The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

by Phaedra Patrick

Hardcover(Original ed.)

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"Phaedra Patrick understands the soul. Eccentric, charming, and wise…The Curious Charms is not just for those who are mourning over love or the past. This book will illuminate your heart." — Nina George, New York Times bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop

Don’t miss this curiously charming debut! In this hauntingly beautiful story of love, loneliness and self-discovery, an endearing 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 joyous celebration of life’s infinite possibilities.

More Praise:
"Tender, insightful, and surprising… [Arthur Pepper] 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." — Library Journal, starred review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778319337
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 05/03/2016
Edition description: Original ed.
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 293,528
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Phaedra Patrick is the author of several novels. She studied art and marketing, and has worked as a stained-glass artist, film-festival organizer, and communications manager. An award-winning short-story writer, she now writes full time.

James Langton, an Earphones Award-winning narrator, trained as an actor at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and later as a musician at the Guildhall School in London. He has worked in radio, film, and television, also appearing in theater in England and on Broadway. He is also a professional musician who led the internationally renowned Pasadena Roof Orchestra from 1996 to 2002.

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The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lovely story of a widower coming to terms with the death of his wife of 40 years. The surprises he learns about her, the adventures he has along this new journey and the wisdom he shares and learns along the way. I will recommend this charming book. JDL 11/15/17
Bookworm1951 More than 1 year ago
What started out as a search into his wife's past became a jouney of discovering himself. This book was well written and entertaining. Good character development. Since the main characters live in the UK, there are quite a few phrases and words that are uniquely British throughout. Overall a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a delightful, enchanting read. Arthur Pepper is each of us attempting to make sense of our lives as he journeys to learn about his wife's past. He learns he has more resilience than he knew and that life continues in spite of change if one is up for the challenge.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful, fast read! Truly heartwarming!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the characters. The novel includes a tiger, baking, neighbors, India, a charm bracelet, a widower and his children, friendships, heartbreak, and more. It is a story of a lovely marriage of 40 years. Highly recommended. This book deserves an A++++++
ksnapier475 More than 1 year ago
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by [Patrick, Phaedra]I was given this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I first chose this book because I enjoy books like "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry". This is equally as charming. Arthur Pepper is 69 years old and he has his routine. The time he does things and the clothes he wears all are the same as they were when his wife Miriam was alive. After she had been gone for a year, Arthur found a gold charm bracelet amount Miriam's things. He had never seen this bracelet before. This set him on a trek to discover the truth of his wife's life before they met. through this journey he finds self-discovery and healing in very unusual places. This is a charming book. It is interesting to watch Arthur change as he makes discoveries. It made me feel good.
MamaHendo More than 1 year ago
69 year old Arthur Pepper decides it’s time to clean out his wife’s belongings on the one year anniversary of her death. He comes across a charm bracelet hidden in a boot that he has no knowledge of. As he begins to figure out the meaning behind each of the charms, Arthur learns more and more he didn’t know about his wife of more than 40 years. I could just picture the little old man from the movie “Up” as I read about Arthur and his adventures to discover what secrets Miriam had hidden from her past. This was such a lovely, easy read about appreciating your loved ones during life and not missing out on experiences while you still have the time to enjoy them.
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
The first portion of this book failed to capture my attention, and I wasn't sure I would enjoy the book. Selected as one of my book club reads, I persevered, and by the time I reached the middle of the book I was quite captivated. It took some time for me to become invested in the characters. Arthur Pepper wasn't one of my favorites, but as the plot developed I enjoyed his adventures and the characters I met along the way. Not a book that I will read again, I did become quite engrossed in the plot, and I began to enjoy Arthur's personality as he progressed in his quest for truth. For a debut novel, the author impressed me with her originality and the intrigue that kept me reading. Descriptive and deeply moving, I recommend the novel, particularly to older readers.
smg5775 More than 1 year ago
