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Publisher's Summary

Having been married for over 40 years, 69-year-old Arthur Pepper is mourning the loss of his wife. He finally musters the courage to go through her possessions and happens upon a charm bracelet that he has never seen before.

What follows is a surprising adventure that takes Arthur on an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife's life - a journey that leads him to find healing, self-discovery, and love in the most unexpected of places.

©2016 Phaedra Patrick (P)2016 W F Howes Ltd

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  • Overall
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  • Rachel Redford
  • 04-16-16

A charming delight from start to finish!

Arthur Pepper has been a widower for almost a year. Enveloped in his grievous pain, distanced from his son and daughter, 'empty as an egg without a yolk', he has become imprisoned by his daily routines, watering the pot plant he has named Frederica and trying to avoid Bernadette, the good-hearted neighbour who keeps calling with pies and cakes. That is until he finds a charm bracelet he doesn't recognise as he packs up his wife Miriam's clothes for the charity shop. It's the beginning of a succession of journeys both literal and spiritual.

As he researches each of the charms on the bracelet beginning with the little elephant, Miriam's life before she met Arthur is revealed, a life full of incidents and exotic experiences of which he knew nothing and which initially fill him with hurt. Why did she never tell him? Has their long marriage been a lie? Had he been a disappointment to the wife whom he loved so deeply and who had had such adventures?

The whole is a kind of parable revealed as the story behind each charm brings Arthur closer to learning to reconnect with life once more as he meets people and does things for the first time - things which he could never have imagined possible. Instead of shutting himself away with Frederica, he blossoms as he explores Miriam's early life. His heart heals and opens out and he learns to treasure the happy years Miriam had given him. It's a lovely, uplifting, tender and touching story!

But how lucky is the author Phaedra Patrick having this her first novel read by Peter Joyce! He is one of a handful of the very best audiobook narrators there is. His character voices, accents and phrasing make the listening to all the nuances of emotion in these stories stunningly real - and there is a huge cast of characters for Joyce to bring alive, not just from Arthur's Yorkshire, but from all walks of life and countries including India, Eastern Europe and Australia. Peter Joyce makes this a first class listening experience - a real delight!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Jenni
  • 08-23-17

Such a sweet story

The story was so sweet, of adventure, love, memories and of finding ones self.

There were parts where you wanted to have a good cry and then parts where you were crying with laughter.

It is a really easy read and i hoghly recommended

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Czarniecka
  • 02-01-17

lovely book and an outstanding performance

It was easy for this book to become a silly, full of clichés read about ups and downs of life, but it's everything but it. It's funny and intelligent and charges the batteries of the reader with a pure optimism. Peter Joyce's performance is incredible, surely one of the best on Audible.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs S Dunbar
  • 10-26-16

Charming story, so different

This is a charming book, lovely descriptive passages without being
boring. Arthur Pepper is typical of his generation, afraid and not always capable of showing or expressing his feelings after the death of his wife of 40 years. Its his journey through grief and finding his self, but not depressing. Its is thought provoking as well as humorous and the narrator conjures up a picture of a bumbling northern man and his discovery that although life as he knew it is over, a new and exciting one is just beginning,

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • sue
  • 03-18-18

A great listen.

Wonderfully narrated. A gentle story of memories intertwined with the unknown. A highly recommended read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel timms
  • 08-17-18

GOOD LISTEN

Took awhile to start to enjoy it but had me spellbound after first chapter definitely worth having in your library

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  • Sabine Robinson
  • 07-26-18

Charming life-affirming story, beautifully read.

Couldn't wait to finish it and Arthur Pepper definitely won my heart. Feel good story.

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  • Rosemary
  • 06-13-18

Charmingly different

A story that will linger in your memory. Superbly sympathetic narration does justice to excellent, carefully crafted writing. I absolutely loved it.

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  • Alice Jennings
  • 05-28-18

lovely and unexpected story

a lovely story with an interesting theme. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend as a gentle listen that's a little different from the normal

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-23-18

A gentle and moving story

I thoroughly enjoyed travelling with Arthur Pepper as he discovered stories about his wife’s secret past and learned some things about himself along the way. The book is a gentle and sweet reminder to live your life as happily as you can, to embrace life’s surprises, and to remember the impact that you can choose to have on others around you. The narration by Peter Joyce was perfect!

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  • Christine
  • 01-05-17

Charming

Charming storyline. Arthur is a loveable character. Readers voice was a bit dull though. enjoy