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Publisher: 7 April 2016 by Harlequin (UK) Limited Mira UK
Pages: 384 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: general fiction adult, contemporary
My Rating: 5 crowns
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.
"You will find out the stories of the charms one by one, yes?" "Oh, this isn't a search," Arthur stated. "I was just curious ...".
And so it begins. I personally requested this book of the publisher and I am so glad I did, I just had that feeling. Arthur Pepper (don't you just love the name) will steal your heart with his warmth and loveable attributes. He is just such a sweetie you can't help but love him and all the ventures he goes on in pursuit of uncovering his wife's past. This book is beautifully written with humour and feeling; it will stay with you after you have turned the final page.
"Where once Miriam was their sun and he their moon, Dan and Lucy were now distant stars in their own galaxies."
Your heart goes out to Arthur as he goes through the motions of his daily routine until the discovery of the charm bracelet. Yes, he wishes to discover the missing pieces to his wife's story, but in truth, this is more about Arthur and the discoveries he makes are of himself and finding purpose and a reason to live once more.
"Move on? Like to bloody where? He was sixty-nine, not a teenager who could go to university or on a gap year. Move on. He sighed as he shuffled into the bedroom."
The shock Arthur felt upon discovering that his wife led a whole different life before they met is profound. His emotions, as he embarks upon discovering the story behind each her charms, is just beautiful and you slowly watch him grow and change with each new discovery. It's like two stories - one of his wife Miriam and seeing Arthur go from caterpillar to butterfly.
"Except that everything wouldn't be normal again, because this search had stirred something inside of him. This was no longer just about Miriam. It was about himself too. He was experiencing emotions he didn't know existed ... he wasn't ready to rot away in his armchair mourning his wife."
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is a winner, an absolutely delightful book. From the very first page Patrick drew you in, creating a story with depth and emotion. You will travel right alongside Arthur and will feel a real sense of accomplishment at all he did achieve.
"I am learning more about myself too," he admitted. "With each person I encounter, with each story I hear, I feel as if I am changing and growing."