Sunday, 1 May 2016

Review - The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

For me, everything about The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick was absolutely delightful and it was a real pleasure to read, a golden novel that I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end. This book is exquisitely written and entirely captivating, one that I could not put down and one that had me staying up until the early hours of the morning as I simply could not stop turning the pages. I have absolutely no doubt that The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is going to be one of my favourite books of 2016! 

We first meet Arthur Pepper on the morning of the anniversary of the death of his wife, Miriam. Although still very much grieving, he decides that it is time to begin clearing out his wife’s belongings. Whilst doing so he comes across a stunning gold charm bracelet that has been hidden away in one of her boots, something which Arthur has never seen before. The bracelet itself has a total of eight charms - a flower, a heart, a tiger, a paint palette, a ring, a book a thimble and an elephant. Intrigued by the bracelet, an unexpected discovery, he soon finds a telephone number located on the elephant charm and in ringing this number he sets off on a journey to find out the story behind each of the eight charms on his wife’s bracelet. 

Firstly I have to say that I found The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper to be an absolutely stunning debut novel that I completely adored. I found it to be beautifully written with a perfect mix of heart-warming and laugh out loud moments throughout. From first meeting Arthur as a man who was so grief-stricken and set in his ways with a daily routine, it was an absolute pleasure to go on such a special journey with him as he discovered more about his wife and really grew and became stronger as a person. I certainly won’t forget this wonderful character or his story in a very long time. 

In addition to being a tale of discovery and one that really highlights the fact that everyone has a story to tell, the book is also one that is very much about family and friendship. It demonstrates how true family and friends, even if you don’t see them all the time, are always going to be there offering support and encouragement in the end and I loved seeing the way in which Arthur’s relationship with his daughter, Lucy, grew over time. Of course, I couldn’t write this review without also mentioning Bernadette who was such a fantastic character throughout and was persistent in offering her support after his bereavement in a way she needed to be to get Arthur back on his feet and believing in himself. 

I still can’t quite believe that this book that has left me feeling encouraged to go out and embrace every opportunity life throws my way is a debut novel. It’s clear that Phaedra is an incredible author who we can expect many great things from and I hope to read much more written by her in the future, as The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper was so brilliant. I predict this novel is going to be massive and believe that it will appeal to almost anyone, but is certainly a book that should be considered by those who enjoyed The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry or the One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. 

My thanks must go to the publishers, who kindly sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.