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4.5 out of 5 stars
122
4.5 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 21 April 2001
This gorgeous fairytale is the perfect book to pick up when you've had a bad day at work, and you feel a cold coming on (as I did). Guinevere Pettigrew's adventures with Miss LaFosse make sparkling reading. Miss Pettigrew is sent to the wrong address by her employment agency (she works as a nanny). Instead of a household of fractious children, she finds a glamourous young woman of slightly dubious morals, with a number of pressing problems, from cocaine in the bathroom to a jealous lover. Miss Pettigrew solves everything, using nothing more forceful than common sense and an ability to distinguish between right and wrong. This beautifully produced edition of the novel (first published in 1938) is enhanced by Persephone's excellent choice of endpapers and the original line drawings throughout the text. You won't be disappointed by this magical story.
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VINE VOICEon 13 February 2004
If there is anyone who can put this book down once they have started reading it, I shall be surprised. It is a true Cinderella story of a down trodden spinster who is facing a frightening old age with no family and living by her own meagre earnings. Then one day a fairy godmother in the unlikely guise of Miss DeFoss, a nightclub singer, appears when Miss Pettigrew knocks on her door is mistaken for somebody else. The day transforms her life. This book is funny, witty, enchanting and totally captivating and illustrated by sharp black and white drawings. Persephone continues to surprise and delight with their continuing discovery of wondrous works like this. Read and enjoy!
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on 25 April 2001
What a wonderful book. Even from unwrapping it, the cover is absolutely right, it is a book I shall enjoy looking at! The actual text is fascinating, even down to the preface. I literally could not put it down as within the first chapter I became enthralled by the characters.
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on 14 May 2007
This book is a fairy tale story of a woman who by accident discovers that all the things she has been told in her life are good and proper are also the things that have stopped her from really living.

Miss Pettigrew arrives at Delysia La Fosse's flat a timid larvae and over the course of the day becomes a beautiful butterfly as the acceptance and trust placed in her by Miss La Fosse and her friends allows Miss Pettigrew to be herself for the first time in her life.

This book is a truely wonderful read, it is full of warmth and delight, I read it in one sitting and will return to it any time I feel the need for a little magic in my life.
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on 26 October 2005
What a fantastic, truly charming story. It is an excellent mood lifter and the sort of feel good book that makes you want to throw caution to the wind and have a wild night out on the town. Due to an error at her job agency, Miss Pettigrew, a middle-aged spinster looking for work as a governess finds herself early one morning at Miss LaFosse's house - a young, gorgeous socialite. Her life is changed irrevocably when Miss P steps across the threshold and becomes caught in the dramatic, eventful maelstrom that is Miss LaFosse's life. Amazingly relevant by 21st century standards (one of Miss LaFosse's many lovers uses that most notorious of class A drugs), Winifred Watson does not fail to surprise or delight.
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on 30 January 2014
People, this is the literary equivalent of Lucozade - invented around the same time, perfect for the same malaises, fizzing with energy and the sheer joy of living. Miss Pettigrew is delightfully funny, splendidly uplifting & slyly elliptical -
“How did you come to own a beauty parlour?” asked Miss Pettigrew...
“Oh, that,” said Miss Dubarry. “That was very simple. I vamped the boss.... I was eighteen…an apprentice. He was getting on. They always fall for the young ones... If you act ‘marriage or nothing’ they generally give you marriage. I was very lucky. I went to his head, but he couldn’t stand the pace. He got a nice tombstone and I got the parlour.”

From the idiosyncratic chapter headings to the perfect (just *perfect*) illustrations, this is a book like no other. It's for happy days (read about Miss Pettigrew and the cigar butts), for sad days (Joe in the taxi) and everything in between. Maiden aunts, lumberjacks, teenagers (and I write this having tried it out on all of them) - this is THE book to "aid recovery" AND "replace lost energy".
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on 18 June 2008
I thought this was a lovely novel. Miss Pettigrew's character and history is painted in a series of beautifully written vignettes over the course of one day. On the most superficial level it's a great fairytale, with delightful contemporary detail - the froth of the lace on the negligee, the sharpness of the finely crafted moustache. But under the surface there is great characterisation, a poignant reflection of the position of women in 30s society, and some lessons in a new morality which doesn't judge people for what they are (eg married or not married), but for their actions. Definitely on my read-again list.
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on 27 December 2014
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is warm-hearted and engaging, and much too good to be dismissed as mere romantic whimsy, although it is undeniably both romantic and whimsical. Miss Pettigrew, impoverished spinster, following a last desperate lead on a governess position, falls into the company of Deylisia LaFosse and is instantly embroiled in a hitherto unimagined world of indelicate entanglements. To her surprise she not only enjoys, but excels at, un-entwining Miss LaFosse from her complicated love-life.

Nice, frothy dialogue and delightful inner musings make this a joy to read. Its apparent surface shallowness (everyone is beautiful, or made so, and everything fun is idealised) does have some depth to it after all, but even if it did not the sheer magnificence of the character of Miss Pettigrew would save the day.
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on 7 December 2012
What a find!

This is such a lovely book. One of the reviews on the sleeve notes says it is like a Fred Astaire film and I agree. It is floaty and funny and glamorous, but you really care about the characters and very much want Miss Pettigrew to get her happy ending.

An incredibly easy and entertaining read, in the best way. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon when the weather is vile outside.

I'm just sad that the author finished her writer career so early. I could read an entire series of books about her characters.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 31 March 2015
What a delightful little book! I implore you, ladies, forget your daily chores and enjoy Miss Pettigrew’s adventures in London’s West End (cue night club singer, plastic surgery, unmarried ladies possibly having children, cocaine, fights, a lot of alcohol and a lot of fun – and love is lurking just around the corner!). And yet it’s such an innocent piece of escapism! "Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day" deserves five stars – it’s frivolous, it’s fun, it’s empowering (yes!), it’s good-hearted and never evil! The illustrations are a cherry on top of the cake.
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