Read The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick Online


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-yeIn 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. 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....

Title : The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780778319337
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 331 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper Reviews

  • Phaedra Patrick
    2019-05-10 17:23

    I loved writing this and I hope you love reading it too. It's a lot about real life, and I'm influenced by fables too. Remember when you used to sit on your parents' knees for story time. You never questioned which bits were true or not. You just enjoyed them. So, thats what I did for Arthur - I wrote his story straight from the heart and gave him a poignant, fun and adventurous journey. Happy reading! If you enjoy this book, you'll probably like my second book Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone (known as Wishes Under the Willow Tree in the UK), too x

  • Elyse
    2019-05-03 18:36

    Charming!!! Many modern charms each have inspirational meaning. Charm jewelry make lovely gifts with added meeting to cherish. Author Phaedra Patrick gave us her gift with this charming- inspirational- book - literally and figuratively! A charming story ..........about a charming man named Arthur.....about a ‘charm bracelet’ ( I HAD NO IDEA - I had not read the reviews), that Arthur finds which belonged to his deceased wife Miriam......about the journey Author takes — new discoveries about Miriam, his adult son and daughter, new people he meets, and himself. .....about loveArthur discovers strength...which is kinda ‘charming’. THIS IS NOT A HEAVY MEATY NOVEL - IT DOESN’T REQUIRE TISSUES THANK GOD....Do you know what I’ve been reading lately? I HAVE ONE HOUR LEFT TO FINISH LISTENING TO “Only Child” by Rhiannon Navin....- An *AUDIOBOOK* that ‘does’ requires TISSUES!......I don’t want it to end - yet I’m dying to know how it will end at the same time. ( so I’m taking a break from it for a few hours) ....ITS A STORY ALL ABOUT THIS AMAZING KID *ZACK*! He can come to my house....I’d take care of him anytime!!!So........Taking an adventure with Arthur and meeting his new friends was lightly charming!!!! Great preventative medicine! lol

  • Linda
    2019-05-08 15:37

    I love small books--happy books--easy-to-read, relaxing books. "The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper" was all of these things. Actually, it was like going on a vacation with good friends and coming home well-rested and contented.This is the book that you choose, when you get stuck in the same genre or nothing strikes you as interesting. It's for everyone at any time. It's a little treasure that was a joy to experience!It may be Phaedra Patrick's first novel, but I'm hoping it won't be her last.

  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    2019-04-28 15:28

    How could a charm bracelet stir up so many emotions and curiosity?After Arthur's wife passed away and he was cleaning out her things, his discovery of a hidden charm bracelet had him curious about what each charm meant. He also wanted to know ​why he never saw Miriam wearing it and why she had it hidden ​in the toe of a boot.This charm bracelet pulled him out of his hermit slump and onto adventures he never dreamed of as he traced where each charm came from and what their meaning was to Miriam. He had a few surprises.Every adventure made him wonder what his wife's life was like before she met him. He couldn't stop searching for the meaning of each charm. These adventures also made him feel guilty he never took Miriam anywhere.Arthur's finds and discussions with the people he met left him happier and more confident. He also was helping those he met come to grips with what they were dealing with.Arthur was an ​absolutely endearing, charming, sweet character for me. I really enjoyed his antics and his thinking​ and especially the adventures he took us on.​ We traveled the globe with him. I wanted to know the answers about the charms too and loved sharing Arthur's days.THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER is an adorable, enchanting, uplifting read. Be prepared to fall in love with Arthur Pepper.​THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER has a very clever, enjoyable story line that gives you a nice cozy feeling. It felt like a big hug that you didn't want to end. Give yourself a marvelous treat, and don't miss reading THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER. There aren't enough delightful words to describe this book. 5/5This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

