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Publisher's Summary

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, as she becomes caught up in the life of Delysia LaFloss, her own life is changed - forever.

This charming, funny, light-hearted 1938 novel was a bestseller on its first appearance. Read by Academy Award winning actress Frances McDormand, who stars in the 2008 film as Miss Pettigrew.

Winifred Watson grew up in Newcastle and was a secretary until, in 1935, she married Leslie Pickering, the manager of a timber firm. She wrote six novels in all and died in 2002.

©2000 The Estate of Winifred Watson; (P)2008 Persephone Books

Critic Reviews

"Miss Pettigree is irresistible, a perfect mix of wistfulness and joy, substance and froth." (Tracy Chevalier)
"Pure Cinderella fantasy farce with beaus, bounders, negligees and nightclubs - Miss Pettigrew's blossoming is a delight to observe." (The Guardian)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall

Wonderful, funny and something of a lesson

A fantastic listen, a truly wonderful story of how to live another life and realize that what Mother or Father want out of life isn't what you may want.

The book also speaks to the acceptance of the character that she is 'not a good governess' and her realization that she might be good at other things instead comes with wonder. That through the life she has lived she accepts with regrets that she would never be kissed let alone have a home or a family of her own yet comes to see the possibilities available to her.

In just one day, with just a few daring decisions Miss Pettigrew lives.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Light Reading

This is a charming bit of escapism. It is an optimistic story and I enjoyed it a lot. A bit of fun.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Nicole
  • CHICAGO, IL, United States
  • 05-11-13

Dark Chocolate for the Soul...

I have a short list of books that simply feed my soul and this is one of them. I love Miss Pettigrew and her simple ways. I love how she affects others and doesn't know it. I love the way she stands up to horrid men and that she thinks ice cream is bad. The old fashioned-ness in a new era is brilliant and I only wonder why Winifred Watson isn't more famous all around.

Frances McDormand played Miss Pettigrew in the movie and did an all right job here. There were a few times when I furrowed my brow in confusion, but usually it wasn't anything essential to the plot.

This book is a happy tale that makes you think and transports you to a time and place that you'll want to return to over and over again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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What Fun

What made the experience of listening to Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day the most enjoyable?

The language is delightful. The characters are fun and you want so badly for things to work out for Miss Pettigrew

What about Frances McDormand’s performance did you like?

it flowed, it fit.

If you could rename Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, what would you call it?

Why would I change the author's title

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Light and Fun!

This was a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story was somewhat predictable but was still amusing and the narrator did a fine job. I thought it was well worth a credit!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fun story~

I loved this book, the narrator was fun to listen to; the characters were all very distinct! What a great Cinderella story!!!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful "Feel Good" Book

What made the experience of listening to Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day the most enjoyable?

The main characters embrace of what was happening and her determination to live out her day to the fullest. So often in life we shy away from a new experience instead of closing our eyes and jumping in with both feet. The automatic acceptance and kindness of Delicia and Miss Pettigrew drawing on her prior employers characters to help her deal with each challenge were both amusing and heartwarming. I laughed outloud in places and was moved to tears in others.

What other book might you compare Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day to and why?

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society because the main character in that story also follows her heart and overcomes obstacles to reach a happy ending.

Have you listened to any of Frances McDormand’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not but I will look for more from her. Her narration is wonderful and I am very particular about narrators.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Margaret
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 09-05-12

Love it, Love it, Love it!

Would you consider the audio edition of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day to be better than the print version?

I didn't read the book, but I can't imagine it would be this delightful. Frances McDormand acts the story as if it were the single task for which she was born.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day?

Every moment of the story is resonant with Miss Pettigrew's unfolding character: strong, innocent, practical, discreet and simply enraptured with the new life she has found.

Have you listened to any of Frances McDormand’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I will.

If you could take any character from Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Miss Pettigrew, of course. There could be no better best friend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Musa
  • mid-Missouri
  • 09-04-12

Irresistable vperformance by Frances McDormand

If you could sum up Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day in three words, what would they be?

Delightful, whimsical, engaging



What was one of the most memorable moments of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day?

Miss Pettrigrew's feisty esponse to that first fatal sip of whatever was in that glass that Tony handed her

Have you listened to any of Frances McDormand’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Sadly this is the only voice performance I can track down. She's won Oscars and Tonies for her acting but apparently this is the only substantial voice performance she has recorded. I wish she would do more. Her vocal agility and wit are so engaging and bring out all the the delight that Winifred Watson apparently poured into her little book. I think I will listen to it repeatedly just for the repeated pleasure of hearing McDormand do her thing..

Any additional comments?

It looks like all the other reviews are by women but I think the appeal is (or should be) universal. The book was written in the 30s and is in ways reminiscent of 30s screwball comedies. (Although it can draw you into Ms Pettrigrew's head to an extent that is ipossibl efor film) The 30s were a golden age for romantic comedies that simultaneously provided an escape from social/economic realities of the Great Depression but also reflected those realities. This book's touch is light but it does touch on some big topics (aging, class, nature of friendship) and in its own subtle way it touches the heart and invites the listener to be attentive to how hey are conducting their life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A few happy tears likely. Smiles guarantied.

Every once in a while I want a happy book. A book that makes me smile. I found a real winner in Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day. It was absolutely delightful! Perhaps a bit fluffy, but I wasn't expecting anything very deep after reading the summary.

I listened to this book and would recommend it as a great audiobook for a road trip or to listen to on a gloomy day.

A few happy tears are likely. Smiles guarantied.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful