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The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper Hardcover – May 3, 2016
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From Publishers Weekly
Patrick’s debut novel evokes whimsy and poignancy. Since Miriam, his wife of 40 years, died a year ago, 69-year-old Arthur Pepper stopped living; he merely exists, until he finds a gold charm bracelet he’d never seen before tucked inside one of her shoes. The first of the bracelet’s eight charms is a bejeweled elephant inscribed with a phone number. He calls it and is shocked to learn that Miriam once lived in India. He sets about exploring the other charms—including a tiger, a locket, and a thimble—which take him from Yorkshire to a manor house in Bath long past its glory days, and further afield, to London and Paris. While unraveling Miriam’s past, Arthur realizes that his outward journey is also a journey within, and in a comically heartwarming fashion he attempts to embrace the unknown while slowly discovering his positive impact on others. This is a sweet story with an almost magical, but never saccharine denouement, as a newly whole Arthur Pepper emerges. Agent: Clare Wallace, Darley Anderson Agency. (May)\n
"Phaedra Patrick understands the soul. Eccentric, charming, and wise, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is about finding courage, generosity, and compassion, even when all seems lost. With clear-eyed prose and a moving story, Patrick reminds us how selfless people can be she reminds us to be brave. The Curious Charms is not just for those who are mourning over love or the past. This book will illuminate your heart." -Nina George, New York Times bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop
"Tender, insightful, and surprising.... [Arthur Pepper] will instantly capture the hearts of readers who loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, The Little Paris Bookshop, and The Red Notebook." -Library Journal, starred review
"Pierces the heart. You root for [Arthur] every step of the way." -BookPage
"Patrick's debut novel tells a sweet and poignant story about marriage, grief, and memory. Readers will find bumbling, earnest Arthur utterly endearing." -Booklist
"As cozy and fortifying as a hot cup of tea on a cold afternoon." -Kirkus Reviews
"Once in a great while, a character like Arthur Pepper comes along and quietly steals your heart. Arthur might make you cry - but he'll also make you laugh, think, and feel grateful that you came along on his fantastical journey. I won't just be recommending this book to everyone I know, I'll be buying them copies." Sarah Pekkanen, bestselling author of Things You Won't Say"
"Charming by name, charming by nature, this book is a balm for the soul and the heart." -The Sun, 5 stars
"It's a sweet quest and a thoughtful reminder that sometimes the person who loves us most knows us better than we know ourselves." -Marthastewartweddings.com
"Patrick's debut evokes whimsy and poignancy.... This is a sweet story." -Publishers Weekly
"An endearing celebration of life." -RealSimple.com
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Arthur Pepper had been married for over 40 years and the death of his wife has devastated his life, leaving him lost and reliant on routines to help him cope. On the anniversary of her death he decides to start the process of going through her clothing and possessions, discovering a charm bracelet in one of her boots. The bracelet is something he’d never seen before and he’s intrigued by it. Closer examination reveals that the elephant charm has a telephone number on it. Arthur decides to phone . . . and so starts an intriguing story as he starts on the journey to discover the significance of each charm in his wife’s life and in doing so throws away the routine to discover many things about himself, too.
This is an endearing story with so many heart warming moments and laugh out loud scenarios. It is an emotive journey through grief and discovery to the endless possibilities that are available. It takes 69 year old Arthur from his home in York to visit places he’s never even considered going to before - including travelling abroad, which he’d never even considered before. As he uncovers his wife’s life before they met, he also discovers a more positive outlook on life, makes new friends and reconnects with his now grown up children. It is a delicious, quirky novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and is likely to be one of my favourite novels for this year. I highly recommend this to any adult to read and hope they enjoy it as much as I did. This is certainly one I’ll be reading again and again even though I suspect it will stay in my memory, too. I’ll be looking out for more by this extremely talented author in future - I still can't believe this is her debut novel!
Thanks to the publisher for inviting me to read an ARC of this book, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.
gentle story of ordinary people with great personal charm (no pun intended) - everyday folks with dreams and disappointments, but
still full of optimism and hope - doing everyday things but in a upbeat way. A gentle read, and highly recommended.