Sunday, 13 March 2011
Bex's Bookshelves: Miss Pettigrew lives for a day, by Winifred Watson
This is one of the most charming books I have ever read. It's a fairy tale, a version of Cinderella, but the characters are enjoyably flawed and believable. It was, I imagine, quite daring in its day. Thank you to Ju again for the recommendation. Choosing quotes was tricky as the writing is sparkling but here are a few of my favourites.
'The other drinks were very nice for a change,' said Miss Pettigrew earnestly, 'and certainly give one delightfully odd feelings, but I always say you can't beat a really nice...cup...of...tea'.
'I always wanted to taste whiskey,' said Miss Pettigrew happily. 'I've never had it, ever, even when I've had a cold, as medicine.'
'Where were you brought up?' commiserated Michael.
Angela said nothing. She had once heard that too much talking, too much laughing, too much animation, aged one. Apart from the primary consideration that she never had anything to say, she meant to keep her looks.
'I have never had any fun or amusement. To-day has taught me a lesson. I have discovered a lot of frivolous tendencies in myself hitherto unexpected.'
A common belief in woollen underwear was a bond to shatter the last barrier of constraint. They obviously had important tastes in common.
'Do let's sit and have a little chat. Men are all right in their place, but I do like a nice feminine gossip.'