  • Noeleen
    2019-05-12 15:35

    My thanks to Harlequin (UK) Limited and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra PatrickThis endearing story starts on the first anniversary of the death of Miriam Pepper, Arthur’s wife. Aged sixty-nine, married for forty years and still mourning the death of his beloved Miriam, Arthur discovers a mysterious charm bracelet when he finally has the courage to go through Miriam’s belongings. The discovery of the bracelet sets Arthur, not only on a quest to find the meanings behind each charm and a part of Miriam’s life that he was unaware, but also on his own voyage of self-discovery.This is a very well written novel and the characters are wonderful. I found the story captivating and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to experience Arthur's journey with him, a journey which brought him to the most unlikely situations with an assortment of equally fascinating characters and places. While Arthur himself is just adoring, his search for answers to the charms and his quest for purpose in own his life is helped by many other delightful characters in the book, his estranged children, Lucy and Dan, his neighbours, Bernadette, Nathan and Terry. I loved all of these characters in their own right, (still laughing thinking of Terry’s lawn, it must be the best mowed lawn in the UK!)This moving story is like a warm fuzzy hug that just wraps itself around you from the first page. It was enchanting, charming and humorous. At times, it jogged memories of the past for me personally or made me ponder and reflect on my own life experiences. At times it was emotional without being overly dramatic. It is a quirky story full of hope, with the message that life is for living and new experiences. It is a gem of a book that I really loved, an excellent debut. I hope this book is a huge hit in 2016, I loved it a lot.

  • Susan Johnson
    2019-05-21 14:39

    This is one of the most delightful and heart warming novel that I have read in a long time. I think it would be impossible to put this book down and not be in a happy mood and a little in love with Arthur Pepper. It reminds me of "Britt-Marie Was Here" or really any of Fredrik Backman's works. It is about a semi-elderly person who comes to a crossroads in their life and must decide how to live their remaining time. On the first anniversary of Miriam's, his beloved wife of 40 years, death, Arthur decides to pack up her belongings. He has been living a very regimented life in the past year. He does the same things at the same time and rarely leaves his house. He has little contact with his two children and has been miserable. As he packs, he discovers a charm bracelet in one of Miriam's boots. He has never seen it before and it raises major questions. What was Miriam's life like before she met him? Using the charms on the bracelet as a map, he retraces her steps and makes amazing discoveries, not only about her, but himself. He goes places and does things he could not even imagine before this. He has a run ins with an elephant, some tigers and an adorable dog. As the changes happen he maintains his steadfast devotion to his wife and it is so lovely. If you are in the mood for a delightful book that makes you feel good, this is the book for you. Fall in love with Arthur Pepper. I know I did.

  • Mo
    2019-05-19 22:29

    This novel was a stinker… and there was nothing “charming” about it.When I first started reading it I was worried that it would be a clone of “A Man Called Ove”. Well, that was one thing I didn’t have to worry about. Arthur was no Ove… and I don’t mean that as a compliment. Arthur was a world class ditherer, worrywart and second-guesser. He was an insecure little man who felt threatened at the thought that his wife might actually have had a life before she met him. I found him to be completely annoying.Everything about this story felt forced and contrived. It was riddled with implausible circumstances, convenient coincidences and unbelievable occurrences. I rolled my eyes throughout a good portion of the book. It was all so clichéd. A member of my book club nailed this early on in the book… she said it was nothing more than “juvenile writing” and that’s exactly what it turned out to be. Even the story’s interesting premise couldn’t save it. I was so disappointed because I was really looking forward to reading this and expected to thoroughly enjoy it.As The Man in Black would say...Read with SBC book club August 2016.

  • Steph
    2019-05-01 14:22

    My 60-year-old dad died very suddenly of a brain aneurysm almost two months ago. I've lost one of my best friends and my very favorite book buddy. We would read the same books and go meet authors together; our latest book obsession was Fredrick Backman's stories. We even went to meet him a few months ago. My dad got a good selfie with him, as he often did with authors. :) I bought The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper for my dad for Christmas because I had heard that it was a lot like A Man called Ove (which he was actually in the middle of reading again when he died.) I haven't been able to bring myself to truly pick up a book and read since I lost my dad but I thought maybe listening to the audiobook of the last book I ever bought him might be worth a try.I'm so glad this book found me at this time in my life. A story of grief and hope; a journey after the loss of someone you don't know quite how to do life without. Beautiful story, and now that I've read it I know that it's time to pick up a book and start reading again. Let's do this, 2017.

