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The Curious Charm of Arthur Pepper by Phraedra Patrick

April 28, 2017

About the Author: From stained glass artist and professional Marketer to full-time novelist- Phraedra Patrick is lapped in experiences, qualifying her to author whimsical adventures. Patrick’s passion for writing easily became an obsession after winning numerous short-story competitions. Turning her hobby into a dream career, Patrick now writes full-time from her home in Saddleworth, United Kingdom.

Aside from writing, Patrick enjoys walking, eating too much chocolate, and doing arts and crafts. Represented by Darley Anderson Literary Agency, her best-selling debut novel called The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper hit the shelves in 2016. Transpiring from a childhood sentiment to an endearing novel, Patricks’ personal charm bracelet laid the foundations for The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper.

Review: Arthur Pepper is a staid and listless 69 year-old widow. The figurative glue of his family, Miriam, now gone, his family has drifted apart. Arthur now, sticks to mundane, yet tediously precise routine.

By nature Arthur is a devout people-pleaser. The discomfort and concern he is causing his loved ones-elicits an internal desire to alleviate them. Muddled in his new normative state of loneliness and steady mourning, Arthur knows it’s time to move forward. Determined to stop the sympathy, casseroles, and semi-hollow invitations for ‘tea and a chat’, Arthur elects to part ways with his grief. His plan to donate Miriam’s unvaried clothing and familiar items swiftly curtails when he discovers an uncanny charm bracelet, tucked away in one of her shoes.

He is perplexed at the gold bracelet and its intricate charms; each one bejeweled and carefully detailed. A piece of jewelry such as this one, is very contradictory to his wife’s colorless wardrobe. Bewildered by his finding, Arthur inspects the foreign sentiment. The charms include a tiger, elephant, thimble, paintbrush, and a heart. The most beautiful charm, an elephant with a generous sized emerald, is unscripted with a telephone number. Arthur is certain he had never seen the bracelet on Miriam. Surely he would recognize such a distinct bracelet. His curiosity had him dialing the numbers from the belly of the elephant on the landline that hung lifelessly in his kitchen.

Unprepared for who or what might be on the receiving end, Arthurs angst grew. He could have never possibly known that a young man in India would be answering his call. The man shared that Miriam nannied him when he was a child, at his family estate located in the heart of India. Arthur hadn’t known his wife spent a period of her life in India. As far as he knew, she had never left their quiet English town.

The following morning Arthur mopes in a poignant stupor. He abandons his routine, and wallows in confusion. The man from India had given him an address in London, at which he used to correspond with Miriam. He hadn’t known she lived in India, he hadn’t known she lived in London, had he even known his wife of 40 years?

Confronted with these varied connections, Arthur’s mind ruminates with questions of self-doubt. Was I enough? What else don’t I know about the life she had before me? Did I make her happy?

With nothing to lose, Arthur takes the audience on an authentic journey for truth and closure. Arthur Pepper is the endearing, love-lorn widow we all want to know. Following clues that take him to different corners of globe to unravel the mysteries of his wife past, Arthur finds more than Miriams’ past. He has unknowingly embarked on a path of self-discovery and a second chance at happiness.

This novel contains chapters that will leave you teary-eyed, and pages that are nothing short of comedic. Overall, Arthur Pepper is a delightful character who desires to understand the past of his wife. Blinded by his determination to know if such a cultured woman could have loved his small life, he is given the chance to see how deeply loved and special his Miriam was. This gentle, cheerful story will rekindle your love for tender novels.

Haley Thompson
Contributing Writer

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