Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Mrs Pettigrew Lives For A Day by Winifred Watson - 1938

Mrs Pettigrew Lives For A Day by Winifred Watson - 1938

Persephone Books Edition  - 2000

With a Preface by Henrietta Twycross

Illustrations by Mary Thomson 

Born October 20, 1906 - Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Died August 5, 2002 - Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

 This a wonderful book if you feel your spirits diminished by The Pandemic Blues.

Mrs Pettigrew Lives for a Day is a delightful story of an amazing day in the Life of a quite ordinary seeming woman that ends   in a that manner you cannot help but love.   Guinevere Pettigrew, 40, childless, never married or been even kissed has just lost her job as a governess.  Behind in her rent, her landlord tells her to find a job today or move out. She knows she is not really a decent governess, being not overly fond of children but it is all she knows. She finds an opening at an agency by accident and goes to apply.  This leads to the most exciting day of her life.  The story is set over one day in 1938.

Upon arrival at the address for her interview, Mrs Pettigrew meets Delysia Lafosse,  a singer in a nightclub and a stage actress..  Mrs Pettigrew’s well timed entrance helps cause The exit of a boyfriend, one of three we Will encounter. She covers up for Delysia. Mrs Pettigrew tries to ask about The job but Delysia draws her into other topics.  We learn the woman is part of the theatrical demimonde set in London, with her work arranged by men who she has some sort of relationship with.

In one quite shocking scene, Mrs Pettigrew sees  Delysia naked as she is getting dressed to Go out.  For England in 1938 it was a surprising scene and I did enjoy visualizing it.

Mrs Pettigrew has several new to her expereiences.  I liked Delsia’s friend who owns London’s best, she says, fashion and Beauty salon.  It was so open to hear her account of how she got a rich old man to marry her and then get the business when he died.

I liked this book so much, all the characters are well done, especially the women.

The movie version, 2008, looks interesting.  It is rentable on Amazon Prime for $3.95



Suko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suko said...

Mel, I've ordered a copy of this book, even though my TBR book stacks resemble skyscrapers.

Mystica said...

Sounds extremely interesting and not at all vintage! I'd love to get my hands on this one.

Carole said...

Lots of fun. Cheers

Buried In Print said...

Yes, indeed, a great pandemic read! The movie is a lot of fun too.
And interesting to see Frances McDormand in a different (lighter) kind of role.