Review: The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

Title: The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
Author: Phaedra Patrick
Pages: 336
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Source: Free ARC from Harlequin

Rating: A+

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review (and trust me, honest is always what you’ll get).

Review: The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is appropriately titled. It is charming indeed! And delightful. So. So. DELIGHTFUL! My first thought when I started reading it was, “This reminds me a bit of A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman”. But at the end of it, I have to say the only thing the two have in common is the most basic part of the story – an older man figuring out how to get on after his wife of many years has passed away. After that, there is little to compare.

First off, I love Arthur Pepper. I loved getting to know him, watching him grow and change, going on adventures he never imagined for himself, all in the name of learning more about who his wife was before they met. In turn? He ultimately learns more about himself and discovers a lust for life that he had no idea he was capable of. His perspective on his past, present and future changes. And so do his relationships.

This book is a wonderful and hopeful look at the possibilities life still offers us after we experience loss, after we’ve aged beyond what some consider “useful”. It’s a reflection on a false belief that we can know everything about those we love most, when in truth, there is likely so much we don’t know about them. And more importantly, that whatever we don’t know, whatever they didn’t tell us, in no way changes what we did know of them, nor does it change the life we have lived with them.

Oh, there is just so much in this book that I could go on forever, but I’d do so at risk of spoilers, and I certainly won’t do that. But I will say, at the risk of repeating myself, that this is a lovely, delightful, charming, and insightful book that I enjoyed tremendously.

Absolutely one of the best books I’ve read this year.

A book I’ll read again without a doubt.

AND I’ll be eagerly awaiting Ms. Patrick’s next book.


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