The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
eBook review copy; 336 pages
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick is a very highly recommended pleasant, yet engaging, feel-good novel.
Arthur Pepper's wife Miriam died a year ago and the 69 year old widower
is missing her desperately and clinging to the routines he has made for
himself. When he decides that it is time to go through her things and
donate them to a charity to help cats, he discovers a gold charm
bracelet hidden in a boot. Arthur can't remember seeing the bracelet
before and is intrigued by the eight charms on the bracelet and what
they must have represented to his late wife.
On the chain are an elephant, tiger,
book, painter's palette, ring, flower, thimble and a heart. Quite by
chance, Arthur discovers a phone number on the elephant charm and ends
up talking to a man in India. Miriam was a nanny for his family for
several months. Once he uncovers this mystery, Arthur sets off to
discover what the rest of the charms meant to Miriam. Arthur has a
series of surprising encounters as he searches for the meaning behind
the charms. Along the way Arthur discovers more about his wife's life
before they were married and even more about himself.
This is a strong, pleasing debut novel, well written and reminiscent of Rachel Joyce's The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry,
only a bit less serious. Fans of Harold Fry will love Arthur Pepper.
Patrick keeps the tone light and the story is, well, charming. Arthur is
grieving for Miriam and the pain he is going through is clearly
depicted, but Patrick sees him through it, to a path of recovery, even
as he discovers the meaning of each charm. This is a story of an
ordinary man, but also a novel of love, hope, and healing.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Mira for