I hope you are doing well, especially with all of the Christmas shopping. I sure am. I got some things to mail out, and I’ll be good for this holiday season.
Like last time, I’m still reading What Was Your Name Downriver?: Tales of the Shattered Frontier by Anthony Lowe and White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. I’m also still reading Blowback by Brad Thor since I have to read one chapter at a time to get all of the details.
As a result, I only have one novel to talk about this time, and I’m almost done with it.
It’s light novel called The Curious Charms of Arthur Culpepper, wait no, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepperpot, sorry scroll down.
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick is a curmudgeon novel. What do I mean by this? These kinds of books are usually about a stubborn person who has a certain way of living. Then, they go on a journey (physically and emotionally) to discover more about themselves and that there are people who truly care about them, resulting in them opening up to the world around them.
In this case, Arthur has a strict routine, which involves getting up at 7:30am, wearing the same pair of pants and vest, watering his plant named Frederica, and gardening. On the one-year anniversary of Miriam’s – his wife – death, he discovers a charm bracelet that he’s never seen before. Each of the charms tells a different story of her life before she met him. To feed his curiosity, Arthur goes on a journey to various places like London, Paris, and even India to find out his wife’s past life, and in the process, he discovers hope, healing, and more about himself.
I’ve read other curmudgeon novels in the past like A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, so at first, I wondered how The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper was going to stand out. Luckily, unlike the titular characters of those two books, Arthur is a parent who spent a lot of time traveling for work, resulting in him being emotionally distant from his two now adult children. I like how the novel shows the consequences of behaving this way and how it affects his kids, especially his daughter Lucy. Also, some of the characters that Arthur meets along the way are pretty colorful like his seemingly obnoxious, but gregarious neighbor Bernadette, the tiger loving Lord Graystock, and Mike – a caring homeless man.
I’ve been listening to the audiobook, which is narrated by James Langton. Since the book mostly takes place in York, England, he does a good Yorkshire accent for the male characters with enough differences to make each character distinct. I can’t say the same thing for most of the women. They all sound dangerously close to Eric Idle impersonating a Yorkshire grandmother. I tolerated this when Langton is voicing older women, but not younger ones like Lucy.
I’ll save the rest of my feelings for the full review.
And that, we come to the end of the fourth chapter of “What Am I Reading?”
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