  • Clif Hostetler
    2019-05-16 19:14

    This is a charming feel good sort of novel about a sixty-nine year old English widower who after a year of isolation from the world and being closed up inside his home has decided to go through his deceased wife's clothes in preparation for donating them to charity. In doing so he comes across a charm bracelet that he doesn't recall having seen before. There is a name and telephone number with it that he decides to check into. From this contact he learns about additional information that leads to still other contacts. Ultimately he ends up traveling to various destinations in the manner of a sleuth trying to piece together enticing clues about his wife involving her life prior to their marriage.Through his adventures he ends up meeting many interesting people and experiencing exciting adventures—including almost being eaten by a tiger. This prompts him to begin to appreciate life in a new way. He also learns to appreciate the years of marriage to his wife with a greater depth of understanding. The story ends on a happy note with him looking forward to what life still has to offer.Upon reflection after completion of the book it occurs to me that one interpretation of the story is that the ghost of his wife felt sorry for him after noticing what a sad life he was leading. Consequently she decided to plant some clues for him to find that would lead him on a scavenger hunt for historical evidence about her younger years. Her motive in this fairytale interpretation of the story would have been to help him break out of the shell he had formed to socially isolate himself from others. The reader who has completed the book will have learned that she was a nice person and the type who would do such a thing. At the end I can image her spirit being pleased that her conniving had managed to make her husband happy in spite of himself.

  • Pamela
    2019-05-04 16:41

    Absolutely delightful!!!I ***** LOVE ***** this charming and adventurous, witty and wise, life/love affirming book!!!"He was experiencing emotions he didn't know existed. He had begun to discover people and animals that excited him. He wasn't ready to rot away in his armchair, mourning his wife and waiting for his children to call, and filling his days with plant-watering and TV."A fabulous sort of story that makes life a little more bright and beautiful. A tale to savor, ripe with imagination and adventure; bursts of humor and touches of sorrow; endearing love and folly too; and shift shaping shadows of truth - called memories. "Arthur thought about how it was possible for memories to shift and change with time. To be forgotten and resumed, to be enhanced or darkened as the mind and mood commanded. He had conjured up emotions, of how Miriam had felt about the people who gave the charms to her. He didn't know. He couldn't know. But he did know that she had loved him . . . " How well do we really know anyone - spouse, children, friends, family? Even ourselves, do we really, and truly, know who we are in the grand scheme of things? We are all on a quest - a metamorphosis journey - to experience and sample life, and find our niche and purpose under the sun. The greatest purpose? To love and loved. To live in the moment of now, without getting bogged down in the regrets of yesterday or paralyzing oneself in the fretting of tomorrow. Moreover, it's never too late to begin again in a new direction. Simply one step in front of the other......FIVE ***** Brilliantly Wise Wonderful and Charming, Life is a Journey ***** STARSTwo books that come to mind as comparably enjoyable, are: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold FryGeorge's Grand Tour

  • Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
    2019-05-10 14:33

    To read more of my reviews, please visit Lit. Wit. Wine & Dine.Arthur Pepper misses his wife. It has been a year since she passed away. Miriam and Arthur were married for forty happy, peaceful, uneventful years. It's not until Arthur steels himself to the task of sorting her things that he discovers a charm bracelet he'd never seen before. A telephone call to a number on one of the charms prompts Arthur to begin a journey in search of the truth of his wife's past prior to their meeting. Along the way he meets some interesting characters, forges some unlikely friendships, and slowly discovers that it is possible to be happy, or at the very least, content again. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper has a lot going for it. Arthur is a very likable guy. If fact, most of the characters are of an equally likable, upbeat sort. The story is pretty relatable in its essence. We've probably all learned things about a spouse or lover at one time or another that made us question how well we really knew that person. Arthur's adventures help him to reconcile three versions of his wife; the wife he thought he knew, the (post-finding-the-bracelet-wife) he then questioned if he ever knew at all, and finally, the "true" Miriam. Unfortunately, there was something I found lacking that I've not been able to put my finger on after having reflected for a few days. I can only describe it as an inability to be excited or completely engaged. Perhaps it was a bit too predictable. Maybe it was the implausibility of some of Arthur's adventures. While I appreciate why so many readers are giving such glowing reviews, I find myself unable to do likewise. There was nothing overtly wrong with the book. It just left me feeling a little flat. 3/5 starsThanks to MIRA via NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Robin
    2019-05-07 19:12

