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The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  41,998 ratings  ·  6,400 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 t…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.

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 ·  41,998 ratings  ·  6,400 reviews

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Phaedra Patrick
Oct 07, 2015 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!

If you enjoy this book, you'll probably like my second book Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone (kn
May 17, 2016 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.
Elyse  Walters
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Many modern charms each have inspirational meaning. Charm jewelry make lovely gifts with added meeting to cherish. Author Phaedra Patrick gave us her gift with this charming- inspirational- book - literally and figuratively!

A charming story .....
.....about a charming man named Arthur
.....about a ‘charm bracelet’ ( I HAD NO IDEA - I had not read the reviews), that Arthur finds which belonged to his deceased wife Miriam.
.....about the journey Author takes — new discoveries about Miria
Jan 26, 2017 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
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
We never stop growing.

There are so many various and multifarious sides to the world, we have to eventually abandon our inwardness.

Arthur Pepper has stuck with an inward-looking life, and lingered there too long with his longtime soulmate. It is a life of settled habit and, unfortunately, myopia.

He cannot see the outside world, stuck with his better half in front of the telly with their Friday fried fish.

When she dies, he tries to stick to his old habits. But the outside world proves much too j
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
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
May 04, 2016 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.
Mar 22, 2016 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
Apr 26, 2016 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
B.A. Paris
Oct 07, 2015 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.
Joe Krakovsky
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: cute
In my opinion, this was a cute little story that kept my interest, even though I would have passed this book by had not my book club chose it. The cover is quite cutsie, and that is the first thing I notice when book hunting. The second thing that catches my eye would be the title, depending on how the book is sitting on the shelf as I peruse the selections. In both cases I would not have given it more than a passing glance. But at least the author can't be accused of false advertising or bait ...more
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
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. Along th
Clif Hostetler
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel
This is a charming feel good sort of novel about a sixty-nine year old English widower who after a year of isolation from the world and being closed up inside his home has decided to go through his deceased wife's clothes in preparation for donating them to charity. In doing so he comes across a charm bracelet that he doesn't recall having seen before. There is a name and telephone number with it that he decides to check into. From this contact he learns about additional information that leads t ...more
This was ok.
I was hoping for more Harold Fry and less Pandora's Box. I usually find great comfort and enjoyment with British domestic fiction and had expected the same from this but was disappointed.

The premise is delightful: Arthur Pepper's wife, Miriam, died a year ago and he's been grieving ever since. When a friendly neighbor convinces him to stop stagnating, Arthur decides it's time to clean out his wife's closet and in doing so, he finds a gold charm bracelet he doesn't remember seeing bef
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, audiobook, bookriot, mmd
Arthur Pepper is struggling with his wife's death, learning how to live alone when he discovers a charm bracelet in an old boot. He realizes it was a part of his wife's life that he never knew about. He sets out to discover where the charms came from and more about his wife's past.

I enjoyed this journey, but struggled to really love it. Maybe it's because I've read too many of these types of books. Old man is lonely and finds out stuff about his life or the life of the dead spouse. I found some
Jan 17, 2016 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
Joy D
Arthur Pepper, a retired locksmith living in a small English village near York, has been a widower for a year. He is a strait-laced man who adheres to strict routines. Arthur discovers a charm bracelet while going through his wife’s possessions and finds a phone number on one of the eight charms. He calls the number, which starts a process of uncovering his wife’s past through researching the story behind each charm. He wonders if he had ever truly known his wife, as she had not confided in him ...more
♡ Kim ♡
Feb 03, 2016 marked it as own-will-read-soon
Shelves: giveaway-wins
Just received notification that I won this in a giveaway from The Reading Room! :)
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Arthur, on the one year anniversary of his wife Miriam's death, finds a charm bracelet tucked among her belongings, one he didn't know existed. His curiosity leads him to search for the origins of the charms. Each charm represents a part of his wife's life before their marriage - and what a life she led. It was so exciting that Arthur begins to doubt if he knew his wife at all, and wonders if their quiet unassuming life together was a happy one for Miriam.

Arthur visits different countries and me
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another feel good book about an older man losing his wife. BUT, he finds a beautiful, gold charm bracelet tucked into the toe of one of her barely worn shoes, as he finally starts to clean out her closet. What's this? Arthur doesn't recall ever seeing this before.
The first charm, an elegant gold elephant with a green emerald in his tummy has tiny numbers etched on his side. Arthur calls the number which leads him to a lovely family in India the first "stop" on his journey of the charms. He's off
Connie G
Widower Arthur Pepper is grieving and has resorted to the same daily routine, rarely leaving his Yorkshire home. He finds a beautiful charm bracelet when he's sorting through his deceased wife's possessions. A phone number engraved on one charm starts him on a journey where he learns about the important people and places in his wife's life before they were married. Along the way Arthur reawakens to life and all the possibilities it holds.

The people that Arthur meets seem to open their hearts and
Jonathan K
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this story which reminded me of the "Hundred Year Old Man who...". Funny, heart warming and well paced Arthur Pepper gets himself into some unusual situations when he encounters some rather interesting 'characters' along the way. Well written, paced and filled with plot twists and humor, this is a book worth reading. ...more
Diane Barnes
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I wanted to end the year with something light and unchallenging, and this was the perfect choice. A story that tells us we can never really know another person, sometimes the ones we love least of all.
Mar 09, 2016 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
Linda Hart
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a happy easy read book that delighted me, and although it's not great literature the entertainment value for me is deserving of 5 stars. It's a bittersweet, funny, and heartwarming story about a recently widowed man of 70 who is unable to really get through the days of loneliness. Upon the task of clearing out his wife's belongings, he discovers a hidden charm bracelet he had never seen before. Shocked that she had a life prior to him that he did not know about, he seeks to learn more ab ...more
Louise Wilson
Feb 15, 2016 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
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
Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it

Another GR reviewer indicated this was a good choice for those who enjoy Helen Simonson. So, I decided to give it a try.

Arthur Pepper finds an unknown charm bracelet in his dead wife’s belongings and goes off to discover the pre-married history of his wife that he knew nothing about. It's a quirky sort of adventure, with Arthur both learning about himself and teaching others. As he says ” I am learning more about myself, too… With each person I encounter, with each story I hear, I feel as if I
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of A Man Called Ove
Shelves: 2016, fiction, audible
I thought this was a cute story, but nothing really special. It was a bit too coincidental for my tastes, but still cute. I would recommend it for someone looking for a quick and easy, feel good read. Maybe 3.5★.
♥ Sandi ❣
Dec 11, 2015 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
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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 in Saddleworth where she lives with her family.

Her debut novel, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, was translated into over twenty languages worldwide and has been optioned by a major Hollywood film

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