Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, The

Patrick, Phaedra

  31 Reviews

When widower Arthur Pepper, an entrenched creature of routine, plucks up the courage to sort out his beloved wife's belongings, he comes across an expensive gold bracelet that he doesn't recognise. Just what did Miriam get up to before their forty years of marriage? Tracing the provenance of each of the charms takes Arthur on an odyssey that reveals as much about him as it does about Miriam.

A delightfully eccentric and amusing story of self-discovery and the unexpected rewards of throwing off the shackles. [Larger font]



NELS 076
A nice read. Not a page turner but enjoyable.
AUCK 335
Very easy to read and quite unmemorable. The author dealt with some serious topics such as loss and grief but in a rather superficial way and with no depth of characterization.The book generated very little discussion but some were glad to have an easy read with a happy ending at the end of a rather difficult year.
Enjoyable easy read - couldn't wait to get back to it.
CHCH 247
Most enjoyed this light read, which generated good discussion. However, the improbable story line was a bit annoying and trite. The characters and their unhappy situations were made good in a superficial way, but overall, it was cleverly written and entertaining.
Nearly everyone loved this happy 'feel good', easy to read story. You didn't have to think, just enjoy. Some parts were a little far fetched but overall a very good book.
NELS 020
Whimsical and understated, but probably wouldn't recommend it as a must-read.
NELS 075
A light read with a few chuckles along the way!
Great uplifting read.
We all found this a delightful, quick and easy read. It touched on opposite attraction, family dynamics, personal esteem. Light, entertaining, whimsical and refreshing. We would look for this author in the future.
NAP 020
Well-written, and we all enjoyed it. A light humorous book yet touched on grief in many ways.
CHCH 077
An easy read for a time when we needed an escape from the troubles of the world. Some thought it was a bit sad that Arthur knew so little of Miriam's earlier life, but then again some people thought that was because Miriam had found contentment in the life she had with Arthur.
CHCH 449
A light-hearted, easy & amusing read enjoyed by most.
PICT 001
A whimsical story. Enjoyed by some but not all.
Some loved it, while others did not enjoy the writing at all. They liked the idea of the story, but did not find it a credible read.
Quirky whimsical read, we all felt Arthurs wife could have had a much more adventurous life but being married to Arthur quashed that! A light read, appropriate for the stressful COVID times we are experiencing.
Half of the group liked, half didnt. Thought it was a bit like A Man Called Ove but not as good. Still an easy read though.
ASHB 016
We all loved this book - possibly because it was a light & easy read after some of the books we have had and the COVID situation. We also wondered why she had never said anything to him about her past. Good discussion about how he changed so much and was that really possible but agreed it was a good story.
All agreed it was a light hearted read. The portrayal of Arthurs grief was plausible and prompted discussion amongst the group of how we all deal with grief in ways that help us get through the loss. The difference in Miriam pre and post marriage was difficult to fathom and maybe thinking that she was responsible for her fiancs death goes some way to explain why she didnt want to talk about or revisit that part of her life. Aspects of the characters and plot were not believable but some of our group pointed out that this is fiction and as such it didnt have to be.
If you take it at face value, it is a light easy read with a few surprises and lessons. Interesting premise but not really well executed. We all found different things to talk about and it did lead to a lively discussion.
We were in lockdown for our meeting but reviews were emailed in. We mostly enjoyed this read, light and easy. We found it rather implausible that Miriam could change so dramatically on her marriage, keep her past so secret and never really talk to Arthur, however the sense of grief and loss was well handled and the children's behaviour towards their father was understandable given his disinterest in them when growing up. The device of following the charms allowed the story to move along though we thought other books had done it better.
We all found this a light and easy read. It's better if you put credibility to one side - it's hard to believe that Arthur and his wife never talked about the past, and that a charm bracelet could be the foundation for so much detective work. The 'deep meaning' of Arthur's change seems a rather artificial construct. But once you accept the book's limitations, it is unexceptionable and pleasant. A Man Called Ove does something similar much better.
AUCK 255
Light and entertaining. We questioned the credibility of Arthur knowing so little about his wife's interesting history.
ROTO 010
About half of our group really enjoyed this somewhat whimsical book and its meanderings; the other half were definite in not liking it, finding its style & language wanting and thought that it was too light-weight. However, we had a lively discussion about the questions of secrets and communication that it raised.
Most of our group enjoyed this book as a portrayal of one man's journey through grief via discovery of the life his wife had had before they met, and the amusing and tantalising clues that he followed on the way. The other side of the discussion from those who didn't enjoy the book so much was about some of the contrivances in the stories of the charms which they felt distracted from the other messages in the plot. However we all agreed that it was a good light-hearted read for the summer and the ending was a satisfying one which looked ahead to a more positive future for all.
Everyone enjoyed this book. We found the simple writing style appealing and a light relief from some of the more serious books we have had recently. We enjoyed the sense of mystery (what will he uncover next) and the way Arthur changed in himself and in regard to others. He became a more complete and interesting person. Miriam was an enigma. How did she keep quiet about her experiences before marriage Characterisations were good - we could almost see Bernadette, her son etc.
ASHB 003
Group members enjoyed the book - an easy read, and we kept turning the pages, enjoying the stories of the charms and characters along the way. While many found the stories to be a little contrived and improbable, it didn't detract significantly from being an enjoyable read.
A light read enjoyed by all. Questions generated good discussion, mostly around how we communicate within families. Some found the plot a little too 'convenient'.
TAKA 001
Everybody enjoyed the book. Delightful and light. Characters are well developed and quirky. Believable Hmmm - not everybody thought so, especially the tiger story. We agreed that a bit of artistic license was quite the ticket.
AUCK 344
This book was very much enjoyed by our group. Just for a change, it was good to have a 'lighter' read.
CHCH 113
All enjoyed this gentle fable, and the emergence of Arthur Pepper from his grief as he followed the puzzles posed by his late wife's charm bracelet. We chose not to focus on the implausible aspects of the story - instead relating all the laugh out loud moments that we liked the most. Arthur posing nude for a life drawing class was a favourite!
We all enjoyed this light, at times frivolous story. An easy read with moments of humour and surprise as Arthur unravels the significance of each charm in his wife's life. And a satisfying ending too, as Arthur finds his place in a happy future.