August 04, 2010

Mrs Harris Goes To Paris - Paul Gallico

I did actually complete this book last week in time for our Paris In July experience but I am a little late in my posting...

Mrs Harris Goes To Paris would have to be described as a "delightful little book" - and I don't mean that to sound patronising - it's just the term that I feel best encapsulates this book for me.

Mrs Harris is a widowed woman living in London and working as a cleaning woman for wealthy families in the 1950's. One day while cleaning the bedroom of one of her client's she discovers in her wardrobe a piece of heaven - a Dior dress - and she falls in love;

There was no rhyme or reason for it, she would never wear such a creation, there was no place in her life for one. Her reaction was purely feminine. She saw it and she wanted it dreadfully. Something inside her yearned and reached for it as instinctively as an infant in the crib reaches at a bright object.

I've been there!! The pure materialistic joy of seeing and falling in love with a gorgeous item of clothing (or, as is often the case for me, a pair of shoes). I can't say that I have the means to purchase designer clothing but I do know the happy feeling I get from wearing my favourite pieces of clothing - they do bring me joy no matter how shallow and silly that might seem.

Mrs Harris is determined to have her own piece of Dior so she saves and saves and saves and sacrifices in order to be able to afford the dress that she dreams of and then jumps on a plane to Paris to find and buy her dress at the house of Dior.

It is wonderful to read about Mrs Harris' experiences in Paris, of course everything does not go smoothly - even when the dress is finally purchased - so the book is as much fun and adventure as it is a story about a woman buying a dress. As I was reading it I found it held a lot of similarities to Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day in the sense of a woman stepping outside her normal reality to have other experiences in her life.

A gorgeous little book to put a smile on any fashion lovers face!


verity said...

Excellent title to round off your month - and I agree - delightful. I've just watched the film whic his equally delightful although Angela Lansbury isn't a great choice for Mrs 'arris...

Marg said...

I want to buy all of this series of books because they just look so gorgeous sitting there together.

ds said...

You don't have to love fashion to love this book! Mrs. 'Arris is delightful indeed. So much fun!

Esme said...

What a delightful book-are you doing another theme for August-I am so sad I missed Paris in July, given I focused on France on my blog at the beginning of the month.

anothercookiecrumbles said...

Love the sound of this book - read my first Bloomsbury Group title last month (Brontes went to Woolworth) which I thought was a bizarre but fun read. This sounds more fun and feel good!

Nadia said...

This sounds wonderful! And I love that hot pink color! And who wouldn't want to go to Paris and buy Dior - bliss! Thanks for this great review - I will definitely be looking forward to reading this delightful sounding book. Cheers!

Molly said...

Oh - this does sound delightful and I hope I can find a copy to read myself.

Unknown said...

I never knew it was also a book! My sister and I used to watch the movie with Angela Lansbury every time we were at our Grammy's. I'll have to add it to my reading list :-)

Karen said...

Hi Verity - I just found out there was a film version of this one - I don't think Angela Lansbury will do it for me so I might stay away!!

Hi Marg - They have a done a great job putting this series together - very visually tempting!

Hi ds - So true!!

Hi Esme - so sorry we didn't connect during our Paris In July month - you will have to join in next year!

Hi anothercookiecrumbles - I started to read The Brontes but like you I found it a little strange and I wasn't really in the mood for it when I picked it up - I will have to try it again another time.

Hi Nadia - I have to admit that I did spend a little bit of time gazing at the cover of this one - I love the colour!

Hi Molly - I hope you can track down a copy.

Hi singintherain - I hope you enjoy it as much as the movie!

Joan Hunter Dunn said...

So lovely to read your review. I loved it and it's thanks to Paris in July that I read it.

Karen said...

Hi Joan - so glad to hear that you loved it too, and that our event inspired you to read it!

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