    I’m predicting this will be one of my favorite novels of 2016.Exactly a year after the death of his beloved wife, Miariam, 69-year-old Arthur Pepper is cleaning out Miriam's closet when he finds an expensive charm bracelet he didn’t know she owned, and each charm seems to represent a part of Miriam's pre-married life. After the shock wears off, Arthur steps out of his grief-stricken comfort zone of staid routine to discover what Miriam was hiding in her past. What follows is a series of adventures including getting slightly mauled by a tiger, acquiring a pair of electric blue harem pants, getting robbed, and making new unlikely friends. Along the way he also works on reacquainting himself with his somewhat estranged children and realizes that discovering that living a non-adventurous and simple life doesn’t mean it hasn’t been well lived. I absolutely adored this, well, charming, funny, and heartwarming story of grief and friendship, and I confess I fell a wee bit in love with Arthur Pepper. Highly recommended for fans of UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY, THE STORIED LIFE OF A. J. FIKRY, and A MAN CALLED OVE.

  • B.A. Paris
    2019-04-25 14:16

    I love this story of Arthur Pepper! He’s so wonderfully endearing that you can’t help fall in love with him as he travels around the country trying to solve the mystery behind the charm bracelet. Beautifully written, funny and moving, this is one of those books that you will always remember.

  • Toni
    2019-05-02 14:42

    Another feel good book about an older man losing his wife. BUT, he finds a beautiful, gold charm bracelet tucked into the toe of one of her barely worn shoes, as he finally starts to clean out her closet. What's this? Arthur doesn't recall ever seeing this before.The first charm, an elegant gold elephant with a green emerald in his tummy has tiny numbers etched on his side. Arthur calls the number which leads him to a lovely family in India the first "stop" on his journey of the charms. He's off to discover who his wife was before he me her, but he gets so much more in return.It's a lovely, encouraging book that will restore your hope and get you out of your house.Recommend it highly.

  • ♡ Kim ♡
    2019-05-11 18:22

    Just received notification that I won this in a giveaway from The Reading Room! :)

  • Erica
    2019-05-23 20:41

    This was ok.I was hoping for more Harold Fry and less Pandora's Box. I usually find great comfort and enjoyment with British domestic fiction and had expected the same from this but was disappointed.The premise is delightful: Arthur Pepper's wife, Miriam, died a year ago and he's been grieving ever since. When a friendly neighbor convinces him to stop stagnating, Arthur decides it's time to clean out his wife's closet and in doing so, he finds a gold charm bracelet he doesn't remember seeing before. It's far fancier than what she would have worn, what with her frugality and lack of vanity. He sort of accidentally sets off to find out where the charms on the bracelet came from and in doing so, he discovers two things: 1) His wife had an amazing life before she met him, one she never told him about and2) He can have an amazing life, too.That sound pretty great, right? Mysterious bracelet with stories surrounding the charms, self-discovery, life after the death of a loved one, there was a lot here to pull me in. When I turned 10, my mother gave me her charm bracelet and I lost it in middle school, during a gym class. I'd left it in the pocket of my velour/corduroy, cream and white paisley print pullover and when I put my clothes back on, the bracelet was gone, never to be seen again, which is terrible because all the charms on that bracelet had stories behind them. I always wonder what became of it so the idea of following Arthur as he discovered his wife's bracelet's mysteries was quite appealing. Also of interest is what old widowers do when they decide to stop sitting around, grieving. This is of particular importance to me because we're still trying to find ways to get our dad re-involved with life and we're failing horribly. I had hoped to get some ideas from this but that didn't pan out.I may have had my hopes set too high going into this.Unfortunately, this was not as enchanting or enlightening as I had hoped and the end left me with a sour aftertaste. (view spoiler)[After finding out where all the charms came from, Arthur also finds out that his son knew about the bracelet and that it had come to hold sentimental significance in his life, so much so that the son and his daughters had bought a charm for the bracelet and had sent it to Miriam just weeks before she'd died. She'd soldered the charm on the bracelet herself and hid the whole thing away again. The stories Arthur uncovered made him realize his wife had been full of life and adventure prior to marrying him and he doesn't like knowing that. Not only does he not like having that information, he decides not to share all the charms' stories with his children. Worse, he comes into a set of letters Miriam had sent an old friend and when he's finished reading them, he tears them up so no one else can see them because he knew his wife better than anyone and decides she would have wanted her past kept quiet. And then he sells the charm bracelet, not even keeping the charm his son and granddaughters had sent. He didn't offer the bracelet to said son, who had an attachment to it (and who could have tracked down the same stories just like his father had, should he have been so inclined), he just takes it to a pawn shop and gets a bunch of money for it. He does actually keep one charm, the most monetarily valuable one, the one whose story he first uncovered. Then he gives some of his new wealth to a few of the people who had helped him on this journey and he spends the rest to take is own journey, which is fine but he did this at the expense of his wife, he effectively erased her full self and kept only his memories of her, sharing only tidbits with his children who would also only ever have their memories of her, never their mother's full story. It made me sad that some guy liked his abridged version of a woman best so intentionally deleted the original. (hide spoiler)]There were several elements that rubbed me the wrong way - the daughter's fantasy about getting married and having children and not being fulfilled until that happens, a flashback to Miriam telling Arthur she didn't want a birthday present so he didn't get her one and then she was mad and lectured him on how he should have gotten her a present to prove that he loved her and, after that flashback, Arthur uses that remembered lesson to understand that what a woman says isn't necessarily what she means. This is all BS and can we start getting rid of this kind of thinking? Please? Or at least frame it in a less flattering light?All in all, I didn't enjoy Arthur's journey as much as I'd hoped to, I didn't find any clues on how to help my own dad get back into living, I wasn't as delighted with the charm's stories as I'd expected to be, and the resolution to the whole story rubbed me the wrong way.

