Home > Books, Reviews > Book Review: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Book Review: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, by Winifred Watson; Fiction, 256 pages

Middle-aged and dowdy, Miss Pettigrew is an out-of-work governess who arrives one morning at the glamorous Miss LaFosse’s apartment, hoping to find a job. After helping Miss LaFosse defuse a sticky situation, she is swept into the exciting world of the rich and sophisticated. What follows is a delightful Cinderella tale of sorts, in which Miss Pettigrew is transformed into a more elegant and (in her eyes) scandalous version of herself.

It is with Miss Pettigrew’s character that the book really shines. Although she goes through many changes, the strength of her character never wavers. You just can’t help but like her, and you’ll root for her all the way to the very satisfying ending. The novel’s dialogue is just as delightful, particularly the witty exchanges between Miss Pettigrew and Miss LaFosse’s various boyfriends. This, combined with a charming cast of characters, makes the novel at times feel very Wodehouse

Recently adapted into a movie, I saw the trailer (which looked great) before I’d ever heard about the book. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but the charming cover (above left) caught my eye one day while I was browsing through the bookstore, so I thought I’d try it out.

Miss Pettigrew is not mind-blowing in any way, and lacks real conflict. It’s completely fluffy. Sometimes fluffy is good, though, and if you’re looking for a quick, fun read to lift your spirits, you’ll find it here.

As a side note, this edition also includes some lovely illustrations, which I think is always a treat in a work that’s not meant for children.

Miss Pettigrew is a quick, enjoyable, but not particularly complex, read.

Update: I finally managed to see the film version, and I highly recommend it, even if you haven’t read the book yet.

If you’ve read this book, I’m curious to know what you think! Please let me know in the comments, or link to your own review.

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  1. February 10, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Totally agree that the book is fluff but it was very enjoyable fluff.

    My reviews, of both the book and the movie can be found on my website.

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