Friday, July 15, 2016

Review: The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

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.

Rating: 3 Stars

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

If you're looking for something in the vein of A Man Called Ove, a book about an elderly man and life after loss but with a somewhat more lighthearted tale, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is a step in the right direction.

Arthur Pepper is a nice gentleman, a kind soul if you will, who seems perfectly content to stay at home with his routine. I get that, I do, and I really connected with Arthur and his need for a steady rhythm, particularly in light of the fact that his wife died recently. However, life has other plans for him when he finds a charm bracelet of his wife's he doesn't recognize which propels him into the wider world and on an adventure he didn't see coming.

The story was very mellow, which I appreciated. I think this would be a good book to pick up in the spring, after the coldness of winter has worn away at you and you're ready for the life of spring to come again. You can picture all the foreign places that Arthur visits in his quest to learn more about his wife prior to their life together.

It isn't overly complicated or involved. I think there's enough plot to keep you going, but it does dip low in the beginning and I was worried that it wouldn't pick up the pace enough. Once I got over the initial hump, I enjoyed the story because it was, as I said, simple, lighthearted, and a cute adventure that doesn't ask too much of the reader.

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