The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
by Phaedra Patrick

MIRA Books, 2016. ISBN 978-0-778-31933-7.
Reviewed by Judith Helburn
Posted on 08/12/2016

Fiction: Mainstream; Fiction: Spirituality

Many of us go on the Hero's Journey when we are young, facing challenges and obstacles and, finally reaching some satisfaction. Others of us have lived a life, fairly smooth and comfortable, and are jolted into the Hero's Journey for Elders.

Arthur Pepper is one of the latter. Pepper, grieving for the loss of his beloved wife discovers something of hers which piques his curiosity and jolts him out of his passive grief. He begins a physical journey to discover not only who his wife was before they met, but also to discover who he has the potential to be.

A teaser quotation: He and she had lived their lives in opposite directions. Miriam's had been colorful and lively and vibrant but then quietened and calmed when she met him. He in turn had never wished for more than his wife and the children, yet here he was...

The Curious Charms is a charming, sensitive story about the ability to change and grow in our elder years. Not all of his challenges or discoveries are positive, but each one gives him depth and maturity. A lovely, optimistic read.

Phaedra Patrick studied art & marketing and has worked as a stained glass artist, film festival organizer. She is a prize-winning short story writer who lives in the UK with her husband & son. Visit her website.

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