Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day” as Want to Read:
Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  7,175 ratings  ·  1,118 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 234 pages
Published 2000 by Persephone Books (first published 1938)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
April
I bought this book after having seen the movie and, as is so often the case, the book is much, much better than the film. While I enjoyed the movie very much, I loved this book and flew through it.

Miss Pettigrew has been repressed and oppressed and one day, after meeting Delysia LaFosse, throws her convictions to the wind and decides to enjoy herself. She has the best time of her life, makes tons of new friends, becomes a sort of "fixer" for Delysia and her degenerate crowd, earns the admiratio
...more
Paul Bryant
This sweet little cute little naughty little novel from 1938, with its nudity, its cocaine and its multiple sexual partners (all before page 20) unfortunately throws me into the old quandary which goes – what if you're in the middle of a grand evening with some of your best pals and you're as happy as Larry, whoever he was, having a great time, and then one of them out of the blue makes a racist remark?
What do you do? Stop the party? Denounce your friend? Turn a lovely evening into a memorable h
...more
·Karen·
A fairy tale for the faint-hearted.

The charming story of how young Winnie came to write a book claims that her first job didn't exactly tax her time, so she filled her empty work hours with novels. One of her sisters asked what she was reading, to which she replied that it was awful nonsense and she could do better herself; her brother-in-law told her to get on with it, then. Apparently she wrote the whole of her first novel in the mornings at work. (Where do such jobs still exist? I'll put in m
...more
Hannah
Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars

This is a seriously old fashioned and charming adult fairy tale, and I mean that in the best way. Reading it is much like being transported into one of those classic black and white comedies starring Myrna Loy or Cary Grant; very stylish, slapdash and engaging, but with little substance. I feel that the recent movie adaptation added that much needed substance perfectly, which is why I'll classify the book version of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day much like I do for
...more
Mo
Jan 03, 2015 Mo rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Highly Recommended
description

My Favorite Book read in 2014

Did you ever get 15 – 20 pages into a book, and your whole body starts to quiver slightly, because it starts to dawn on you that you MAY just be reading a 5 star book? And you glance at the clock, and do the math (it will take you x number of hours to read this book) and decide you’d better clear your calendar for the next day. And then a truly horrible thought leaps into your mind - that if you were a widow you would not have to stop reading this book in order to ma
...more
Madeline
I was supposed to be doing homework, but I chose to spend an hour finishing Miss Pettigrew instead. I regret nothing.
The book is charming, and so is the movie. See and read both versions for full appreciation - read the book because it's fun, silly, and just a nice read overall. This was chick lit before chick lit was even a real genre. If that makes sense at all. See the movie because Frances McDormand is Miss Pettigrew, and it is perfect. The film also features Lee Pace, aka Clive Owen's Hott
...more
Rachel
I hesitated over giving this book five stars. "It's fluff," I told myself. "This is not a Literary Masterpiece. It's a fun novel. It's frivolous. How can I give something so frivolous five stars?" I summed up the plot in my head to see if some Serious, Important aspect of the novel had slipped past my notice. It hadn't. The book was exactly as promised (in some review, somewhere, I'll find it later): a champagne comedy. Sweet, bubbly, light.

It was then that I recalled a similar description had b
...more
Kienie
I feel elated! All I wanted from life was a book about people whom I liked, people with whom I could possibly identify with. I wanted to look at a character and see their admirable qualities reflected in me. This is that book.
The movie is beautiful, sweet and romantic, ao I doubted the source material, especially given my recent experences. But oh, I was wrong! I should have trusted this author and this book.
This story is by a woman, about women and for women. It's empowering, and it lifted the
...more
Elli (The Bibliophile)
This was such a cute, charming read! I really enjoyed reading this novel. I found it clever and funny and just very pleasant! I especially enjoyed the illustrations peppered throughout the story, I found they really added to the charm of the novel.

