Friday, April 14, 2017

Curious Charms

The Curious Charms of Arthur PepperThe Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a journey we get to take with 69-year-old Arthur Pepper as he discovers the life of the woman he never knew, his wife before they married. He's clearing out her closet on the one-year anniversary of her death when he discovers a solid gold charm bracelet hidden in a shoe. Readers may be reminded of Harold Fry, another fictional Englishman on a journey, but this is a sweeter, funnier, and ultimately more tender book than that one.
Arthur has mourned his wife greatly, but this discovery makes him doubt everything, especially their love. Arthur's journey over the course of the year as he finds the history behind the charms—she was a nanny in India! partied with the hoi-polloi! lived in Paris!—shows the path of a heart opening up to living again (for when grieving it seems we wait ourselves at Death's borders).
Arthur finds in himself a man he never knew, as well: adventurous, helpful and kind, and by the time his 70th birthday rolls around, he is ready to celebrate life and love again and cherish his wife's memory. In the end, this lovely book is life-affirming, charming, humorous and quirky—the perfect read, in other words. ~Em Maxwell


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