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The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  10,853 Ratings  ·  2,126 Reviews
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-ye
Hardcover, 331 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by MIRA (first published January 29th 2016)
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Phaedra Patrick Some, in that it's a story set in England about an elderly man setting off on a journey. But the story is different, as bereaved Arthur searches for…moreSome, in that it's a story set in England about an elderly man setting off on a journey. But the story is different, as bereaved Arthur searches for the stories behind the charms on his late wife's bracelet. In doing so he discovers she led a secret life before they met, and he also learns to live and embrace life again.

I think if you enjoyed Harold Fry, Disney's UP and a Man Called Ove, then you'd like this too.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Phaedra Patrick
Oct 07, 2015 Phaedra Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I loved writing this and I hope you love reading it too. It's a lot about real life, and I'm influenced by fables too. Remember when you used to sit on your parents' knees for story time. You never questioned which bits were true or not. You just enjoyed them. So, thats what I did for Arthur - I wrote his story straight from the heart and gave him a poignant, fun and adventurous journey. Happy reading! x
Mar 22, 2016 Noeleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My thanks to Harlequin (UK) Limited and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

This endearing story starts on the first anniversary of the death of Miriam Pepper, Arthur’s wife. Aged sixty-nine, married for forty years and still mourning the death of his beloved Miriam, Arthur discovers a mysterious charm bracelet when he finally has the courage to go through Miriam’s belongings. The discovery of the bracelet sets Arthur, not only o
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
May 04, 2016 Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
How could a charm bracelet stir up so many emotions and curiosity?

After Arthur's wife passed away and he was cleaning out her things, his discovery of a hidden charm bracelet had him curious about what each charm meant. He also wanted to know why he never saw Miriam wearing it and why she had it hidden in the toe of a boot.

This charm bracelet pulled him out of his hermit slump and onto adventures he never dreamed of as he traced where each charm came from and what their meaning was to Miriam. He
Susan Johnson
Apr 26, 2016 Susan Johnson rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most delightful and heart warming novel that I have read in a long time. I think it would be impossible to put this book down and not be in a happy mood and a little in love with Arthur Pepper. It reminds me of "Britt-Marie Was Here" or really any of Fredrik Backman's works. It is about a semi-elderly person who comes to a crossroads in their life and must decide how to live their remaining time.

On the first anniversary of Miriam's, his beloved wife of 40 years, death, Arthur
This novel was a stinker… and there was nothing “charming” about it.

When I first started reading it I was worried that it would be a clone of “A Man Called Ove”. Well, that was one thing I didn’t have to worry about. Arthur was no Ove… and I don’t mean that as a compliment. Arthur was a world class ditherer, worrywart and second-guesser. He was an insecure little man who felt threatened at the thought that his wife might actually have had a life before she met him. I found him to be completely a
Ann Marie
To read more of my reviews, please visit Lit. Wit. Wine & Dine.

Arthur Pepper misses his wife. It has been a year since she passed away. Miriam and Arthur were married for forty happy, peaceful, uneventful years. It's not until Arthur steels himself to the task of sorting her things that he discovers a charm bracelet he'd never seen before. A telephone call to a number on one of the charms prompts Arthur to begin a journey in search of the truth of his wife's past prior to their meeting. Alon

Absolutely delightful!!!
I ***** LOVE ***** this charming and adventurous, witty and wise, life/love affirming book!!!

"He was experiencing emotions he didn't know existed. He had begun to discover people and animals that excited him. He wasn't ready to rot away in his armchair, mourning his wife and waiting for his children to call, and filling his days with plant-watering and TV."

A fabulous sort of story that makes life a little more bright and beautiful. A tale to savor, ripe with imaginati
Jan 17, 2016 Robin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants a "feel-good" story
I’m predicting this will be one of my favorite novels of 2016.

Exactly a year after the death of his beloved wife, Miariam, 69-year-old Arthur Pepper is cleaning out Miriam's closet when he finds an expensive charm bracelet he didn’t know she owned, and each charm seems to represent a part of Miriam's pre-married life. After the shock wears off, Arthur steps out of his grief-stricken comfort zone of staid routine to discover what Miriam was hiding in her past. What follows is a series of adventur
♡ Kim ♡
Feb 03, 2016 ♡ Kim ♡ marked it as own-will-read-soon
Shelves: giveaway-wins
Just received notification that I won this in a giveaway from The Reading Room! :)
This book reminds me so much of "A Man Called Ove". What is about charming, grumpy, old, lonely men finding a new lease on life that I cannot get enough of. My heart is all warm and toasty after finishing this book. Arthur Pepper is one of those characters that grabs hold of a piece of your heart and never lets it go.