  • Diane Barnes
    2019-05-16 20:34

    I wanted to end the year with something light and unchallenging, and this was the perfect choice. A story that tells us we can never really know another person, sometimes the ones we love least of all.

  • BookOfCinz
    2019-05-23 18:20

    This book reminds me so much of "A Man Called Ove". What is about charming, grumpy, old, lonely men finding a new lease on life that I cannot get enough of. My heart is all warm and toasty after finishing this book. Arthur Pepper is one of those characters that grabs hold of a piece of your heart and never lets it go. Maybe it is the travel bug in me, or me always wanting to live every piece of life like its golden why I LOVE this novel. Patrick really did an amazing job of taking you on an unforgettable journey. You are reminded it is never too late to start anything or travel- that message really resonated with me. For those going through a difficult time, stuck in a rut or just does not know what direction to go- reading this book might clear up some paths for you. I almost cannot believe this is a debut! I am looking forward to reading more from Patrick!Must read

  • Joe Krakovsky
    2019-05-02 16:17

    In my opinion, this was a cute little story that kept my interest, even though I would have passed this book by had not my book club chose it. The cover is quite cutsie, and that is the first thing I notice when book hunting. The second thing that catches my eye would be the title, depending on how the book is sitting on the shelf as I peruse the selections. In both cases I would not have given it more than a passing glance. But at least the author can't be accused of false advertising or bait and switch! Truth be told, rarely do I even consider who wrote it. The story is simple enough, about an old guy who finds a charm bracelet one year after his wife's passing, and begins to wonder about the significance of it, being as it was hidden. So he goes on a quest to find out about it and discovers his wife's 'secret' past. While on his quest, he discovers not only that his wife was not at all the 'little woman' he sort of took for granted, but also experiences a self-realization of himself. All kinds of problems popped up to hinder him, but solutions followed not far behind. In the end there is a typical 'happily ever after' as one would half expect in such a tale. Does this make the story childish, or not worthy of us smarty-pants' taking the time to read it. I say, By all means, no!" As my friend Alex pointed out to me, you can always learn something from a book if you open your eyes and look. Now please don't ask me how ancient I am when I tell you that I could relate in some ways to the main character in the story. We both grew to feel comfortable as we settled down in life with our mates. Sure enough, some things became a routine, but you know what? We found we liked it that way. We both had our little adventures, even if it was only going out to a new eatery. If we were really bold, we might even venture to a bed & breakfast. Neither Arthur nor I made the big bucks (or went into debt) to have the big wedding, or go out of the country on vacation. But what we did, we enjoyed, being with the one person who really gave our lives meaning. It scares me to think of what my life would be like if I really became like Arthur. What if I could no longer have her to wake up to, or sit across the table from, or to know that I could no longer touch her hand, taste her lips or smell her hair when I kissed her. Yes, I would be a wreck like Arthur, and it would probably take me a year to get rid of her stuff, as if I expected her to be coming back.In one way Arthur and I were different. I married my high school sweetheart. I have spent my entire adult life with her. In Arthur's case, I think he wondered if someone who was 'wild' was truly happy with someone who was 'boring' as him. In his case he was lucky. She didn't want that 'wild' life. It was dealt her. In the end she found what made her happy. And I think she knew what she wanted all along.Yes, it was a silly little book, but I sure am, glad I read it!

