By Phaedra Patrick
Mira Books, 2016, 331 pages, Fiction
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, 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.
Arthur Pepper is surprisingly willing to go with the flow. The more he finds out about his wife’s life before she met him, the stranger things get. Yet Arthur embraces it all with surprising acceptance even when he finds himself in unusual situations. He’s less curmudgeonly than Fredrik Backman’s beloved Ove, but he finds himself surrounded by characters who are even more interesting. Fans of books about people who go through unlikely transformations (like A Man Called Ove, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, or Etta and Otto and Russell and James) will love this book.