cover image The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

Phaedra Patrick. Mira, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7783-1933-7

Patrick’s debut novel evokes whimsy and poignancy. Since Miriam, his wife of 40 years, died a year ago, 69-year-old Arthur Pepper stopped living; he merely exists, until he finds a gold charm bracelet he’d never seen before tucked inside one of her shoes. The first of the bracelet’s eight charms is a bejeweled elephant inscribed with a phone number. He calls it and is shocked to learn that Miriam once lived in India. He sets about exploring the other charms—including a tiger, a locket, and a thimble—which take him from Yorkshire to a manor house in Bath long past its glory days, and further afield, to London and Paris. While unraveling Miriam’s past, Arthur realizes that his outward journey is also a journey within, and in a comically heartwarming fashion he attempts to embrace the unknown while slowly discovering his positive impact on others. This is a sweet story with an almost magical, but never saccharine denouement, as a newly whole Arthur Pepper emerges. [em]Agent: Clare Wallace, Darley Anderson Agency. (May) [/em]