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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day  By  cover art

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

By: Winifred Watson
Narrated by: Frances McDormand
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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 listeners say about Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

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Adorable

This book was a delight. I enjoyed every moment of it. It is a great spring read. I saw the movie and loved it so I figured this would be an enjoyable listen. I am happy to report that this book is indeed better than the film. BUY THIS BOOK! :)

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27 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

such a cute story

This is a well done production of a really cute story. I love all the characters and the reader brings them to life. Just as Miss Pettigrew did, you will get swept up into a mad and hectic day full of surprise, laughter and fun. I did not want it to end. I enjoyed the story and this audible version so much that I got the latest movie version of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day; however, I was was very very disappointed in that movie because it failed to stick with the story line in the book - that was a big mistake. The audible book was much superior to the movie. The reader is talented and has great accents - it is well worth the purchase.

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26 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A sweet confection

This is a story I find myself returning to again and again. Brilliantly read by the incredibly talented Frances McDormand, who also played the title character in the film. An excellent case of a really good read taken to the the next level by a really good reader. This is why I love audiobooks!

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20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderfully fun read!!

I loved this book!! I will listen to it again, I know it. The characters are fun, the story line is engaging and funny. The narrator is fabulous. Nothing really "deep" in meaning here, but just a really fun story. Will make you smile and laugh. I never saw the movie, but since a lot of this story is the description of what goes on inside Miss Pettigrew's head, I can't imagine that the movie would hold a candle to this book.

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18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Better than the movie

Not to knock the movie but the book shines with the character development that seems lacking in the movie. Frances McDormand who plays Pettigrew in the movie does an excellent job in narration. I enjoyed seeing Miss Pettigrew deal with the religious confines of her parental training as she tastes the freedom of spirit that Delyssia LaFoss seems to enjoy. The story shows how love can bring healing to a multitude of brokenness.

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16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A delightful listen!

I was looking for something fun to listen to during a stressful period and this book hit the spot. I've seen the movie and enjoyed it and loved the book. The plot is similar, but not identical. Frances McDormand is a terrific actress and does an excellent job with each character. (I'd listen to her read the TV guide - she's great!) I highly recommend this recording.

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16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Life is Full of Surprises

This 1938 novel, here narrated by the excellent Frances McDormand, tells a charming little story about a hard on her luck spinster who discovers life can be full of surprise when, applying for a job as a governess, she knocks at the wrong door. Instead of the disagreeable housewife she usually must contend with in her line of work, at which she isn't exactly competent, she meets with a beautiful vision of a girl, just as glamorous and delightful as the ones Guinevere Pettigrew has only seen at the movies, her one greatest guilty pleasure until then. In less than twenty-four hours filled with thrilling events the likes of which Guinevere has never experienced firsthand before, this straight-laced vicar’s daughter discovers things about herself she never knew she had in her.

In the wrong hands, this quaint little story might have been a sickeningly-sweet kind of affair, which is absolutely not the case here. I had stumbled on the movie adaptation on television one day, which is when I experienced my first brief love affair with Miss Pettigrew, again portrayed by the remarkably talented Frances McDormand. The novel has even greater delights to offer, if only because one gets to spend more time with this unlikely heroine, who serendipitously sees her life transformed like a 1930s middle-aged Cinderella.

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13 people found this helpful

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So Much Fun

This has got to be one of the sweetest stories I have ever read. I loved every minute of it. I think I sort of fell in love with Miss Pettigrew myself. I wish I could know her in real life. She never knew how strong she was until given the chance to prove herself. I loved the characters, and although the plot was a bit predictable, I found myself rooting for Miss Pettigrew and hoping that this day would turn out to be as wonderful as it had started. I had a smile on my face the whole time.

Take a break from War and Peace or Ulysses, give your brain a rest and read this story. Although it will not tax your intellect, there are a lot of things to think about. AND you will have fun.

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Refreshingly Fun

This book was a hit when it came out and it should still be a hit. Way too much fun to simply listen to only once, Frances McDormand does it justice.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Guinevere's Excellent Job Interview

This book burns along at warp speed. There is absolutely not a moment for a body to catch a breath. Frances McDormand's performance is brilliant. She catches every nuance. She made the story her own. As I am sure you recall, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" is story of one glorious perfect day in the life of the Soviet prisoner Ivan Denisovich. For this one day in a life of total misery and Spartan existence, Fate and Fortune smile on the wretched man and he lives for a few fleeting and splendid hours. Like Ivan, Miss Pettigrew escapes if only for a few hours from the oppressive non-existence of the governess Gulag Archipelago; one envisions Agnes Grey. One day, Miss Pettigrew strayed through the looking glass into the ditzy world of the singer-actress Delysia LaFloss where she is valued for herself, her opinions are sought and considered, a world of light and happiness, drama and intrigue, life and possibilities, kisses, hugs and naughtiness. This is a great book; a fun book; a satisfying book.

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11 people found this helpful