  • Maria Chnoic
    2019-05-10 14:31

    3 1/2 Stars rounded up as more stories should be so heart warming. This is a sweet story and (pun intended) very charming. I love the premise, I adore Arthur Pepper and his adventures. The people he met and places he visited were just about the right amount of weird, wacky and terribly, terribly normal. The love he had for his wife and for his children is beautifully drawn and shown as the story goes on. However, I have some small problems with this. I love mad adventures and quite happily novels that have say a rainfall of fish, once the characters act towards this as I would expect them to. I could not dispel my disbelief in Arthur being a real character. About 40% in (I was listening on audio) he quite clearly articulates his journey of self-discovery to a stranger. Nobody would or could do this so early and so soon and certainly not Arthur. Also, small points such as using the wrong name for Facebook is jarring and untrue to the character. Arthur is of my parents' generation and all of them know the term Facebook very well being strongly divided to those who use it every day and those who believe they are too old and couldn’t possibly understand (but they do know the name). I also have another problem about the actions of a secondary character but that is a bit of a spoiler. There you go I am being a bit of a grump on this. Nevertheless, this is an enchanting, joyful and life affirming read. Recommend if that appeals to you.

  • DeB MaRtEnS
    2019-05-11 19:21

    I smiled when I realized that "The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper" were LITERALLY the gold charms on a bracelet that he finds, tucked in a winter boot, as he prepares to finally clear away the clothing of his wife Miriam who died a year before. The sixty-nine year old fellow has mournfully and rigidly kept to the schedule and rituals of daily life with his wife but without her it has become sadly vacant. Upon finding the curious and valuable charms, Arthur realizes that Miriam had a life before him that he knew nothing about. He sets off to solve the mystery, and much like the stars of Sophie Kinsella's famous chick lit series, becomes the hero in "over-the-top" hijinks on the zany adventures which answer questions and release him from his former inhibited comfort zone in family and friend relationships. For me, the novel was sweet and light, a cute bit of "elderly rebirth lit" which almost has become a recent genre of its own. 3 stars because I thought it was engagingly charmingly British and I loved the title.

  • Kristie
    2019-05-10 21:33

    I thought this was a cute story, but nothing really special. It was a bit too coincidental for my tastes, but still cute. I would recommend it for someone looking for a quick and easy, feel good read. Maybe 3.5★.

  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    2019-05-14 15:42

    Received this ARC from First Reads for an honest review~~As Arthur Pepper tackles sorting through his deceased wife's belongings he comes across a hidden charm bracelet. A bracelet that he believes he has never seen or heard about, but definitely stirs his curiosity. And so the transformation begins...This odyssey takes Arthur to India, Paris and London, as he searches for answers. Along the way he begins to doubt his 40 year marriage to Miriam. As he meets the people who correspond with the charms on the bracelet he sees another side of his wife ~ her life before him. He questions her love for him, he questions his acceptance by his grown children, and he questions why Miriam would stay with him and their uneventful routine life. This book is the story of slow healing, better understanding those you love, and not only accepting the things you cannot change, but also changing with life's journey. I really like the character development in this book. I started out not liking Arthur and ended up loving him. There were spots in the book that were very touching, that in fact, brought me to tears. Arthur's journey was realistic, as were most of the accompanying characters. The novel was a heartfelt, well written, easy read, in the manner of Elizabeth Berg or Anne Tyler, and one that you don't want to put down. This is the debut novel for this author, but I am sure not the last.