Maybe it is the travel bug in me, or me always wanting to live every piece of life like its golden why I LOVE this novel. Patrick really did an amazing job of taking you on an unfo
Mar 09, 2016 DeB MaRtEnS rated it liked it
I smiled when I realized that "The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper" were LITERALLY the gold charms on a bracelet that he finds, tucked in a winter boot, as he prepares to finally clear away the clothing of his wife Miriam who died a year before. The sixty-nine year old fellow has mournfully and rigidly kept to the schedule and rituals of daily life with his wife but without her it has become sadly vacant.

Upon finding the curious and valuable charms, Arthur realizes that Miriam had a life before
♥ Sandi
Dec 11, 2015 ♥ Sandi rated it liked it
Shelves: 2-want
Received this ARC from First Reads for an honest review~~

As Arthur Pepper tackles sorting through his deceased wife's belongings he comes across a hidden charm bracelet. A bracelet that he believes he has never seen or heard about, but definitely stirs his curiosity. And so the transformation begins...
This odyssey takes Arthur to India, Paris and London, as he searches for answers. Along the way he begins to doubt his 40 year marriage to Miriam. As he meets the people who correspond with the cha
B.A. Paris
Oct 07, 2015 B.A. Paris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this story of Arthur Pepper! He’s so wonderfully endearing that you can’t help fall in love with him as he travels around the country trying to solve the mystery behind the charm bracelet. Beautifully written, funny and moving, this is one of those books that you will always remember.
Louise Wilson
Feb 15, 2016 Louise Wilson rated it really liked it
Arthur Pepper was married to Miriam for 40 years and they had a strict routine they kept to every day. After her death Arthur keeps to the routine his wife had set out.

On the anniversary of her death Arthur decides it's time to sort out her belongings.

In the bottom of the wardrobe Arthur puts his hand into one of her boots and and to his surprise there is a box that contains a charm bracelet he has never seen before.

On one of the charms he finds a telephone number which he decides to call t
Mar 15, 2017 Kim rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. Arthur was an adorable character and his story was a delight to read.
Liza Fireman
Dec 10, 2016 Liza Fireman rated it liked it
This one is a really cute book. Arthur's wife has died and he starts to understand that he actually didn't know a whole lot about her. He is following the charms on a bracelet of hers to find out that she had a life before him. That she had done quite a lot really. And there the journey begins.

The story is really nice. And a bit of a reminding to a bunch of other books on quirky old men that go through something (from A Man Called Ove to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry). I can't say that I
Jun 01, 2016 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I started this book with the expectation of it being a comfy read. You know, an older person going on an adventure and all? So I was baffled to find myself bawling my eyes out after just 5-10 pages. I mean, I never cry while reading. Heck, I recently even kind of boasted on here about not ever crying while reading, and then THIS happens. It was like the end scene from the fucking Notebook all over again…

(I didn’t see that one coming either and think I cried for two hours straight while being tot
Mar 26, 2016 Adele rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This is Phaedra Patrick’s debut novel and what a treat she has written for us all. I utterly adored this sweet, quirky novel. Devouring each chapter full of adventure and promise of more. The adventure came at a time in Arthur’s life when he was very low and feeling lost. The journey he took discovering the stories behind each charm were enlightening, sometimes they brought emotions out of Arthur he thought he’d never feel, but ultimately they opened up his mind to memories he had forgotten whic ...more
Jessie Weaver
Dec 01, 2016 Jessie Weaver rated it really liked it
In episode 40 of the What Should I Read Next Podcast, bookstore owner Holland Saltsman mentioned this book alongside The One-in-a-Million Boy and The Sparrow as favorites of hers. Since I love both of those latter two books, too, which are vastly different, and I thought the description sounded wonderful, I decided to pick up Arthur Pepper.

