Sunday, 24 July 2011
Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day by Winifred Watson
This was a cosy, charming read. It's my first experience of a Persephone book and I was very impressed with the publishing quality - smooth paper, gorgeous cover and delightful little illustrations set throughout. It was also the perfect size and weight for comfortable reading. I can see why people collect Persephone editions!
The two female leads were fully formed characters that jumped off the page, and I liked that their friendship was the main focus of the book, rather than their romantic entanglements. However, the secondary characters (especially Miss LaFosse's lovers) seemed to blur into one for me, and I found it hard to keep track of them as there was not much interesting or distinct about them. I was more attached to the way Watson wrote 1930s London than the way she wrote some of her characters.
I did enjoy the format of the book - each chapter was another chunk of time from the day and I liked that the whole book was only one day. I know a film has been made of this book (although I've not seen it), and I can see why as the structure of it does lend itself easily to film.
But unfortunately I didn't love this book as I had hoped to. Maybe it's because I've heard a lot of hype about it and my expectations were too high, but it was easy for me to put this book down and I didn't always want to return to it. I can't quite put my finger on why.
Verdict: A charming, cosy, Sunday afternoon read.
Score: 3.5 out of 5