Mrs. ‘Arris as Warming as a Nice, Hot Cuppa

The heroine of  Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris is a “char,” one of the army of self-employed London cleaning women.  Mrs. ‘Arris lives by her wits and her dust rags, making enough to cover her expenses and occasionally go to the pictures.

One day she sees a Dior gown in a client’s closet and decides she must have one. A lucky choice in the football pool starts her on her way. Scrimping and saving she gets the rest for the dress and  the trip to Paris.

The trip is a series of challenges.

By law, people can take only 10 English pounds out of  the country and Mrs. ‘Arris needs 450 £ just for the dress.

She’s unprepared for Dior’s invitation-only showing and waiting to have her selection made for her.

Then there’s the problem of getting the dress back through customs without getting pinched for smuggling.

Mrs. ‘Arris is a sweetheart. Her pluck, friendliness, and interest in people win her friends everywhere. Without doing more than being herself, she makes a match between Dior’s most important model and it’s chief auditor, gets a promotion for the husband of Dior’s manager, and improves foreign relations.

Paul Gallico’s slim, sentimental novel will warm you as comfortably as a  nice, hot cuppa.

Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris
By Paul Gallico
Drawings by  Gioia Fiammenghi
Doubleday, 1958
157 pages
1959 bestseller # 9
My Grade: B-
© 2009 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda G. Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. In eight sentences, 34 words, I taught teens and adults to write competently. Now I'm writing guides to turn willing volunteers into great nursing home visitors.

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