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Flowers For Mrs Harris (Mrs. 'Arris #1)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  1,067 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Mrs Harris is a London charlady. One day, she sees a Dior dress belonging to one of her clients, and falls desperately in love with it. Then a miracle occurs, and she wins a hundred pounds on the football pools. So she 'scrimps and syves' until she has enough to buy a Dior dress of her own, and off she goes to Paris to buy it...
Published (first published 1958)
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Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson
Okay, I know. It seems ridiculous. I adore this book. I first read this book as a young girl in the Reader's Digest version and fell in love with the story of the charwoman who ends up with a Dior gown. It's a great story and Paul Gallico is a wonderful storyteller. I am so fond of this good-hearted and amusing tale that I recently found a new copy and purchased it to place on the "beloved books" shelf. If you need a lift this is an excellent story to while away a few hours and cheer you right u ...more
thelifepursuit
A sweet, delightful concoction like a French Cinderella story or the most delicate, airiest trifle.

The widowed London char woman Mrs. Harris is overwhelmed by desire to possess a beautiful Dior dress and decides to save the money for one despite being a poor cleaning woman. She's simple but pure of heart, just like in olden fairy tales.

The short story is heart-warming and enjoyable. Mrs. Harris encounters all of the usual human traits through her journey, selfishness, anger, righteousness, hono
...more
Christine
I must be the only person in the world who didn't like this. It's a fairy tale about a London char who goes to Paris to buy a Dior dress. Now there's nothing wrong with fairy stories - I love them, whether they are traditional versions, or modern updates that use them as the basis for a new story. But I thought this particular tale was twee. Gallico's view of an archetypal London char is patronising in the extreme, and the characters are merely stereotypes who never came to life. I struggled to ...more
Donna
Part of my review of this book is simply for nostalgia's sake. I read this in a Reader's Digest version when I was about 11 and thought Mrs. Harris was so gutsy to take her char woman's savings and go to Pars to buy a Dior gown. She insited on fulfilling her dream and charmed everyone she met. Me too. I even enjoyed the Angela Landsbury tv movie version of the book. Just a sweet read about an adorable plucky older lady who is young at heart.
Kristel
The story of an older, widowed charwoman who becomes enamored of a Dior dress and determines to own one. She sees signs that this is what God wants for her when she wins the football lottery but it isn't enough and she must save and scrimp to get the money. Then the adventure starts. Ms Harris must travel to Paris to the dressmaker, she must get the right currency and she must get around among the notorious and not to be trusted French. Mrs Harris flies to Paris, manages to actually get a front ...more
Yvann S
"To the gallant and indispensable daily ladies who, year in, year out, tidy up the British Isles, this book is lovingly dedicated"

I'm not much of a novella reader (although maybe I should change that, because I have very much enjoyed my few experiences thus far), but Flowers for Mrs Harris posed a perfect lunchtime read for the first day of my holiday.

Mrs Harris (or 'Arris, as she would pronounce it) is a London charwoman who, upon spying two Dior gowns in the wardrobe of one of her clients, fin
...more
Sonia
Nella nostra vita di lettori ci capita spesso di imbatterci in personaggi di carta che avremmo voluto conoscere o avremmo preferito evitare, personaggi che avrebbero potuto tranquillamente diventare i nostri migliori amici, altri di cui ci saremmo innamorate al primo colpo, altri ancora che ci saremmo scelti come confidenti. Noi lettori lo sappiamo: la magia di un libro si manifesta nei modi più diversi, più strani o più quotidiani.
Così sono stata vittima di una stupenda magia non appena mi son
...more
Hope
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara
Could have (should have?) been a 5-star rating, but is not. I'll try to explain.

