FIRST “WRITES” OF SPRING.
Booklist Reviews 2016 April #2
A year after the death of his wife, Miriam, Arthur Pepper discovers a charm bracelet she'd hidden away, and the charms point to parts of her life he'd never known during their 40 years of marriage. Arthur sets out on a quest to uncover the provenance of the charms. From a family home in India to a tumbledown English manor to an author's home in London to a Parisian wedding-dress shop, Arthur is surprised and rattled by the places, people, and experiences he discovers shaped Miriam's life before their simple, content existence in York. With the help of his adult children and a meddlesome neighbor, Bernadette, Arthur realizes that what their life lacked in adventure was made up for in abiding love. Patrick's debut novel tells a sweet and poignant story about marriage, grief, and memory. Readers will find bumbling, earnest Arthur utterly endearing. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2016 February #1
Arthur Pepper lives a simple life, eventless since his beloved wife, Miriam, died: same food, same clothes, same daily routine. On the one-year anniversary of her death, something changes. While painfully sorting through her possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he never saw her wear. On the chain are an elephant, a tiger, a book, a heart, a palette, and other charms. Curious, Arthur begins a search for the origin of these trinkets that takes him from New York to London, Paris, and India. Not only is Arthur's life amazingly altered, but he learns much more about Miriam and the choice she made when she married him. VERDICT Tender, insightful, and surprising, this wonderful debut novel is a stunning addition to the popular genre of transformative stories of otherwise uneventful lives. It will instantly capture the hearts of readers who loved Rachel Joyce's The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Nina George's The Little Paris Bookshop, and Antoine Laurain's The Red Notebook.—Susan Clifford Braun, Bainbridge Island, WA[Page 73]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2016 February #3
Patrick's debut novel evokes whimsy and poignancy. Since Miriam, his wife of 40 years, died a year ago, 69-year-old Arthur Pepper stopped living; he merely exists, until he finds a gold charm bracelet he'd never seen before tucked inside one of her shoes. The first of the bracelet's eight charms is a bejeweled elephant inscribed with a phone number. He calls it and is shocked to learn that Miriam once lived in India. He sets about exploring the other charms—including a tiger, a locket, and a thimble—which take him from Yorkshire to a manor house in Bath long past its glory days, and further afield, to London and Paris. While unraveling Miriam's past, Arthur realizes that his outward journey is also a journey within, and in a comically heartwarming fashion he attempts to embrace the unknown while slowly discovering his positive impact on others. This is a sweet story with an almost magical, but never saccharine denouement, as a newly whole Arthur Pepper emerges. Agent: Clare Wallace, Darley Anderson Agency. (May)[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC