The Heart of Henry Quantum Summary and Reviews

The Heart of Henry Quantum

by Pepper Harding

The Heart of Henry Quantum by Pepper Harding X
The Heart of Henry Quantum by Pepper Harding
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2016
    288 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

In the bestselling tradition of A Man Called Ove and the beloved film Love Actually, a quirky, socially awkward man goes on a quest to find his wife a last-minute Christmas gift and encounters several distractions - including bumping into his ex-girlfriend who was the one who got away.

Henry Quantum has several thoughts going through his head at any given time, so it's no surprise when he forgets something very important - specifically, a Christmas gift for his wife, which he realizes on the morning of December 23. Henry sets off that day in search of the perfect present for her: a bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume. But much like Henry's ever-wandering mind, his quest takes him in different and unexpected directions, including running into the former love of his life, Daisy. His wife, meanwhile, unhappy in her marriage, is hiding a secret of her own. And Daisy, who has made the unsettling choice of leaving her husband to strike out on her own, finds herself questioning whether she and Henry belong together after all.

A sweet, funny, and touching debut from author Pepper Harding shows how the seemingly insignificant events of one single day can change our lives forever - perhaps, if we're lucky, for the better.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] fun, fanciful story that will keep readers guessing until the end." - Publishers Weekly

"Some may find shades of Walter Mitty in Henry Quantum, but this quirky love story is driven by angst, and heroes imagined or real are absent." - Kirkus

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Cloggie Downunder

could have been a great novel
3.5 stars
The Heart of Henry Quantum is the first book by an American author who writes under the pseudonym, Pepper Harding. Four years ago, Henry Quantum’s brief but intense extra-marital affair with (wife and mother of two) Daisy Hillman, ended. Now, two days before Christmas, Henry sets out to buy a Christmas gift for Margaret, his wife of almost fourteen years, something that has become imperative as the proximity of the holiday dawns on him.

As Henry walks down San Francisco’s city streets in the direction of Macy’s with plans to purchase a bottle of Chanel No 5, he is regularly distracted. Then he runs into Daisy. It’s a meeting that turns his day upside down, especially when she reveals what has happened since they last met. Meanwhile, Margaret has set off to meet her lover out at Marin….

This novel is beautifully written and should have been a delightful read. Unfortunately, rather than being instantly endearing, Henry comes across as flakey and rather frustrating. It soon becomes apparent how and why his marriage with Margaret has stalled and staled. There is plenty of philosophising from Henry, to be expected given his philosophy/creative writing double major in college, as well as a good deal of rationalisation from Margaret.

The travelogue of San Francisco, the mention of streets and landmarks, which will certainly appeal to readers familiar with the city, is likely to fall flat with readers who have never been there. That, and the sweet ending fail to redeem what could have been a great novel.

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Author Information

Pepper Harding

Pepper Harding is the pen name of a San Francisco writer known for an entirely different kind of literature. Born in far-away New Jersey, educated in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and finally at the University of Chicago, Pepper is a long time resident of the city, with stints in Marin, Berkeley and, currently, Sonoma County. Pepper has two kids, two cars, one spouse, and, some say, multiple personalities.

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