Tuesday, July 26, 2016
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper - Phaedra Patrick
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick is going to join that list. (And a lot of others - translation rights for this debut novel have been sold to twenty countries already!)
After forty years of marriage, Arthur Pepper's beloved wife Miriam passes away. Arthur keeps the same routines and touches nothing in the house for a year. But after a year, he decides he needs to finally go through her things. And that's when he discovers a golden bracelet with eight charms tucked away (well let's say hidden) in one of her shoes. A bracelet that Arthur has never seen in their forty years together........
Arthur discovers what he thinks to be a phone number on the elephant charm, calls it - and begins a journey to discover his wife's life before they met. A life that he had no idea about.
Arthur is such a warm wonderful protagonist! The reader can't help but empathize as Arthur struggles to understand why his wife hid so much from him and cheer him on as his journey progresses. For with each charm and each new revelation, Arthur also moves forward, not just physically (his journey takes him to India, London and Paris), but mentally and emotionally as well. And although Arthur may not realize it, his calm, measured, friendly manner is also making a difference in the lives of those he meets along the way.
I felt just as strongly about Arthur's neighbour Bernadette (and her son Nathan) - she has been trying to help Arthur over the last year with meals and company. At first I thought 'busybody' but my opinion changed. Her ever cheerful, upbeat mood is genuine despite her own problems.
Patrick explores love, loss, grief, friendship and more with healthy doses of charm, wit, humour and reality in The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper. I absolutely loved this book! And Arthur.
The title is quite clever - the charms themselves, Arthur himself and the story itself. Read an excerpt of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper.
You can connect with Phaedra Patrick on Twitter, on her website, and find her on Facebook.