I knew in 2021 I wanted my reading list to be light-hearted, fun, and an escape! I did Modern Day Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge for the New year and there was a common theme in my answers! I needed light-hearted this year and I’m sure after a tough 2020 many of you do too!
The first book that I chose for the New Year did not disappoint! It was light-hearted, funny, and endearing!
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the curious charms of arthur pepper by phaedra patrick
There are many people who think if you loved the book A Man Called Ove you will love this one. I have not read that one yet, but it is on my to-read list. There was actually a movie on A Man Called Ove several years back and now they say an American version of the film will feature Tom Hanks in a new movie.
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is about an older man who is still mourning the loss of his wife after the one-year anniversary when he finds a bracelet of hers that has some charms on it! He doesn’t recognize it and he starts to wonder what the charms represent. He decides to start a journey to find out. This ends up taking him totally out of his comfort zone to many new places.
He begins to realize that his wife had a totally different life before he met her that he knew nothing about. This makes him feel insecure and he begins to question why his wife who led this adventuresome life before him would settle down with him, who was so ordinary.
I love a story that has interesting characters and this book did not disappoint there! There are neighbors and family and so many different kinds of people he meets along his journey that make this the perfect feel-good book!
It is a book that also makes you realize how complicated relationships can be but also how beautiful. We are all complex people that are made up of different experiences that shape us. You see this in the complicated relationships with his children and the love he had for his wife.
I actually listened to a lot of this on audiobook, I usually go back and forth with audio and reading. I read so fast and sometimes I get impatient at the slowness of the audio, and although you can pick up the speed I don’t tend to enjoy it when it doesn’t sound like real talking. I will say this audio is fantastic, the reader felt just like I pictured the main character in the book. It is English also (UK English) and I just love a great accent and a good English story!
Of course, this book is fiction but some may argue that is a little unrealistic. This homebody man going all over the place to track down where these charms are from but isn’t that what makes a great story? It is the fantasy in it, like the what-ifs? What if I did decide to do this crazy thing? And I find that a fun part of the story!
If you are looking for a delightful little escape this book will be perfect. It does deal with death and loss but it doesn’t go deep into that too much! You feel bad for him losing his wife and knowing he loved her so much, however she has already been gone a year when the story starts so you don’t have to go through the emotion of the actual time of him losing her.
Also, I felt the book showed a man who loved and missed his wife but was ready to start to move on and live again. That was inspiring.
I don’t give 5 stars easily, I save those for my absolute favorite books, so although it is not a 5 star it is close! It’s not a blow you away oh my goodness book but it is certainly a fun read!
Note: This book contains a little bad language.
Verdict: 4 stars
Have you read The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper? I’d love to hear what you thought! And if you’ve read other Phaedra Patrick books, let me know which ones are your favorites!
A Review of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
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ABOUT THE BOOK
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 and healing 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 joyous reminder of life’s infinite possibilities.