I loved it! Arthur finds a charm bracelet in a shoe as he is cleaning out his late wife's cupboards. He is curious about it and begins a journey to find out about the bracelet. The bracelet tells the story of her past. As he learns about his wife, he also learns about himself and where he fits in the world now that she is gone. An excellent character study. We learn of Miriam, Arthur's wife, as he learns of her. She was not only who he lived with. She was a different person from whom he spent 40 years with. As he discovers her anew, he discovers himself also. I loved him and the characters he meets in his travels and in his neighborhood. He is many different men depending on who is around him. He reconnects with people. I liked the mystery surrounding the bracelet and how each charm on it pulls back another layer of his wife. I wanted to know the meaning of the charms and where they fit into Miriam's life. I will read this author again. This is a keeper book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very enjoyable read!
Xkoqueen More than 1 year ago
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick is a “charming” tale of self-discovery. It is a hopeful and uplifting book. Arthur Pepper, widower and retired locksmith, has become a shell of a man. With his wife’s death, he has lost his reason for being. He methodically executes his daily tasks—including caring for a fern that he has named Frederica. Despair over the loss of his wife turns to curiosity when he comes across a hidden charm bracelet. Adventures while exploring the stories behind each charm open Arthur to new and renewed relationships. He turns from a schedule-driven, rigid widower to a man open to new experiences. Arthur starts as a miserly curmudgeon but quickly becomes an empathetic and highly likable character. I really enjoyed his interactions with his neighbors, Bernadette, Nathan and Terry. Those little conversations highlighted Arthur’s growth through the process of investigating his wife’s pre-martial life. Arthur blossoms with each new person he encounters on his travels. While his attempt to learn about his wife yields plenty, he actually learns more about himself. His view of himself changes with each new encounter. He grows as a person as his capacity to accept and give increases. Arthur’s inner turmoil over his wife’s “secret” life and what that might mean about their 40 year marriage is understandable. It makes you question how well you know the people in your life. You know them as much as they want to be known according to this book. Most of Arthur’s discoveries provide more intrigue surrounding his late wife, Miriam, but one discovery breaks Arthur’s heart and makes him question everything about his marriage. Ultimately, like Ethan Allen Hawley’s epiphany in Steinbeck’s Winter of Our Discontent, Arthur chooses to take chances, be adventurous and live life to its fullest. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is a heartwarming exploration of love, family and making connections. Carpe Diem. The audiobook is delightfully narrated by James Langton.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is a feel good story. Arthur is 69 years-old, and his wife, Miriam, has been dead just a year when he finally decides to go through her things. He discovers a charm bracelet that he doesn’t recognize, and he’s intrigued. He finds a phone number on one of the charms, and makes a call to India. Thus begins a scavenger hunt of sorts. A quest to find out more about Miriam’s past. I listened to this book on audio, and it’s humorous and heart-felt. It was a delightful read. Arthur meets some real characters along his way, and they added a lot to this tale. I couldn’t believe this book is a debut. It’s so well written and so engaging. I grew attached to Arthur right away. I wanted to learn about the charms just as much as he did. In fact one of the CDs was scratched, and I missed some information about one of the charms, and it was really disappointing. This book is light and fun, and it’s a quick read. I highly recommend it, especially the audio.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cecile-Sune-Book-Obsessed More than 1 year ago
Arthur Pepper has lost his wife Miriam a year earlier, and his grief is still very raw. He rarely goes out and spends his days vigorously cleaning every corner of his house, talking to his plant and avoiding his well-meaning neighbor Bernadette. When he finds a mysterious charm bracelet in his wife’s wardrobe, his curiosity is picked, and he sets out to discover the stories behind each charm. His quest will take him from France to India and will lead to his meeting all sorts of quirky characters. But will he find the answers he is looking for? The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is Phaedra Patrick’s first novel, and it is an impressive foray into fiction writing. As the title suggests, the story is charming and original. Arthur Pepper’s trials are told with humor and candor. In fact, he is a very lovable character, and his struggles with grief and the challenges of old age make him all the more human. In addition, the book illustrates perfectly the very real gap between the internet/mobile savvy youths and the more grounded-in-reality older generation. I highly recommend this novel. You won’t be disappointed. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review. Please go to my blog, Cecile Sune - Bookobsessed, if you would like to read more reviews or discover fun facts about books and authors.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
