Monday, 30 July 2007

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

I'm quite new to the joy that is Persephone books, although I've known of them for quite a while now. I became a convert when I picked up Saplings by Noel Streatfeild in the library. I loved it so much that ordered several more from their website - I now own a grand total of five. From little acorns etc... Anyway, one of the ones I bought myself was Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson.

The story is set in the 1930s and concerns a certain Miss Guinevere Pettigrew who is a governess desperate for a position. She is sent along to a Miss LaFosse but quickly realises there has been a mistake. She tries to explain but Miss LaFosse - an actress - embroils her in the complications of her love life and she is able to help solve a sticky situation. Miss Pettigrew thus feels useful for the first time in her rather sad life. Miss LaFosse's friends accept her into their circle and thus begins the best day of Miss Pettigrew's entire life.

I gather this is one of Persephone's most popular books and it's hardly surprising. It's utterly charming and heartwarming in that old fashioned English sort of way. I devoured it in a couple of days and adored the illustrations that pepper the text. Delightful.


Tara said...

This is one I do not have yet, but is definitely on my list. Sometimes I tend to avoid the 'most popular' book as this one seems to be on the Persephone list. Glad you enjoyed it.

Cath said...

Hi Tara. Yes, I understand completely why you tend to avoid the popular books - I do too a lot of the time. And I would have to say that out of the three Persephones I've read, Miss Pettigrew is not my favourite. I think Family Roundabout by Richmal Crompton would be. But I also loved Saplings by Noel Streatfeild. Miss Pettigrew would come third even though I enjoyed it very much.

StuckInABook said...

Hi Cath - just found this blogspot blog, and so glad Family Roundabout is your favourite Persephone - have you read any other Richmal Crompton novels? She wrote about 35, and I love all of the ones I've read. Try and track down Frost at Morning, or Matty and the Dearingroydes. I'd be happy to lend one to you, if you like, seeing as your a fellow West Country-person! Just email if you're interested.... otherwise, Frost at Morning is nice and cheap to track down, try

Bookfool said...

I'm so envious of people who get to read Persephone books! So far, I've failed to get a catalog (I requested one and received and enthusiastic reply, but the catalog never arrived; a second request garnered no reply at all). Darn! Methinks I need a trip across the pond. :)

Cath said...

Stuck in a book: apologies once again that I didn't spot this months ago!

Bookfool: Have you tried ordering from their website? I'm using my husband's pc so don't have access to my bookmarks but if you Google Persephone I'm sure you'll find their site easily. I've ordered that way and had no trouble.