August Theme and Book Selection
Our July/August theme was Firecracker or dynamic characters. When we started looking at books for that theme, we realized it was a whole lot harder than we’d thought. Most characters, or at least most good characters, are dynamic! So we decided to go with a character who experienced a life change, and that led us to The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick. We all thought it sounded fun.
Paperback: 331 pages Published: January 2016 by MIRA Source: Purchased
I really enjoyed The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper. It reminded me some of A Man Called Ove, one of my favorite books. Ove is a little darker though; Arthur Pepper has that same goofy stuck-in-a-rut lovableness, but he’s less grumpy. Safe to say if you liked Ove, you’ll probably enjoy Arthur.
Arthur’s journeys are somewhat less exciting than I’d hoped for, or perhaps less adventurous by my standards. I could have read more of them – I didn’t need more in terms of telling the story, but I wanted them to keep going. In particular, there’s a story about a man who owns a bunch of tigers. I could have read a whole book on that, I think. Truthfully there’s not a whole lot of depth to Arthur Pepper, but in this case, it works. You’re left with a light, uplifting read.
Book Club Discussion
Everyone who read book liked it (summers are hard!), and we all kind of agreed that it was a fluff read. One of the girls mentioned that she’d expected Arthur to go traipsing all over the world and was a little disappointed that he doesn’t.
We talked some about what would be on our own charm bracelets, and that quickly led us away from the book discussion as we talked about our travels and dogs and hobbies. One girl described her grandmother’s charm bracelet, and wondered if she’d had any fun secrets like Arthur’s wife.
September Book Club Theme: Bucket List, or a Book You’ve Always Wanted to Read
September Book Club Book: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper on Goodreads
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-year anniversary of Miriam’s death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam’s possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he’s never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes Arthur from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife’s secret life before they met–a journey that leads him to find hope, healing and self-discovery in the most unexpected places.
Featuring an unforgettable cast of characters with big hearts and irresistible flaws, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is a curiously charming debut and a joyous celebration of life’s infinite possibilities.