Good with words

Fear... distractions.... the efforts of a self-employed writer to pay the mortgage.... all that jazz.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Cocktail, anyone?

Liz and Harvey's post on Persephone has reminded me of one of my favourite books. Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day is a gorgeous, frilly, martini-filled romp through 1920s high society, featuring a glamorous Hollywood-actress-wannabe and her put-upon accidental maid, Miss Pettigrew, who thinks she must have knocked on the wrong door for her job interview, but is too intrigued to say so.

The mismatched pair spend a day together dealing with the starlet's various man-friends and attending cocktail parties, each learning something from the other. Reading it, you're not so much concerned with the ending - will Miss Pettigrew head back for her grey, unemployed existence as a past-it nanny with poor employment prospects? - as with the intimate detail of the jaw-dropping dresses, the charming cads, and the social satire surrounding the pair. It's just an absolute delight, full of colourful situations, pretty illustrations, and perfect characterisation. So if you have any girls on your Christmas list but no idea what to buy them, try this. Open the grey cover, and discover the suddenly diamond-strung world of Miss Pettigrew!


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