Laura
Written in 1935 and originally published in 1937, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is set in a between-the-wars London that is a mixture of 1930's unemployment and a 1920's glamorous and free-wheeling lifestyle. Poor Miss Pettigrew, a "very bad" governess who is getting on in years, has one last chance to secure employment for herself before she loses her home and must rely on the workhouse to keep her alive. Chance brings her to the door of Miss Delysia LaFoss, a nightclub singer and 1920's style ...more
Book Concierge
Miss Pettigrew is a down-on-her luck, middle-aged governess – and not a very good one at that. Her last position has ended and she cannot make her rent. Her agency sends her on one last appointment, but when she arrives at the apartment she finds a nightclub singer rather than a family with children. The lovely Miss LaFosse, however, needs help – not with children but with the three (3!) men in her life; and Miss Pettigrew is just the sort of woman to take charge of the situation. What happens o ...more
GraceAnne
A charming bit of fluff, a period piece with the class blinders might one expect, utterly, utterly beguiling.
Glimmerfee
Arme Miss Pettigrew, als Gouvernante im London der 30er Jahre ist sie nicht wirklich zu gebrauchen und wenn sie bis zum nächsten Tag keine feste Anstellung hat, setzt ihre Vermieterin sie vor die Tür. Da führt sie das Schicksal, zu der lebensfrohen und verruchten Delysia LaFlosse und wie durch Zauberei wächst Miss Pettigrew über sich selbst hinaus und startet in den aufregendsten Tag ihres Lebens.
Wer sich nicht in Miss Pettigrew und ihre neue Freundin Miss LaFlosse verliebt hat das Träumen verle
...more
Serena!
L'ho comprato per il titolo.. e perché la Beat aveva il 25% di sconto.
Mai mai mai mi sarei aspettata di trovarmi di fronte ad un romanzo del 1937 e di amarlo così profondamente, tanto da sentirne la mancanza appena finito.. E' per questo che il libro gravita sulla scrivania da qualche giorno e non è tornato al suo posto.. Mi piace che mentre sto facendo altro lo vedo, mi scappa un sorriso e mi rileggo alcune parti :))
Già a metà lettura ho cominciato a consigliarlo a destra e a manca e sono anche
...more
Maya Siu
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, written in the 1930's, has the feeling of a great old movie: nostalgic, retro, and classic. The book follows Miss Pettigrew, a middle-aged London governess, as she is send by her governess agency to the wrong address to the home of night club singer/actress Delysia LaFosse, who is having some troubles keeping her head on straight and managing her three relationships. As the story unfolds, Miss Pettigrew fends off Delysia's many boyfriends, smokes cigars, gets a ma ...more
Miriam
This is another rare book where I prefer the movie. The prose is fun and easy to read, but I am glad that in the movie we don't get to hear Miss Pettigrew's thoughts, because I didn't like her character as much in the book. I do feel sorry for her because of her downtrodden existence, but she comes across as a sort of Forrest Gump character who manages to solve all sorts of problems by sheer accident, or by simply saying something when she isn't really sure what is going on. Also, the book is ti ...more
Lydia Presley
My first thought when I finished this novel was: I'm going to buy this book.

My second thought was: I want to live in this book.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is a very simple, very neat, very dialog-heavy book spanning a little over 200 pages. There are several characters you get to know throughout the book, but the most prominent are Miss LaFosse and Miss Guinevere Pettigrew.

There are no two characters more different. Miss LaFosse is everything you picture a young, careful actress living in 193
...more
Lizzie
A charming novel written in 1938 about a frumpy, down on her luck governess who’s sent by mistake to apply for a job as a lady's maid for a singer. The singer immediately takes her into her confidence and Miss Pettigrew spends the next 24 hours helping the lovely artiste and her friends with their love lives, being made over and being surprised at her own attractiveness, going to a party and night club, and emerging with a new life. The original pen and ink drawings add to the appeal.
There's a p
...more
Christy
Any review I write will inevitably spoil the freshness of this book. "Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day" is the Cinderella story of a dowdy British governess who, by a chance appointment, discovers the glamorous dazzling nightlife of London in the 1930s, and in the process, herself. I wish I could hug Guinevere Pettigrew, and doubt that the 2008 movie will stand up to the endearing characterizations Watson sketches.
Mary
Bingo - six words or more in the title. What a delight! (and a lovely palette cleanser after Go Set a Watchman - yikes!!) The introduction calls it a Cinderalla story, and it is...but it's really so much more. The cast of characters are drawn so vividly and even the unsavory ones aren't too scary. The dialog and settings are definitely of their time (1938), but they've aged well; I didn't at all ge tthe sense that this was an 80-year old story. And of course...a happy ending.

I saw the movie and
...more
Linda C
Governess Guinevere Pettigrew is about out of luck, steps from going to the workhouse, when the employment agency gives her the address for a possible position. When she arrives she finds an elegant apartment, no sign of a child, and a lady just arisen and frantic to get her lover out the door. Miss Pettigrew gets him to leave by some tricky verbal maneuvering and so begins a day that changes her life. Before Miss Pettigrew can explain why she is there, Miss Delysia LaFosse, nightclub singer, ex ...more
Paula
A recent Reading Group pick, I read this book expecting to thoroughly enjoy it as a light, humorous read. Unfortunately, there were elements so disturbing to me that I couldn't enjoy it at all. I am rather sensitive to books that portray "virtue" as meaning narrow-minded, judgmental and bitter. This is how it was portrayed in this book. There is a scene near the beginning when Miss Pettigrew remembers her father's words. He is presented as a Vicar, which makes the stab even more lethal. He is pr ...more
Rachel Crooks
"'Such a day!'" said Miss LaFosse. 'Everything went wrong and everything went right. But I daren't think what would have happened if you hadn't come.'"

