Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Title: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Author: Winifred Watson

Number of pages: 256

Started: 28 February 2009

Finished: 3 March 2009

Opening words:

9.15 a.m. - 11.11 a.m.
MISS PETTIGREW pushed open the door of the employment agency and went in as the clock struck a quarter past nine. She had, as usual, very little hope, but to-day the Principal greeted her with a more cheerful smile.
'Ah! Miss Pettigrew. I think we have something for you to-day. Two came in when I had left last night. Now let me see. Ah yes! Mrs. Hilary, maid. Miss LaFosse, nursery governess. Hmn! You'd have thought it was the other way round. But there! I expect she's an aunt with an adopted orphan niece, or something.'
She gave Miss Pettigrew particulars.
'There you are then. Miss LaFosse, 5, Onslow Mansions. The appointment is for ten sharp this morning. You'll make it nicely.'
'Oh thank you,' Miss Pettigrew said weakly, nearly fainting with relief. She clutched the card of particulars firmly in her hand. 'I'd nearly given up hope. Not many of my kind of post these days.'
'Not many,' agreed Miss Holt, and, as the door closed behind Miss Pettigrew, 'I hope that's the last I see of her,' thought Miss Holt.
Outside on the pavement Miss Pettigrew shivered slightly. It was a cold, grey, foggy November day with a drizzle of rain in the air. Her coat, of a nondescript, ugly brown, was not very thick It was five years old London traffic roared about her. Pedestrians hastened to reach their destinations and get out of the depressing atmosphere as quickly as possible. Miss Pettigrew joined the throng, a middle-aged, rather angular lady, of medium height, thin through lack of good food, with a timid, defeated expression and terror quite discernible in her eyes, if any one cared to look. But there was no personal friend or relation in the whole world who knew or cared whether Miss Pettigrew was alive or dead.

Plot summary:

Miss Guinevere Pettigrew, a gentlewoman spinster approaching middle-age has been working as a governess to make ends meet, but a succession of appalling employers has left her down-trodden. Then one morning, owing to a mix-up at her employment agency, she is sent for an interview with a Miss LaFosse, a glamorous but dissolute cabaret artiste, who is seeking a new maid. Despite the moral and social gulfs between them, a surprising bond is formed, and by the end of the day, both their lives have been entirely transformed.

Synopsis taken from Amazon

What I thought:

This is a light-hearted and readable book. It did take me a bit of time to get into it but by the end I was smiling at the outcome. A pleasant read.

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