Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Abducted by Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day

I saw the movie that was based on the book Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day by Winifred Watson about a year ago. I remember that the movie was pretty good. I didn't love it, but I was entertained by it and liked it just fine. So when the audio version of the book was put on sale over at, I figured "hey, why not?"

In the movie version Miss Pettigrew is played by Frances McDormand, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that McDormand was also the one who read the audio version. Personally, I love Frances McDormand! She is so cool! I mean I would give anything to just meet her, but I'm convinced that I am so not cool enough to ever hangout with her! She is like a rockstar isn't she? She is talented and charming, but she has this edge about her that makes her funny and wickedly clever. Anyway, it was awesome to have her as the one to narrate Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day.

The story of Miss Pettigrew is that she is an out of work governess that is trying to get work through an employment agency. One day she comes to the agency and they give her a posting offered by a Miss LaFloss. This is Miss Pettigrew's last chance. She has no place to stay and hasn't eaten a decent meal in forever, she needs this posting to work out. But when she arrives at the home of Miss LaFloss, the posting isn't quite what she thought it was. Before she knows it she is basically acting as Miss LaFloss's assistant for the day, and she is getting the chance to be completely made over and done up and the chance to meet some incredible people!

The movie version of Miss Pettigrew has the air of her being swept up and away by Miss LaFloss's glamorous living, however I felt like the book tried to portray that attitude but didn't quite accomplish it. She had plenty of opportunities to stop and communicate to Miss LaFloss her reasons for being there, but she chose to stay. And I definitely can't fault her for that! I will say that the tone of the book contains all of the humor that you may have noticed in the film version.

One thing I noticed was that the book reads like a play. When you see a basic production of a play it is usually minimal sets and lots of long conversations, and that is pretty much what was in the book. In the first three hours of the audio version was made up of Miss Pettigrew having four very long conversations. I still enjoyed it, mind you. But that was just an aspect of the book that I noticed.

My favorite part was the banter that came with the character of Michael. Miss LaFloss has multiple lover interests that Miss Pettigrew comes into contact with, but none as charming and funny as Michael! He was hysterical, I couldn't help but smile every time he came around. Even with his mischievous sarcasm he was still a true gentlemen. He was kind to Miss Pettigrew and helped make her feel comfortable and like she belonged. He was fun and colorful, and really made you root for him to be the love interest that would steal Miss LaFloss's heart in the end.

The movie is slightly different from the book, which  is always to be expected. It felt to me that the movie and the book both started in the same place and ends in the same place, but the reasons and the meaning and the how that got them from point A to point B were different. In the end, I definitely preferred the book. It was funny and lively and would make for a great quick read.

I'll give it an abduction rating of...


fakesteph said...

I think the reasons, and the meaning, and the how are the most important part! Not sure this is my cup of tea, but I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

I could definitely see myself listening to this book, even though I haven't seen the movie, mostly because I agree that Frances McDormand is a rock star. Not sure when or if I'll get to it, but I'm interested! Great review, Court! ;)

Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase said...

I'd heard of this movie before but didn't realize it was a book until you said you were reading it. It sounds interesting, but it's hard for me to read plays, so I don't know that I'd enjoy reading the actual book. But I might try it out someday... Great review!

Anonymous said...

hi there - re your " arco post" on saturday send me an email and i will definatley sort you out im sure these do simmilar ones

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