Friday, 20 February 2009
Miss Pettigrew Lives On
I was completely charmed by Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. It has no substance but it's not supposed to; it's an enchanting 1930s grown-woman's fairy tale (a Cinderella/rag-to-riches story), which cheers one up immensely. I read the book a year ago and it was a (mostly) faithful adaptation. I thought it was well-cast, well-acted and loyal to the period setting (1930s). I loved how Miss Pettigrew's hunger throughout the day (she has eaten nothing -as she has no money- and drank a lot with no prior experience of having done so) is brought to the screen; the continual accidents where she almost has food but not quite manages to consume it (excluding the cucumbers on her eyes during her make-over) are comic but stress her gnawing hunger for sustenance, of the edible kind and in life. This film (and definitely the book, for that matter) is one to curl up with one afternoon.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day was the first of many Persephone Books I purchased, although I did buy it in the classic edition rather than the ubiquitous and lovely dove-grey covers (a few of which now grace my bookshelves and will feature here, at some point, if I can discipline myself to maintain the blog) for which Persephone is renowned. A love-affair with a wonderful collection of forgotten and neglected texts ensued after reading the romantic and humorous Miss Pettigrew. Persephones are light, absorbing and beautiful reads and I highly recommend them as many a day can be whiled away reading them.