Mrs. Harris is an endearing, earthy character, with an unusual "problem" to solve. She inexplicably and overwhelmingly desires to own an authentic Christian Dior dress...she, an unassuming London charwoman. The ensuing story is well-written and flows smoothly. However, the rub for me was the (very) occasional insertion of something off-color at various points in the narrative. The effect is similar to watching a high
...more
Lauren RM
This is really cute. I promised myself to read every book I own, and if I don't read it and love it, away it goes. I loved this book. It's incredibly cute, and after reading more books about class distinctions in Europe I really appreciate how nonchalantly he approaches it. I think it's because he's an American...anyway, if you're losing hope for the world, read this book. It's silly and wonderful.
Roswitha
A friend of mine had told me about a charming film she had seen with Angela Lansbury, called "Mrs. 'Arris goes to Paris", so when I stumbled across the same title in my father's inexhaustible supply of old paperbacks, I was intrigued. It was a simple story, of an elderly char-woman's dream of owning a Dior dress. I both sympathized and was perplexed by her dream, and the lengths she went to to achieve it, but I admired her pluck and determination. The ending was rather a disappointment, and over ...more
Angela Alcorn
We own a copy by the title of "Flowers for Mrs Harris", which is the English name.
Serendipity Reviews
Mrs Harris is very down to earth cleaning lady who gives the impression of the cockney Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady. When she opens her mouth to speak, all you can think of is the real East End.. She is an adorable character who is hard working and is as honest as the day is long. She works hard for her money and yet lives simply until she lays eyes upon a Dior dress. A need like no other takes over her and she will stop at nothing until she owns a similar dress. Never mind, that it will take ...more
Ben Campbell
Of course, back in the 1950s we ate roast beef, roast ham, leg of lamb, tons of eggs, real ice cream, and just about anything our moms would cook that they felt was healthy for us kids to eat. Stay with me here. But, what seemed to be healthy wasn't always nutritionally good for us. But then again, what was considered healthy and nutritious for us back then is now being considered nutritionally essential for building a healthy body.

In analogy, literature of the past few decades has turned into s
...more
Karen
My friend Gladys who is 101 years old loaned me her copy of this book. She prefers devotional literature or books with very light conflict. This novel belongs to the latter category. She lives in a skilled nursing home and has very few personal possessions in her shared room. So the fact that she makes space for this among her few books signals its value to her. I read it to honor her as my friend.

Cleaning woman Mrs. Harris spends 3 years saving money so that she can go to France and buy a Dior
...more
Francesca
"Chiunque fosse, qualunque cosa facesse, chi le stava davanti era una donna, con tutti i desideri di una donna, e mentre il velo le cadeva dagli occhi mormorò: "Santo cielo, lei ha votato il suo cuore a un vestito di Dior".

La forza del libro risiede totalmente nella protagonista e nei sentimenti che suscita nelle persone che incontra.
E' schietta, sincera e decisa nella sua missione: comprare un vestito di Dior.
Ed è una missione strana e coraggiosa per una domestica inglese degli anni 50.
La sign
...more
Lori
Short, sweet, sentimental, a little too neat, this is a pleasant if trite piece of mid-twentieth-century light fiction, skimming the prejudices of class and nationality without approaching any level of conflict. Mrs. Ada Harris is a widowed London charwoman who improbably sets her sights on possessing a Christian Dior dress. Three years of unswerving dedication of all her efforts toward this goal results in her saving enough money for a day trip to Paris and the House of Dior, and her (mis)adven ...more
Novità Narrativa Biblioteca di Concesio
A Parigi, a Parigi! Nella testa della signora Harris risuona battagliero il grido che la sta portando Oltremanica, alla conquista della ville lumière e del suo bottino: l'abito del quale non può proprio fare a meno. Perché la più che matura vedova londinese, di umili natali e ancor più umile professione, è stata folgorata sulla via della haute couture mentre svolgeva le mansioni di donna di servizio nell'abitazione della sua cliente più aristocratica: dentro l'armoire della lady era comparso il ...more
Jane
“The small, slender woman with apple-red cheeks, greying hair, and shrewd, almost naughty little eyes sat with her face pressed against the cabin window of the BEA Viscount on the morning flight from London to Paris. As, with a rush and a roar, it lifted itself from the runway, her spirits soared aloft with it. She was nervous, but not at all frightened, for she was convinced that nothing could happen to her now. Hers was the bliss of one who knew that at last she was off upon the adventure at t ...more
Gale
POSSESSION IS 9/10 OF THE DREAM

