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Book Club Choices: The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

Arthur Pepper is a lonely man. His wife has died and his children are distant — one geographically and one emotionally. What saves Arthur from total despair is a hermit-like routine from which he will not deviate. His closest companion is a fern that he nurtures each day.

A kindly neighbor, Bernadette, comes to visit regularly, bringing Arthur goodies. Even so, more times than not he’ll hide from sight in the front hallway so he can pretend he’s not home, though he’s not fooling anyone.

On the day that he finally decides to pack up his wife’s things, he finds a beautiful and expensive gold charm bracelet tucked inside of one of her shoes. It seems clear that his wife was leading a double life. Arthur is determined to find out about it. One of the charms has a phone number etched on it and Arthur makes a call. So begins a journey that will uncover his wife’s past as it will change Arthur’s future.

This lovely journey of rebirth is sure to be a hit with book clubs of all types.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick. MIRA/Harlequin; ISBN 978-0-77831-933-7; $24.99.

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