Read advance reader review of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

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The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

by Phaedra Patrick

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick X
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
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  • First Published:
    May 2016, 336 pages

    Jan 2017, 288 pages


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There are currently 22 member reviews
for The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
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  • Beth D. (Apple Valley, MN)
    For fans of life's second acts
    On her 81st birthday, my grandmother married her high school sweetheart. She hadn't seen him for 63 years, though they did exchange letters around the time of their 50th reunion. I love stories like these. People who believe life is to be lived, despite the amount of time one has left.

    Arthur Pepper, perhaps to his own surprise, turns out to be one of these people. He reflects on this a few times throughout the book, that instead of being in x situation (or, frankly, predicament) he could be back in his armchair, quietly living out his days. But how much he'd miss out on, even if it would be easier (or, frankly, more enjoyable) if he'd skipped saying yes to new adventures. Or if he'd had less curiosity.

    This isn't a new message - it seems to be a current trend in fiction, with popularity of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and A Man Called Ove, to name just two - but I enjoyed this version. The hook, that he is tracking down the meaning behind his wife's charm bracelet, works for me. The stories behind each are just oddball enough to keep the plot moving. I liked the characters, preferring Arthur to Ove, and the blue pants. And I appreciate the tension between Arthur's missing his wife and wanting to continue living.

    I recommend this book!

    Oh, and my grandmother? She had four years of wedded bliss before her second husband passed away. But another 14 years of a full, happy life after that, passing away at the age of 99.
  • Susan P. (Boston, MA)
    The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
    A retired older widower in England is cleaning out his wife's closet a year after her death (he can finally face it) and finds a charm bracelet he never knew existed. Based on various clues from the charms and from the people he speaks with/meets, he discovered his wife had an interesting life before they met. He thinks he doesn't want to know some of this but learns a great deal (especially about himself and some about his daughter). Like some older people, he's set in his ways but it really is a tender story. For anyone who enjoyed Major Pettigrew and Harold Fry.
  • Mark O. (Wenatchee, WA)
    The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper: an all-ages book
    The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is a satisfying hybrid – an archeology of a life and a coming-of-age story. Arthur Pepper, in the infancy of old age, tracks along his late wife's backstory, following the clues of her tucked-away charm bracelet. Most coming-of-age stories are about the hard transition from child to adult. Arthur finds that he is fossilizing. But in a kind of elder adolescence, Arthur begins adventuring. Reading The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is a sovereign remedy against old thinking.

    I think that The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is an all-ages book, at least from YA to OA. This book could be a Common Read for an extended family, the discussions (or posts or tweets) cross-linking generations.
  • Marie D. (Waretown, NJ)
    A wonderful tale of love and learning
    Such an enjoyable read! A real page turner – not to learn who dunnit – but to keep up with Arthur on his remarkable journey of discovery! The story is "charming," sweet, and portrays an adult view of living and loving. Without using a soap box, the author has gently spoken much about friendship, family, and the inevitable joys and sorrows of aging. All the characters are rendered fully. And the reader has a real investment in knowing their stories as well.The world was a better place after Arthur Pepper took charge!
  • Tillie H. (Baltimore, MD)
    Wonderful book
    This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. A story of "you're never too old" to start living. A book of mixed feelings and discovering oneself even when you thought you were too old and set in your ways to have such wonderful discoveries. The book takes us from a small town in England, to London, Paris and India. I truly loved this book, even though I'm not fond of British books.
  • Priscilla M. (Houston, TX)
    Utterly charming story...
    There's just no way to not say that The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is totally and utterly charming. Arthur Pepper has spent a year of his life mourning the death of his wife. After spending that year locked in grief and mind-numbing routine tasks, he marks the anniversary of her passing by finally cleaning her closets and going through her belongings. A gold charm bracelet comes to light, one that Arthur has no recollection his wife ever owning or wearing. His curiosity propels him out of the gray routine of the previous year and launches him into a series of adventures that will change him forever. Each charm holds a key to an aspect of his wife's life before she became Mrs. Arthur Pepper, and each one takes him to places he has never been before, emotionally and physically. The author has created people you will want to meet , and you can't help but cheer for Arthur as he puts the pieces of the puzzle. A delightful read!
  • Eileen P. (Farmington, NY)
    A delightful fable-like tale
    The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is a charming, fable-like tale. Arthur Pepper is a wonderful character who undergoes a later-in-life transformation. Although almost everything in the novel turns out well a little too well, Patrick tells the story in such a way that I was willing to believe in a world in which strangers turn up to help at just the right time, healing words can always be found, and people learn to see what they most need to see. A truly lovely story.

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