Title: Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day
Author: Winifred Watson
Date Finished: 16 July 2008
My Rating: 5 Stars
Originally published in 1938, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day was re-issued in 2000 by Persephone Books in the UK.
Miss Pettigrew is "a middle aged, rather angular lady of medium height, thin through lack of good food, with a timid, defeated expression and terror quite discernible in her eyes, if any one cared to look. But there was no personal friend or relation in the whole world who knew or cared whether Miss Pettigrew was alive or dead."
As a nanny, Miss Pettigrew has failed but there are no other alternatives so she returns to the employment agency everyday in search of work. On the particular day that the story takes place Miss Pettigrew is given the wrong address and instead of turning up at the home of someone needing a nanny she ends up at the doorstep of night club singer Miss LaFosse.
Through an entertaining twist of events Miss Pettigrew spends the day with Miss LaFosse and her poor, ho-hum life is changed forever. Miss Pettigrew finds herself at the center of social activity like she has never experienced as she helps Miss LaFosse and her friend avert disaster in their love lives. Miss Pettigrew plays a kind of Jeeves to Miss Lafosse's Wooster.
An absolutely delightful story that takes place in one day, I laughed my way through this book and imagine I will be re-reading it often.
There were a few aspects of the story that some might find questionable, Miss Pettigrew's drinking, punching a cop, Miss LaFosse's many men etc, but I thought the book was saucy in a fun and innocent kind of way. Especially when you consider that Winifred Watson had never even been to a nightclub when she wrote this book.
I was pleased that Persephone Books also included the interesting, original line drawings when they re-issued the book.
I've not seen the recent movie but will probably rent it soon. From what I see on the trailer, it looks like they've changed a bit but it still looks fun and entertaining.