After four decades of marriage, the death of his wife has left Arthur Pepper reeling. Even one year later, he's maintaining the same routine as they did as a couple, but he's alone. He's hiding from a neighborhood woman, getting up at the exact same hour, and having little interaction with his neighbors and children. When he decides to start clearing out his late wife's belongings, he never expects to find a charm bracelet he'd never seen before.
The first charm to catch his eye is that of an elephant. There's a phone number on it, so he makes the call. He soon learns that each charm captures a time in Miriam's life that she never spoke of. Arthur makes it a priority to uncover pieces of Miriam's life before him by tracking down each charm and what it meant to her. This means getting mauled by a tiger, traveling to other countries, and learning a lot about both Miriam and himself in the process.
I loved this story. It's not your run-of-the-mill tale, it's part adventure, part dealing with grief, and a whole lot of Arthur's own coming of age so to speak. He grows a lot over the course of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, and I found myself unhappy that the book ended. I wanted more of Arthur, his family, and the people he meets during his journey.
Look for The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper on May 3, 2016. It's a refreshing story from MIRA that I'm so glad I read.