16 December 2019

Mrs. 'Arris Tackles America

Mrs. 'Arris Goes to New York
Paul Gallico
Drawings by Mircea Vasiliu
Doubleday, 1960
192 pages

In this second book of the series. our adventurous Mrs. 'Arris, a London char, sets out to right another wrong. Her neighbors are mistreating a little boy who was left in their care by his mom when she remarried and the new husband didn't want the child. In her innocent view of the world in the 1950s it must be a simple task to find little Henry's father, George Brown, in America. You just needed to take a ship over there and look him up.

As is usual with Mrs. 'Arris's plans, things do not go quite that smoothly. And as is also usual with Mrs. 'Arris, her friends, employers, and even new acquaintances are always eager to help her out of a jam. Thus she and her friend and fellow char, Mrs. Butterfield, find themselves on an ocean liner to New York courtesy of a client who desperately needs their help settling in to a large New York apartment. And her old friend from Paris, the Marquis Hypolite de Chassagne, the new French Ambassador to the US, happens to be on board, as well.

Mrs. 'Arris does indeed find a new forever family for little Henry in America, after an arduous search. With a little help from her friends. She is one of the most endearing characters ever to grace the pages of a book. Her stories are more like modern, feel-good fairy tales than novels. All of her exploits are worth reading. Alas, I have now read all four of the Mrs. 'Arris books and so cannot look forward to more. Rereads are in my future!


"Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris"

"Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Moscow"

"Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Parliament"


The versions published in the UK have slightly different titles and don't use the abbreviated version of her last name. Actually in the books she is always called Mrs. Harris, but the US publishers saw fit to drop her Hs, as does Mrs. 'Arris herself in her cockney accent. She will forever be Mrs. 'Arris to me, too. Also note that British English does not use a period/full stop after "Mrs" or "Mr".

Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris - Flowers for Mrs Harris
Mrs. 'Arris Goes to New York - Mrs Harris Goes to New York
Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Parliament - Mrs Harris MP
Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Moscow -  Mrs Harris Goes to Moscow

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