Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day — Winifred Watson

Miss Pettigrew is a down-on-her-luck, middle-aged governess sent by her employment agency to work for a nightclub singer rather than a household of unruly children. Over a period of 24 hours her life is changed — forever.

I have only just finished reading this book and WOW! I absolutely adored it! In fact it is due to this book that this blog has been started. While reading it I just knew I had to talk about it somewhere, so here we are, with my first review.

I have been intrigued by Persephone Books for some time. I find their company ethos wonderful, (look for a post about them in the near future). In 1999, with Persephone having put out their feelers for suggestions of what books to publish, Henrietta Twycross-Martin, took along her copy of the 1938 book. It was greeted with love, and published promptly, with Henrietta being asked to write the preface.

I can certainly see why! The character’s are outstandingly written. The pace is perfect with new exciting events coming one after the other. The overarching feel of this book though is one of warmth. You are drawn in among the lives of these glorious people and with Miss Pettigrew, taken along for the ride for a day. This book is like a hug in word form.

Since Persephone brought Miss Pettigrew to the modern reader, it has become a bestseller, been reprinted as a Persephone classic, and acquired a film adaptation in 2008 staring Frances McDormand as the delightful Miss Pettigrew, and Amy Adams as the ditzy but kindhearted Miss LaFosse. I am yet to see the film but I plan to watch it very soon! See the trailer here.

I can see myself reading Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, once or twice a year for the rest of my life. It is the kind of book that lends itself to a recuperative Sunday afternoon read. I will recommend it to anyone and everyone in earshot.


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