Widower Arthur is fairly reminiscent of A Man Called Ove – he’s hiding from his neighbor, wondering what to do with the rest of his mundane life without his
May 17, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it
I love small books--happy books--easy-to-read, relaxing books. "The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper" was all of these things. Actually, it was like going on a vacation with good friends and coming home well-rested and contented.

This is the book that you choose, when you get stuck in the same genre or nothing strikes you as interesting. It's for everyone at any time. It's a little treasure that was a joy to experience!

It may be Phaedra Patrick's first novel, but I'm hoping it won't be her last.
Rebecca McNutt
Jan 16, 2017 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: death, adventure, fiction
Arthur's journey of overcoming grief and going on an adventure which might bring him closure, is both interesting and sad, and definitely an exciting story.
May 12, 2016 Kelli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really cute story which somewhat reminds me of A Man Called Ove. A little bit of a mystery but not dramatic. Light, easy read.
Jan 26, 2017 Steph rated it it was amazing
My 60-year-old dad died very suddenly of a brain aneurysm almost two months ago. I've lost one of my best friends and my very favorite book buddy. We would read the same books and go meet authors together; our latest book obsession was Fredrick Backman's stories. We even went to meet him a few months ago. My dad got a good selfie with him, as he often did with authors. :)

I bought The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper for my dad for Christmas because I had heard that it was a lot like A Man called
Jan 29, 2016 Becky rated it really liked it
I won an advance copy of this book from

When I first started reading the book I thought, oh no, it sounds like A Man Called Ove. But as I continued reading it, all comparisons were gone.

As the story starts, Arthur Pepper is coming up to the one year anniversary of the death of his wife. He decides he can finally get into their room & clear out her things. While cleaning, he happens upon a hidden piece of jewelry, a charm bracelet, something he has never seen before. Each of t
Nov 09, 2016 Donna rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
This is the debut novel of this author. I actually liked this one. It was "charming" and the title fit the book to a "T". I liked Arthur....he seemed stodgy in a British kind of way when he is first introduced but he turns out to be so much more.

I will admit that some of the situations were so far fetched and answers kind of fell from the sunny sky, but that didn't even bother me. This was charming. I liked his journey. I liked how he found life, friends, and family. This was a fluffy read, and
Mar 19, 2016 Brandi rated it liked it
I enjoyed this one, even though I'm only giving it three stars. It was a nice change of pace from the fantasy novels I usually read. It's a feel-good story along the same lines as "Hector and the Search for Happiness" and "The Bucket List."

Arthur Pepper is very much a Bilbo Baggins-esque character. He's used to staying in and sticking to routine. But then adventure finds him, and his life changes completely.

It took me a while to get into this book. The characters didn't seem very complex - just
A 4.5 star read!

This book is like one of those Russian nesting dolls - you never know what's in store for you until you open the dolls one by one in order. It's like an enjoyable never-ending gift opening experience which ends up with lots of gifts you like.
Dec 13, 2015 Louize rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, 2015
THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER is that inspiring book you want to curl up with. I highly recommend it.

Read complete review from The Page Walker .
Karen Mace
Mar 01, 2016 Karen Mace rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley and Harlequin UK the publishers in return for a fair and honest review.

I have just had my heart stolen by Arthur Pepper in this delightful story by Phaedra Patrick!

After 40 years of marriage to Miriam, Arthur Pepper is alone. Widowed and without purpose as his son lives in Australia and rarely has time to talk to him, and his daughter who is a teacher rarely gets in touch as she always feels she's interfering. So Arthur for the year after his beloved
Feb 10, 2016 Jules rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
What a wonderful title The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is. It caught my attention straight away.

This is about an old man’s journey of not only finding out about his late wife’s somewhat secret past, but a journey of self-discovery for Arthur too. Watch as Arthur’s mission to find out about his wife, due to a charm bracelet he discovered amongst his wife’s belongings, takes him on an unexpected and almost magical adventure of travel, meeting of great characters and some fun, once in a lifetim
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Phaedra Patrick studied art and marketing and has worked as a stained glass artist, film festival organiser and communications manager. An award-winning short story writer, she now writes full time. She lives in Saddleworth, UK, with her husband and son. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is her debut novel.

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“By sorting out her wardrobe it felt as if he was saying goodbye to her all over again. He was clearing her out of his life. With” 1 likes
“All his thoughts were running riot, like rowdy children, and he wanted them to stop and leave him alone. He” 1 likes
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