The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
A year after Miriam Pepper unexpectedly passed away her husband Arthur works up the courage to clean out some of her belongings. When he discovers a charm bracelet in the bottom of one of her shoes, he doesn’t recognise it as something she’d wear. The gold too flashy, the chain too chunky and loud, not like the Miriam he knew at all. After carefully inspecting a small elephant charm he discovers and phone number embossed on it. His call is put through to the home of a doctor in India who shares details of his wife’s early life that he never knew. Shaken and confused that his wife would keep secrets from him, Arthur starts to investigate each charm on the bracelet. His journey takes him across the world and from enlightenment to the depths of despair. When his wife kept so much from him for so many years, he starts to wonder if he really ever knew her at all.
When we meet Arthur Pepper he’s stuck in a strict routine of eating, drinking, cleaning, watering plants and tending the garden. A schedule put in place to carefully fill his days after his wife’s death. The discovery of her bracelet turns his life upside down, throwing his schedule out of the window and become far happier for it. To undercover his wife’s past, he’s forced to open up to the people around him, accept their help and friendship instead of hiding from them when the knock on his door.
If you loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry then The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper should be at the top of your reading list. It’s a delightfully whimsical tale full of fun characters and some silly situations while also raising poignant questions about love, forgiveness, family and friendship. Now it’s finished, I’ll be missing the rather lovely Arthur Pepper, I hope you enjoy his journey as much as I did.
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