I bought Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day on a whim. I was in Daunt Books, the cover looked pretty and I remember trying to watch the film – so I bought it. When I say try to watch the film, I lost interest within the first fifteen minutes or so.
When I say try to watch the film, I lost interest within the first fifteen minutes or so. Had I read the book first, I would have put this down to Miss Pettigrew being meek in the film. Having read the book after I just put it down to a lack of interest at the time.
“Miss Pettigrew, an approaching-middle-age governess, was accustomed to a household of unruly English children. When her employment agency sends her to the wrong address, her life takes an unexpected turn. The alluring nightclub singer, Delysia LaFosse, becomes her new employer, and Miss Pettigrew encounters a kind of glamour that she had only met before at the movies. Over the course of a single day, both women are changed forever.” GoodReads.
I stormed through this book, it wasn’t difficult to read. One of those, ‘I have to know what happens!’
Bar an unpleasant antisemitic sentence, it’s a great book. I found it very of its time while still enjoyable. Miss Pettigrew is in her middle ages, never having really lived. She then meets two very glamorous women who pull her into their lives and rely heavily on her advice. She learns to be less moralistic and they learn to be more moderate. It’s marvellous that it is focused on these three women, and that they want the best for each other. Which considering it was first published in 1938, feels quite a rare and brilliant thing for its time.
And, of course, it all happens in a day. I almost decided to become a governess so I could experience the same thing with Youtube stars. But, then I remembered Agnes Grey and changed my mind.
I feel as though I should have more to say about Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, but I didn’t find it stimulating in a manner that lead me to reflection. It was a comfort read.