This has been the year for charming, quirky books; at least, I’m finding them on a somewhat regular basis.
Arthur Pepper is a 69-year-old curmudgeon. He lost Miriam, his wife of forty years, just a year earlier, and has decided it is time to go through her belongings and send them off to charity. He pulls out a pair of boots and finds a charm bracelet hidden in the toe of the boot. Arthur is perplexed; he’s didn’t give her the bracelet and in fact, he’s never even seen it.
Arthur is a man of simple needs, as was his wife. They have two children, a daughter who lives nearby and a son who lives in Australia, but they are not close. In fact, neither of the children attended Miriam’s funeral. He has neighbors that he hides from, but the fact is that Arthur is lonely.
Although they were married, and happily, for all those years, Arthur realizes he really didn’t know anything about her life prior to their relationship. One of the charms has a phone number engraved on it, and that sets him off on an adventure into Miriam’s past. And she has quite a past – a stint working as a nanny in India, working as a nude model for artists, living in Paris and London for a while, and she even has a former fiance.
If you enjoy quirky family stories, then this is the book for you. I did this book with my book group and it made for a most enjoyable discussion. Arthur Pepper has the same sort of appeal as A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman.
7/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER by Phaedra Patrick. MIRA; Reprint edition (January 31, 2017). ISBN 978-0778319801. 336p.