Thursday, 20 June 2019

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

Details of the Book
No. of Pages   : 331 pages
ISBN               : 0778319334 (ISBN13: 9780778319337)
Language         : English

From the book blurb
In this poignant and sparkling debut, a lovable widower embarks on a life-changing adventure.
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, healing and self-discovery 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 curiously charming debut and a joyous celebration of life's infinite possibilities.

Phaedra Patrick originally studied art and marketing and has worked as a stained glass artist, film festival organiser and communications manager. Her debut novel, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, is translated into over twenty languages worldwide and film rights have been optioned in the US.

What I think
To begin with, the book blurb is quite interesting. It is unusual and has an edge to it. The cover page further adds to the charm! It doesn’t have many characters and is mostly follows the life of Arthur Pepper – a 69 years old man who lost his wife to pneumonia a year before. He is still struggling to move on. Life isn’t the same without her. In order to inject some sense of purpose in his otherwise lonesome life, he becomes a man of routine. He wakes up at the same time, eats the same thing and at the same time of course, wears same clothes and so on. Most importantly, he awaits death! On his wife’s first death anniversary, he forces himself to give away her belongings to a charity. That’s when he comes across the charm bracelet which arouses his curiosity and thus begins the story!

Phaedra Patrick’s writing style is quite detailed and help us vividly imagine each and every details. This makes the book un-put-downable! Arthur, as a character, is extremely likable because he is real. His emotions ranges from mourning, curiosity, jealousy, happiness, accomplishment and finally a sense of purpose amongst others. He also brings lots of warmth along which melts us. The love between Arthur and his wife Miriam which has stood the test of time (more than 40 years!) is alluring to say the least.

While the story might come across of Arthur’s efforts to understand his wife and her past better, it is actually the story of Arthur himself. It is about his journey of transformation which helps him understand himself better. His story urges us to live our life to the fullest and also be a part of other people’s life. After all, after death what really people could leave in the world is their memories in the hearts of people!

In short, this is a light hearted books which connects to the reader very deeply. And the soul of the book is: Death is certain; but no one can choose how and when to die. On the other hand, life could be uncertain; but we can choose how to live it!

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