On the one year anniversary of the death of his wife Miriam, Arthur discovers a charm bracelet that he knew nothing about. He did give her one charm on it but he decides to find out more about Miriam and her pre-marriage life. This starts he travels from London to India where he met her. I know that is a simplified summary of this book but don’t let that confuse you. He lived a simple life, almost being a hermit after Miriam’s. His son lives in Australia and he doesn’t get to spend much time with his daughter. The only contact he has is neighbors that check in on him. But when he decides to find out more about the charm bracelet he has so many adventures and meets so many people. This is such a wonderful story. Arthur gets out and does so many things, he makes memories along with remembering things that he has forgotten over the years. I got sucked into this story because I wanted more for Arthur than just his hermit life. Plus picturing Arthur in those blue harem pants was a great image. This is one book that I recommend everyone read. It’s not an easy story especially when you think of all the people around the world in Arthur’s spot and never being able to get out of it. This will warm your heart and make you fall for Arthur. I received The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved this sweet, charming book! Lovable Arthur quietly stole my heart! What a delightful, gem of a novel!!
Ilovemister More than 1 year ago
It was a good book but not as good as The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A definite read for a light story. Entertaining and well written; I look forward to her next book!
ChattyPat More than 1 year ago
The Word Charm Is What This Novel Is All About A wonderfully charming book about a simple man of habit who breaks away from all of those habits and goes off on a quest to discover facts about his loved and late wife, led by clues from a charm bracelet. Peopled with lovely, interesting folk, you learn as much about Arthur Pepper as he ends up learning about his wife. He is a character you will be happy you met and one you will remember. You will laugh at some of his misadventures and feel sad about others. And you can’t help but like the guy as you travel along with him. Arthur, rather reluctantly at first, manages to visit more countries in his travels than he ever thought he would. Along the way he comes to grips with his grief and finds unexpected truths on his healing journey. This really is a charming book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
dhaupt More than 1 year ago
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick Phaedra Patrick’s debut The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is about loss and moving on. It’s a charming morality-ish tale, an emotional mystery and a sentimental and inspiring love story. It’s unforgettable because of her 69-year-old star, his enormous presence and his journey of discovery that connects him with interesting people and colorful places delivered via Ms. Patrick’s insightful, easy paced narrative. The vibrant often eccentric co-stars, the delicious droll British humor and Arthur’s transformative development make this a can’t put it down, one sitting read destined for the keeper shelf read! The last place Arthur Pepper ever expected to find himself was on a journey to find out about his wife’s apparent private past. But that’s exactly where he is after discovering a charm bracelet that she had secreted away in the toe of a boot that he only discovered on the one-year anniversary of her death. It all started when finally after a lonely, fitful year of sadness and depression, of wondering why his children didn’t come to their mum’s funeral, wondering how much more of meddling neighbors he has to put up with that he decides to sort through Miriam’s belongings. Where he finds an old charm bracelet that he’s never seen before with an array of eight charms; an elephant, flower, book, paint palette, tiger, thimble, heart and a ring. As he picks up the telephone to dial the number to India he found on the elephant charm he wonders what exactly he’ll find when he opens this potential Pandora’s box of trouble?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sweet, a nice read.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
This was the second book I'd read this year about charm bracelets. They are just so appealing and there are so many memories right there at the end of your arm. This was an interesting one as the main character, Arthur, was a recent widower who after a year still desperately misses his wife. I found Arthur for the most part to be a very, very sad man. Yet, when he got out and socialized he was a different person, but still sad. I think the writer did a great job coming up with the story and writing it. Miriam had led a very interesting life before meeting Arthur, which he came to find out. But I just couldn't help but feel sad throughout the whole book. It was like there was this black cloud hanging over me the whole time I was reading it. I know the ending wasn't sad, but when I was finished with the book, I still just felt sad. I'm not going to analyze why or try to give reasons. I'm just saying how I felt. Thanks to Bookreporter for picking my name to win a copy of this book in hopes that I would write a review about this book.
bilboy More than 1 year ago
I'm a sucker for this type of book. A surviving spouse uncovers secrets about their ex, in this case through a charm bracelet. There is no mystery but more a discovery of an unknown side of the ex-spouse and how it matters to the survivors. It is an often used device but Phaedra Price puts her own spin on it with successful results. Arthur Pepper is very likable as is ex-wife Miriam. In fact the book is populated with likeable people. It is cleverly plotted with a satisfying ending or maybe I should say “endings”. A witty, charming, delightful, feel-good book. It will make a good beach read, a rainy week-end at home read, or a book club choice. Give it a try. You'll like it.