This delightful little story charms while it entertains, as Paul Gallico makes a case for Anglo-Gallic cordiality. Mrs. Harris and her fellow Cockney char, Mrs. Butterfield, take pride in their humble work: cleaning up other people's messy homes. Their weekkly pleasure consists of placing a few pennies on the football lottery: (soccer, to Americans.) What couldn't they buy if they ever won the jackpot?
Mrs. Harris has become obsessed with the desire to own an exot
...more
Andrea
Original post at The Little Bookworm

After seeing a Dior at one of her client's houses, Mrs. Harris or 'Arris as she says, a London char(cleaning)woman decides that she must have something so wonderful for herself. So after scrimping and saving, she goes to Paris and the House of Dior to get an original for herself. The good heart of Mrs. 'Arris changes the people around her and she ends up with more than just a dress.

This was such a delightful little book. I love how plucky and determined Mrs.
...more
Jen
Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris is possibly the sweetest book I have read in the last couple of years. I absolutely adored it.

Mrs. Harris is a char woman in London and gets it into her head that she wants a Dior dress after seeing one in the closet of one of the homes she cleans. She scrimps and saves her money so she can be able to buy it. When she finally does get the money she flies to Paris and the House of Dior. It is here where the real story starts.

The people she comes in contact with and how t
...more
Olivia
This book looked and sounded adorable but it really disappointed me. I ended up with a first edition and the dust jacket was fab but that was the only good thing.

It's the story of a housekeeper who decides she wants a Dior dress. She scrimps and saves to take a trip to France and buy a dress. While there she meets some nice people and blah blah blah. Sounds cute but it's really boring. Plus I found Mrs. Harris to be unlikeable. I don't know why I just didn't like her.

One of my biggest problems
...more
Sylvia
This is such a wonderful little book. I purposely read it slowly so it wouldn't end. It is the story of a London cleaning woman who falls crazy in love with Christian Dior gowns and decides she absolutely must have one. Never mind that she would never have anywhere to wear one, or that it will end up taking her over two years to save for it, she simply must have one of her own.

She ends up taking a lovely trip to Paris to buy the dress at the Dior showroom and along the way she has some charming
...more
Richard Beasley
Why do the Americans have to rename it! It's "Flowers for Mrs Harris" please.

This is simply wonderful. I love the simplicity of the writing, and the beauty of the spirit of the people. The decency of the nice people and even the tolerance to the unthinking characters.
Should be read by everyone every year.
Mary
Mrs Harris is a wonderful character.
We follow her to Paris as she goes to buy a Dior dress which she has saved up for.
Then to New York where she tries to reunite Henry with his GI Dad.
All ends well.
They are lovely reads.
Helynne
This book will make any reader ask herself the question, "If I were to get a sudden craving for something ridiculously expensive and totally frivolous, and decided to save up to buy it, what would that thing be?" I won't reveal what Mrs. Ada Harris, a 50-something London char woman (cleaning lady) from 1958 has decided she must have except to say--as the title reveals--that it involves a trip to Paris and all the charm and magic that the City of Light can offer. I fell in love with Mrs. Harris ...more
Elisa
Un romanzo piacevolissimo, leggero, ma mai banale, scritto con sottile umorismo e delicatezza. Lo sto leggendo in italiano in versione kindle, forse leggerò i prossimi della serie direttamente in inglese, visto che sembra che ce ne sia solamente un altro tradotto (La signora Harris va a New York), ma in realtà l'autore ne ha scritti degli altri che non sono ancora stati tradotti. Per mia fortuna non ho assolutamente problemi a leggere in inglese. Sono al 70% della lettura, ma me lo sto centellin ...more
Bam
This is such a delightfully sweet story! Mrs Harris is an elderly English charwoman who saves for three years to buy herself a Christian Dior dress. She charms everyone she meets in Paris and works a little magic in their lives as she pursues her dream.
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92064
Paul William Gallico was born in New York City, on 26th July, 1897. His father was an Italian, and his mother came from Austria; they emigrated to New York in 1895.

He went to school in the public schools of New York, and in 1916 went to Columbia University. He graduated in 1921 with a Bachelor of Science degree, having lost a year and a half due to World War I. He then worked for the National Boar
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More about Paul Gallico...

Other Books in the Series

Mrs. 'Arris (4 books)
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