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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
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1001 book reviews > Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson

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Diane  | 2051 comments Rating: 3.75 Stars


A middle-aged spinster gets sent to the wrong address to apply as a governess and begins to finally experience life. Kind of a twist on the Cinderella story. Completely implausible, but fun nonetheless. Overall, a nice light read with a happy ending, which is a big departure from most of the 1001 books.


Dree | 243 comments Finished 28 June 19; 4 stars

London. Miss Pettigrew describes herself as a dowdy spinster and bad governess (she's 40). She is also between jobs, hungry, and worrying about her future. Her agency sends her to apply for a governess job. She arrives and meets Delysia La Fosse--beautiful young nightclub singer, with 3 men at her fingertips, living life. In her day with Ms La Fosse, Miss Metigrew learns that she herself is bright, witty, clever, strong, beautiful, smart, and desirable. She experiences a nightclub, amazing food, alcohol, makeup, nice clothes, a fur, and modern life. The life she was raised to think of as bad. She learns it is fun and the people are a mix--nice, generous, rude, etc. Just like anywhere.

This novel is a fun romp with a satisfying ending. It would be excellent without a Italian slurs, which are totally unnecessary. I need to see the movie, I'm hoping they were left out.


Kristel (kristelh) | 4259 comments Mod
Read 2014
REVIEW: This an enchanting tale that takes place over 24 hours. Miss Pettigrew is a middle aged (40) spinster who has been working as a governess and a pretty poor one. She doesn’t like the work. Sent to the wrong address, Pettigrew finds herself on an adventure with a rather amoral nightclub singer. Miss Pettigrew experiences a side of life she would have never imagined herself experiencing including drinking, make-up, dressing up in silk underwear and evening clothes and a taxi ride. This is a fairy tale with all the makings including the “they lived happily ever after”.


Valerie Brown | 643 comments Read Jan 2020

Goodness, what a charming novel. It is a light and frothy farce with heart. Watson keeps the story fun and moving along without ever resorting to any mean spiritedness. I think it would have been easy (in other writer’s hands) to having characters be condescending to Miss Pettigrew, and the story wouldn’t have been half as interesting. Instead we get to root for a naïve and charming protagonist who is getting a second chance at life. 5*


Diane Zwang | 1309 comments Mod
Read in 2014.
4 stars

"Miss Pettigrew is a down-on-her-luck, middle-aged governess sent by her employment agency to work for a nightclub singer rather than a household of unruly children. Over a period of 24 hours her life is changed - forever".


message 6: by Zeejane (last edited Jun 24, 2021 07:09AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Zeejane I listened to the audio book version, narrated by Frances McDormand. She's one of my favorite actors so I was excited to listen to her narrate, but was disappointed by her lack of character development. I struggled to tell the difference between the characters, due to them all sounding the same.

As for the story itself-a delightful, light hearted romp that was laugh out loud funny in several spots. Loved the different characters and the over-the-top antics of what happens in the span of one day. My only complaint is that Miss Pettigrew changes very quickly, which was really unbelievable/unrealistic. Years and years of being beaten down and timid, but a couple shots of alcohol and she's a completely different person. A bit too absurd for my liking.

Overall though I enjoyed this book and gave it a 4 star rating.


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