The Curious Charms Of Arthur Pepper was another odyssey type novel of a senior citizen. I must have put this on my “to read” list after seeing it on some other notable book list because it isn’t the type of novel that would usually catch my attention. Truthfully, I have vowed not to read any more of these types of novels because I am just not finding them to be fulfilling. Here, after Arthur’s wife Miriam died, he found a charm bracelet she had hidden and decided to embark on a quest to discover the meaning of all the charms on the bracelet.
Ultimately, the charms lead him to different countries and continents and allow him to learn who his wife really was. He learned that Miriam lived quite an exciting life before they met, and he was puzzle as to why she wouldn’t have shared those experiences with him. The biggest problem with this novel is that there is no foundation for any issue between Miriam and Arthur that gives his quest meaning. Miriam and Arthur lived a happy life for over forty years and there were no cracks in their marriage. So Miriam keeping a few secrets just didn’t have any impact for me.
As the charms lead Arthur to other countries, he was pushed to have new experiences of things he normally would have been resistant to. But, again, there wasn’t enough buildup of him being a rigid man to make those events especially poignant as he experienced them. Basically, the lack of foundation for the characters left his as a dry quest novel with no punch. Even the ending just fell flat for me since the author hadn’t raised any issues other than what was reinforced at the end.
Basically, I started reading this in a situation where I didn’t have any other book to jump to and then read too much to put it down. This was only alright.