2009: 155. Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day

“Miss Pettigrew pushed open the door of the employment agency and went in as the clock struck a quarter past nine.”

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, Winifred Watson

       This is an absolute charming book, and the only thing that kept it from being one of my favorite books of the year is that, alas, I read the book after I saw the movie, so I wasn’t surprised by the plot.  Sad to say, knowing what happened took a bit of the delight off of it - which is not a fault of the author, of course.  Nor did it mean that I didn’t love reading the book - just that if I’d read it without knowing what would happen I think I would have been in love, instead of just charmed.  So, I suggest you read the book before you see the film - especially if you (like me) are the kind of person who enjoys sweet confectionary novels from the 1930’s.

      The plot is as follows.  A middle aged woman named Miss Pettigrew has lived her life as a proper woman, and paid the price.  She’s been a governess, always biting her tongue, and living in other people’s homes, and dying by inches in middle class poverty.  Then one day, when she is on her last dime, her agency accidently sends her not to a home looking for a governess, but to a young actress looking for a maid.  Miss Pettigrew walks into an awkward situation, takes charge, and away we go! Oh, its flighty fantasy, sure, but it’s so fun, and the grounding in Miss Pettigrew’s real life situation keeps it from floating away.  Just a gem of a book.

Date/Place Completed:  December 2009, in Boston (fake Christmas!)

Categories:  Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017