse, a gorgeous night-club singer, her life is about to be transformed. Miss LaFosse could not be more different from Miss Pettigrew. Miss LaFosse is attractive, polished and worldly, and has numerous suitors close by, each more than willing to keep her entertained.  Miss Pettigrew's reserved nature,has her curious about LaFosse's lifestyle.
 "....Oh, if only for once the Lord would be good and cause some miracle to happen to keep her here, to see you 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."
Pettigrew, shy and shocked at first, by the skimpy clothes people parade around in, the wild parties which include cocaine, alcohol, and smoke filled rooms, soon begins to feel more comfortable around Miss LaFosse and her friends.  It isn't long she gets a feel for what Cinderella must have experienced on her special day.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is a tale of self discovery; a charming fairy-tale like story that is easy to fall in love with. She is a heroine you will root for. I loved the way relationship between Miss Pettigrew and Miss LaFosse developed into friendship. It was so great to see her blossom from her dowdy clothes, and no make-up appearance to a lady who could turn a head or two herself.

The audio book was excellent, narrated by Frances McDormand. She did a terrific job, skillfully portraying each character, and giving you a sense of the lifestyle Miss Pettigrew was experiencing.  Certain parts of this audio book were laugh out loud funny. I ended up returning to the library to get a copy of the print version, when a friend mentioned the great illustrations in the print version -- I was glad I did.  I liked the way that the chapters were set up, each representing a specific period of time throughout the day. It made me anxious to keep listening, hoping that I would find Miss Pettigrew fully transformed. If you are looking for a fun, fast read, that is a bit different from anything else you've probably read lately, give this book a try. This book was first published in 1938, and reissued in 2000 with the original drawings. The audio book was released in 2008. Highly Recommended.

24 comments:

  1. It's interesting that she reads it since she starred in the movie, which I have yet to see, but want to!

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  2. I haven't read this one, but I have seen the movie, and really enjoyed the story it told. After reading your review, I also think I'd like to read the book. It sounds excellent! Great review!

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  3. Wonderful, wonderful review! I gushed about it here, if you would like to read it:

    http://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2009/01/miss-pettigrew-lives-for-day-by.html

    Many suggested I see the movie so I tried but couldn't stand it. I thought it kind of fantastical , like Babe and like Nanny McPhee; neither of which appealed to me.

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  4. Diane, this sounds like a wonderful book!

    Visit me here for a
    BLOGGER AWARD

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  5. I loved this Cinderella style story.

    I read the book and loved the layout and cover too.

    I am hoping to read more of the
    Peresphone series of classic books

    carol

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  6. This sounds like such a charming story. I'm always on the lookout for audiobooks with really great narration, and this seems to be one. Thanks for the wonderful review Diane :)

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  7. I was thrilled to find this last Saturday in a second-hand bookshop. The illustrations make the book sparkle! I've only ever seen the movie...twice, and am really looking forward to reading this story.

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  8. Wonderful review, Diane! I'd love to read this book, listen to this book, and/or watch this book in movie form. It sounds truly terrific!

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  9. I've never heard of this one before but it sounds wonderful. I'll have to see if I can get a hold of the audio.

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  10. I am hoping to read this for Persephone Weekend!

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  11. I loved this book! Maybe when I reread, it should be on audio. Glad you enjoyed it, too.

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  12. this one sounds delightful..how did you stumble across it?? I love reading about books that I probably would've never read..until now!

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  13. I'm pretty sure this is on my TBR list--if not it will be. Great review! I think a friendship with an opposite personality is so rewarding.

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  14. Sounds wonderful! I tried to download it on my Nook but they don't seem to have it. One of those trips to the bookstore I think. Thanks for another great review.

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  15. Oh I need to see if my library has this on audio. I watched the movie a couple of years ago and really liked it.

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  16. Oh, so glad you enjoyed this. I plan to read it for Persephone Reading Weekend. So must get cracking SOON!

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  17. Wasn't this made into a movie?

    I've come to appreciate Persephone books in general. Most are simple, yet pleasant stories which I tend to go for when I need a bit of coziness.

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  18. I received this one as a gift ans still haven't read it. It sounds even better than I imagine - and definitely different with the lots of YA I've been reading recently.

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  19. This is on my TBR, but now you have me thinking about making it an audiobook choice. Thanks for your review!

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  20. Awesome review. This is a book I have been wanting to read for some time. I am glad you recommend the audiobook - if I can get it in audio, I am more likely to "read" it.

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  21. I had this one in my hands the other day while I was waiting for my books to be priced at Half-Price then I put it down while I was waiting and forgot to go back and pick it up. Boo hoo! I guess I'd better get back there while they still have it.

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  22. After reading your review I think I'll search it out. Thanks.

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  23. Miss Pettigrew sounds like my type of lady! Thanks for the review!

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