Summary and book reviews of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

by Phaedra Patrick

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
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  • First Published:
    May 2016, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2017, 288 pages

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Book Summary

In this poignant and sparkling debut, a lovable widower embarks on a life-changing adventure

Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely 7:30 a.m., just as he did when his wife, Miriam, was alive. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater-vest, waters his fern, Frederica, and heads out to his garden. 

But on the one-year anniversary of Miriam's death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam's possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he's never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes Arthur from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife's secret life before they met—a journey that leads him to find hope, healing and self-discovery in the most unexpected places. 

Featuring an unforgettable cast of characters with big hearts and irresistible flaws, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is a curiously charming debut and a joyous celebration of life's infinite possibilities.

THE THIMBLE



If Arthur had ever been asked to describe how he imagined Paris, he would say that actually he had never given much thought to the place. He had seen the Eiffel Tower on the place mats that Miriam had bought for half price in the Sainsbury's sale and once watched a program about a cruise boat that took tourists up and down the Seine, sailed by a captain who was both seasick and allergic to helping people. Arthur thought that the water looked rather murky and that if he had to sail anywhere it would be on one of those sleek white cruise ships with swimming pools on board, hopping off around the Mediterranean. Paris just wasn't one of those places that appealed to him.

Miriam, however, had a preoccupation with all things French. When it was on offer, she subscribed to a magazine called Viva! that featured lots of photos of chic women dancing through puddles while holding umbrellas, sipping tiny cups of coffee or carrying small dogs in the baskets on the front ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Phaedra Patrick has written a charming and interesting book about discovery and change that opened new horizons for a man who resisted, and then accepted change.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).

Full Review (493 words).

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Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

As cozy and fortifying as a hot cup of tea on a cold afternoon.

Publishers Weekly

his is a sweet story with an almost magical, but never saccharine denouement, as a newly whole Arthur Pepper emerges.

Library Journal

Starred Review. Tender, insightful, and surprising, this wonderful debut novel is a stunning addition to the popular genre of transformative stories of otherwise uneventful lives. It will instantly capture the hearts of readers who loved Rachel Joyce's The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Nina George's The Little Paris Bookshop, and Antoine Laurain's The Red Notebook.

Author Blurb Nina George, New York Times bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop
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.

Author Blurb Sarah Pekkanen, internationally bestselling author of The Opposite of Me
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.

Author Blurb Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Love Walked In
Filled with colorful, complex characters and adventure, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is a lovely story about grief and healing. I was moved by Arthur and his journey. You will be too.

Author Blurb Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Daughter
A touching tale of rediscovering someone you love. Arthur Pepper is utterly charming and endearing.

Reader Reviews

jamesr

A MOST charming reading experience
Ms Patrick's debut novel touched my heart many times over as I experienced the account of this older British chap's adventures and rebirth, so to speak. I am recommending this book to all of my reading friends (and to anyone else out there listening)...   Read More

Brenda S

EXCELLENT READ
I thoroughly enjoyed this charming little book. It explores the themes of trust, adventure, loss & family. It'll make you laugh & cry. I think that fans of "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand" would really enjoy this book.

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, ...   Read More

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, ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

A Brief History of Charm Bracelets

Today's charm bracelet can trace its origins back to Neolithic times when small rocks and other items considered to have special powers to ward off evil were carried around. Charms worn by Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians and Hittites were created from lapis lazuli, rock crystal and other gems and inscribed with symbolic designs, like figures of gods, humans and animals. They were closely associated with magical spiritual powers and served as protective talismans. Early Egyptians gathered such charms on necklaces and bracelets and the practice of using amulets to ward off evil continued through the Middle Ages.

Charm bracelet The move away from a charm's use as keeping evil spirits at bay can probably be attributed to the British monarch,...

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