  • Louise Wilson
    2019-05-05 20:16

    Arthur Pepper was married to Miriam for 40 years and they had a strict routine they kept to every day. After her death Arthur keeps to the routine his wife had set out. On the anniversary of her death Arthur decides it's time to sort out her belongings.In the bottom of the wardrobe Arthur puts his hand into one of her boots and and to his surprise there is a box that contains a charm bracelet he has never seen before.On one of the charms he finds a telephone number which he decides to call to see if the person on the other end knew Miriam and if they gave knew about the bracelet.The man tells him he lives in India and was just a boy when Miriam came into his life. He told Arthur he only gave her 1 charm but does not know the story behind the rest. This is a delightful tale of Arthur's the mystery of the charms and the new adventures they soon uncoverI would like to thank Net Galley, Harlequin (uk) Limited and the author Phaedra Patrik for arc in exchange for an honest review

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-04-27 21:39

    Arthur's journey of overcoming grief and going on an adventure which might bring him closure, is both interesting and sad, and definitely an exciting story.

  • Anne
    2019-05-11 18:24

    I started this book with the expectation of it being a comfy read. You know, an older person going on an adventure and all? So I was baffled to find myself bawling my eyes out after just 5-10 pages. I mean, I never cry while reading. Heck, I recently even kind of boasted on here about not ever crying while reading, and then THIS happens. It was like the end scene from the fucking Notebook all over again…(I didn’t see that one coming either and think I cried for two hours straight while being totally embarrassed about it)The book starts off with Arthur trying to make it through the day of the one-year anniversary of his beloved wife’s death. The grief is still fresh, the loneliness so palpable. I’ve seen it way too often. The situation where a spouse dies after having been together for so many years. Of course, (unless you’re the main characters of The Notebook) these kinds of situations are inevitable; you usually don’t die together, so there’s always the one person who’s left behind. I’ve never been able to understand how these particular people cope with it, but somehow they do because they have to live on. Unless they decide not to, of course.I recently read an article in which a healthy woman got euthanised together with her terminally ill husband because she didn’t want to stay behind: her life ended with her husband’s last breath. After doing some more research on this topic, I also found out that you can request a double euthanasia in Belgium even if you’re both still relatively healthy, but just don’t want to deteriorate together or be left alone when the significant other dies before you. Then there are the so-called suicide pacts in which couples want to be totally in control of their own deaths. I also came across elderly couples who didn’t die together on the same day, but still relatively close to each other. My grandparents both died within six months while my grandmother really wasn’t that old or that ill. Having a broken heart might not be a metaphorical term after all.So yes, all of this poured over me during those first pages of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper. While it wasn’t even that depressing; there was humour in those pages as well. But still, it got to me.Anyhow, let’s move on to the first note I made:“WTF?“Arthur and Miriam have two children: Dan, who lives in Australia with his wife and kids, and Lucy, who doesn’t live all too far away from her parents in York. They were a loving family, there weren’t any fights or whatnot, and yet still, neither Dan nor Lucy attended their mother’s funeral…can I get a WTF from you as well for that? Later in the book, the exact circumstances and reasons are explained to us, but even though there are some good points there, they aren’t good enough for me to not go to your own mother’s fucking funeral.The second note:“What a dick!“This was a reference to Lucy’s husband, who might as well have been called Dick anyhow.A tiny spoiler here, but I promise it won’t ruin the story for you. This is what ‘Dick’ said to Lucy after she just had a miscarriage and her mother passed away:“There’s been too much sadness. I want to be happy. I want you to be happy. But we can’t be with all the history between us. We need to be apart so we don’t dwell on it. I have to go.“…I made the third note at the end of the book, so let’s look at the story and characters first:Arthur finds a golden charm bracelet in an old shoe of his wife. There are eight charms attached to it: a tiger, a paint palette, a heart, an elephant, a thimble, a flower, a book and a ring. Because Arthur has never seen this bracelet before, he wonders where it came from and studies it more thoroughly. When he finds an Indian phone number and decided to call it, his quest on finding out the meanings of all eight charms starts. Apparently, Miriam lead quite the vigorous life before she met Arthur, yet never told him anything about it.It’s lovely to see Arthur coming out of his shell of mourning and hopping from one adventure to the next with the help of Bernadette and her 18-year-old emo son Nathan. Bernadette is a cheerful robust lady who has lost her own husband recently and is now trying to help other ‘lost causes’ by visiting them, baking pies and motivating them into leaving the house. A lovely woman, really.We get to learn more about Lucy (and why the hell she didn’t attend her mother’s funeral) and see her growing closer to her dad again. And that’s what this novel is mainly about: connectedness, love, and family.This is great and all, and heck, it made me cry, but when you’re expecting adventures of an old man, you want action (or at least, I do). Somewhere around 60% of the book, the pace started to drag a little, and my reading slowed down considerably. Emotional bladeebla and whatnot, while I just wanted to find out about the next charm already!Which is what note 3 is about:“Pfff“This refers to an overly dramatic scene which could’ve come straight out of a sappy sentimental movie. Arthus is screaming “Miriam!” at the sea. Maybe I’m a cold-hearted biyatch and all, but pfffffff.Now, with all the crying and emotional stuff, this still isn’t a depressing book. In fact, I also laughed out loud several times.“A tube of toothpaste was trodden into the mud. In the distance, a herd of goats stared at him. One of them seemed to be munching on a mustard piece of fabric. His bloody sweater-vest. Just then an electronic blast of “Greensleeves” rang out." Seeing as this review is already WAY too long, I’ll just hop on to the rating part.It was pretty hard to give it a proper rating because I obviously did enjoy the book, and it had an impact on me as well. Yet the dragging parts and the ending weren’t very satisfying to me. The ending isn’t horrible or anything, but it seemed to be an extension of the dragging parts. I just hoped it would’ve been a bit more adventurous. Finding out the stories behind the first couple of charms was one big adventure and then the last couple of charms just sort of fell out of the sky and had less of an impressive story behind it. I did like the last couple of pages again, though!This could’ve been a fantastic 5-starred book, but because it fell a bit short to me, I’m giving it 3.5 brownies and a firm recommendation if any of the above sounds interesting to you (and you’re over 12 years old).