Three stars because this book is like treating yourself with a cappucino. It is all froth and adventure...

...but there is a part of me that is wondering whether to agree with all of it. Miss Pettigrew has spent her life as a nursery governess, shut in, supposedly by the principles of virtue. Then one day, as she ventures out to seek a new post wit
...more
Sarah
Miss Pettigrew has spent her life serving other people’s children. She has been starved of both nourishment and love, and now has lost another position. She’s down to her last hope when divine intervention sends her to Miss LaFosse. Miss Delysia LaFosse is a singer with the unfortunate problem of having too many suitors and not enough willpower. From the moment of Miss Pettigrew’s arrival, she begins to aid Miss LaFosse in getting her life straightened out. In return, Miss LaFosse introduces her ...more
Ali
Miss Pettigrew approaches middle age as a failed governess, position after position has ended in failure and she goes to the employment agency in fear and trembling of being turned away. She is desperate for a new position; a new position is, she fears, the one thing which stands between her and the workhouse. When the lady at the agency mixes up two possible positions, and sends nursery governess Miss Pettigrew after a position as a ladies maid to a glamorous nightclub singer, she inadvertently ...more
Caroline
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth
This charmingly written story follows the life of a down-and-out governess over the course of a single 24-hour period as she learns about kindness and friendship.

The book opens with the lovable but dowdy Miss Pettigrew at the unemployment office, looking for work. It follows her as her life collides with that of Miss LaFosse, a kind but childish nightclub singer. Miss LaFosse’s life is a tangle of love knots and a source of constant drama. Over the course of the day, Miss Pettigrew and Miss LaF
...more
Sarah
Naughty but sweet as pie, this book was an incredibly pleasant surprise. This wasn't on my radar at all; I've never seen the movie, and didn't even know it was based on a book at all. I picked it up completely at random, because I thought the cover was cute. But I ended up being totally captivated, to the extent where I'm considering putting this in my favorites list now. The (unbelievably implausible) plot involves a virginal, drab and ultra-proper middle aged British governess, circa the 30s, ...more
Chelsea
(I'll admit it: I saw the movie first. Sometimes these things can't be helped.)

Everything about this book was delightful and frothy. My copy has a lovely painting on the cover, a brief history of the novel and its reprinting on the back, the original illustrations throughout, a glowing introduction from a long time-fan... and the novel itself.

Miss Pettigrew is described as living a Cinderella story, and that's pretty much dead on. She's a dowdy, cowed governess who isn't good with children who f
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2015 Reading Chal...: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson 2 10 Feb 26, 2015 05:40AM  
Vintage Book Group: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day 7 17 Jul 16, 2013 03:14AM  
  • Mariana
  • Someone at a Distance
  • Good Evening, Mrs Craven: The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes
  • Miss Ranskill Comes Home
  • Little Boy Lost
  • Greenery Street
  • Lady Rose and Mrs. Memmary
  • The Home-Maker
  • The Fortnight in September
  • Few Eggs and No Oranges: The Diaries of Vere Hodgson 1940-45
  • Saplings
  • The Shuttle
  • Tea with Mr. Rochester
  • William - An Englishman
  • Cheerful Weather for the Wedding
  • The Blank Wall
  • Miss Buncle Married
  • Family Roundabout
468569
Winifred Eileen Watson (20 October 1906 - 5 August 2002) was an English writer. She is best known for her novel, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, which was adapted into a major motion picture of the same name (released in 2008).

Bibliography:

Fell Top (1935)
Odd Shoes (1936)
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (1938)
Upyonder (1938)
Hop, Step, Jump (1939)
Leave and Bequeath (1943)

More about Winifred Watson...
A Living Grammar Fell Top Odd Shoes Hop,Step, Jump Jane Austen in London

Share This Book

“Odd, said Miss Pettigrew conversationally, 'the undermining effect of flowers on a woman's common sense.” 18 likes
“All the men send you orchids because they're expensive and they know that you know they are. But I always kind of think they're cheap, don't you, just because they're expensive. Like telling someone how much you paid for something to show off.” 5 likes
More quotes…