The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper-Phaedra Patrick
Widowed Arthur Pepper discovers a charm bracelet that leads him on an adventure through the life of his late wife before she married him.
So, it turns out I'm a sucker for charming (/pun), vaguely outlandish novels with unexpected protagonists. Arthur Pepper is the kind of dull older man you'd expect him to be. He likes his routine, dislikes change, and is quite isolated especially since his wife died. Quite frankly, we've all met Arthur Peppers before-men who seem older than they are because they're quite stuck. Patrick, however, writes characters that you love anyway. His neighbors, normal people, all become lovable characters with Patrick's prose. And then, the premise, the mystery of it all, what was Miriam actually like? The abrupt but self-propelled jerk out of his comfort zone that brings Arthur walking on the side of the road to go to a ranch with tame tigers, at an art school, etc, all locations Arthur would not have been to on his own but rather is drawn to by his love for his wife. Heart-warming defines this novel perfectly. How did this vivacious adventurous woman end up married to him? Arthur Pepper ends up wondering and the answers are varied and utterly endearing. If you can read this novel without a smile ending up on your face, I suspect you don't have emotions. I'm sitting here writing this review with a pleased smile on my face just thinking of all the things Arthur went through. A perfect read for those grim weeks of overwork.