  • Ariel
    2019-05-20 21:14

    Arthur Pepper's beloved wife Miriam has passed away. He spends his days caring for his fern Frederika and doing not much else. He has become estranged from his children and does not have any friends. One day he finds a charm bracelet that must have belonged to his wife in the toe of a shoe but he can't remember her ever wearing it. He becomes determined to learn about the meanings of the charms and in doing so discovers a side of his wife that he never knew. Learning about the charms makes him new relationships and repairs old ones. The reclusive Arthur Pepper finds his life changing in unexpected ways.This is a feel good book. I loved the characters, especially Arthur. This book shows that is never too late to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. The more you give to the relationships in your life the more you get back. Arthur starts out alone and through the charm bracelet he ends up with a whole different and better life. I loved this book and highly recommend it.

  • Kim
    2019-04-24 16:30

    Really enjoyed this book. Arthur was an adorable character and his story was a delight to read.

  • Liza Fireman
    2019-05-24 21:29

    This one is a really cute book. Arthur's wife has died and he starts to understand that he actually didn't know a whole lot about her. He is following the charms on a bracelet of hers to find out that she had a life before him. That she had done quite a lot really. And there the journey begins.The story is really nice. And a bit of a reminding to a bunch of other books on quirky old men that go through something (from A Man Called Ove to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry). I can't say that I was really surprised or overwhelmed or anything, the book is fine, but not more (not even close to A Man Called Ove for sure). Also, it is funny that everybody are willing to uncover the past, even if they buried it and were not willing to speak for years (and cut relationships etc). And comments such as: “Though if you continue on your search you may find out things that you do not like to hear.”, which just make it pretty annoying (as if these secrets are going to be some wow (which of course, they are not)).3 stars. Nice, easy, forgettable.

  • Kristina
    2019-05-11 16:28

    Една невероятна история, която толкова много ме стопли и усмихна, че не мисля, че има по-подходящо четиво, с което да дам старт на новата година! Препоръчвам я горещо, ако обичате семейни истории, които не претендират да са нещо специално, но точно непринудеността им ги прави невероятни. А пък ако харесвате Уве, то ще заобичате и прекрасния старец Артър Пепър!Криси