Welcome to Week 2 of the Online Book Club discussion of Mrs Harris Goes to Paris.
Are you enjoying the book so far this month? I think it's such a cute story, and it feels so different from any other book that I've ever read. Do you think you've ever read a book like this one?
From the very beginning, we know that Mrs. Harris is going to Paris. The book starts with her on an airplane with 1400 dollars in American currency in her bag. One thing that bothered me throughout the story was that people were so unkind and looked down so much on Mrs. Harris, just because she was a maid. It was infuriating that everyone thought she was crazy for being on the plane--they just couldn't imagine what she would be doing leaving her house. I'm sure that's just a comment on the time period, right? I don't think people are as easily recognizable in their careers, unless they have a uniform, so I can't imagine people are as quick to judge people who are traveling around.
What did you think of all of the people that Mrs. Harris cleans for? They are a varied group of people, for sure! I did like Mrs. Harris's friend, Mrs. Butterworth, though. She seemed like a really loyal and true friend. I thought it was interesting that Mrs. Butterworth would sub for Mrs. Harris when she had an emergency. It was a little surprising that the people Mrs. Harris cleaned for couldn't go without a cleaning for one day, but it was good that Mrs. Butterworth could sub in if needed.
Don't you kind of wish that there was a picture of the dress Mrs. Harris first fell in love with? Take a look at some of the dresses featured in this blog post. Maybe the dress Mrs. Harris saw looked like one of the red dresses on the page? I thought it was interesting that Mrs. Harris knew from the beginning that she didn't want to actually wear a couture dress. She just wanted to have it and enjoy its beauty. I also thought it was interesting that it was the first time Mrs. Harris had seen such a dress in color--she mentions that dresses in magazines are pictured in black and white. Isn't that wild to think about? I'm just so used to having everything presented to me in hyper-realistic detail that I can't imagine selling dresses or clothes from a black and white photo.
Throughout this section, Mrs. Harris tries several different ways to get money. I was very frustrated reading about her gambling attempts--it was so stressful to read about her losing money at the dog track! I thought that the lottery that she wins at the beginning would be enough to get her to Paris, so I was very disappointed that she won such a small amount of money. What did you think when she found that diamond and platinum hair clip in the gutter? That would have paid for her trip, but she was honest and turned it in. It was nice that she got a little money as a reward for turning it in.
It ends up taking Mrs. Harris 2 years, 7 months, 3 weeks, and 1 day to save for the trip. I wasn't sure if she would be able to save enough money at all, so 2 years of saving isn't that terrible. Mrs. Harris realizes that she can't take all of the money for the dress out of the country in the form of pounds, so she comes up with an elaborate scheme to exchange her money with American dollars from one of her clients. She really thought of everything on this quest for a dress.
Are you excited to read the next section? Do you think Mrs. Harris is going to find a dress easily? What do you think will happen to her once she makes it to Paris?
Before you go, check out the video clip below to learn more about designer, Christian Dior. Let me know what you think of the clip!
Thanks for following along this week. I hope you'll leave a comment to let me know what you thought of this section. And, make sure to read through chapter 10 for next week!