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Phaedra Patrick

Teoksen The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper tekijä

8+ teosta 3,019 jäsentä 241 arvostelua 2 Favorited

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20th century
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Phaedra Patrick studied art and marketing and has worked as a stained glass artist, film festival organizer and communications manager. She is a prize-winning short-story writer and now writes full-time. She lives in the UK with her husband and son. THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER is her first novel.



A book loving Olivia cleans for a living. She has always loved books and her favorite writer Essie Starling becomes one of her regulars. Essie has written 19 books about her charaacter, Georgie Rory. She has been out of the limelight for 20 years. Just as she and Liv begin talking about books and writing Essie dies. In her will she has asked Olivia to complete her 20th novel that is only half done and to keep her death a secret for 6 months. Thus begins Olivia?s quest to write this final novel and to find the love of Essie?s life. It is a difficult situation, but also rewarding as she begins to find herself and become stronger. In the end, she finishes the novel with rave reviews for Essie and begins her life again with confidence and the respect of her husband and family. A good read. Goodreads: Mother of two Liv Green barely scrapes by as a maid to make ends meet, often finding escape in a good book while daydreaming of becoming a writer herself. So she can't believe her luck when she lands a job housekeeping for her personal hero, megabestselling author Essie Starling, a mysterious and intimidating recluse. The last thing Liv expected was to be the only person Essie talks to, which leads to a tenuous friendship.But when Essie dies suddenly, a devastated Liv is astonished to learn of her last wish: for Liv to complete Essie's final novel. But to do so Liv will have to step into Essie's shoes, and as Liv begins to write, she uncovers secrets from the past that reveal a surprising connection between the two women--one that will change Liv's own story forever...… (lisätietoja)
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bentstoker | 21 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 26, 2024 |
A sweet story. Benedict?s wife has moved out of the house to take a break from him. They have tried many times to have children and not succeeded. He would like to adopt as he feels a strong need to raise a child. His wife Estelle wants to move on. One rainy night Benedicts?s niece from from his estranged brother shows up at his door, wet, hungry and needing to stay with him. She says she is taking a break from her dad and that he allowed her to come to Benedict?s. Benedict makes jewelry and runs a shop in the local village. Gemma, the niece, has heard stories from her dad about a book her grandfather has that tells the meanings of each gem. They begin to bond over the gems. She wants to help Benedict win Estelle back and she has very creative ideas to do so. We also learn about the estrangement between Benedict and Gemma?s dad. It is a troubling story for all. Gemma is trying to find her place in her dad?s life and hides the truths of why she has come to be there. All ends well after the gem stones are shared with others and Benedict and Gemma ?wake up? to find their lives changing in positive ways. Benedict and Estelle reconcile and Gemma finds her dad really does have a place for her in his lfie. Kirkus: Unabashedly heartwarming, Patrick?s (The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, 2016) second novel is set in a quaint English village where our hero drinks lots of tea and eats too many sweets.Benedict Stone is a mild-mannered, risk-averse jewelry maker who runs a shop originally owned by his late father in a town called Noon Sun. Much to his dismay, Estelle, his wife of 10 years, has left him, partly due to the couple?s unresolved feelings about their childlessness. Lucky for Benedict, his plucky 16-year-old niece, Gemma, suddenly appears, on the run from her family in the States. Gemma takes her uncle in hand, helping him spruce up his shop and turn out more creative pieces of jewelry. She also prods him to woo back his wife. (While clearly meant to be amusing, some of Benedict?s ploysone involving a sword; another a llamaÂ¥are deeply cringeworthy.) Gemma, meanwhile, is clearly harboring a secret; but so, it turns out, is BenedictÂ¥a secret that has alienated him from his brother, Gemma?s father, Charlie. The latter eventually arrives on the scene, and family fireworks ensue. Still, the ending is never seriously in doubt. And though the book is eventful, much of it is plodding; the pace only picks up toward the end. Throughout, there?s much talk of gemstonesÂ¥each chapter heading bears the name of a different stone and a brief description of its potential powers (e.g., Emerald: equilibrium, patience, honesty). Yet despite the attempt to confer a magical aura on the proceedings, the book remains stubbornly earthbound.It does bear some resemblance to the author?s first book, but it lacks the charm and genuine eccentricity of the earlier effort.… (lisätietoja)
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bentstoker | Jan 26, 2024 |
Delightful story. KIRKUS REVIEWNothing otherworldly happens in this feel-good debut novel, yet the story of an English widower who goes rummaging in his late wife?s past has the quality of a fable.A mild-mannered pensioner from York, the title characterdescribed by an ex-girlfriend as ?timid and a bit twitchy?Â¥is tethered to his domestic routines, hardly ever leaving the house. All that changes when he happens upon a mysterious gold braceletÂ¥with eight distinctive charmsÂ¥that belonged to his beloved wife, Miriam. Screwing up his courage, he embarks on a journey that will take him far from his comfort zone as he tracks down the story behind each ornament. Along the way, our 69-year-old hero finds himself fending off a tiger, having an audience with a famous author who may or may not have been his wife?s lover, getting mugged in a Tube station, and posing naked for an art class. Unsurprisingly, he learns as much about himself through these adventures as he does about Miriam. The writing is breezy, and Arthur?s escapades are, well, charming, at least some of the time. The book flirts with real emotion, too: Arthur?s grief over the loss of his wife is palpable, and his sadness at the estrangement of his adult children feels quite genuine. You may even, against your better judgment, shed a few tears as he endeavors to set things right with them. Yet each bad turn in the book comes wrapped in a teachable moment; each cloud has an unmistakable silver lining.The author?s outlook remains relentlessly upbeat, and in the end, this sentimental novel is as cozy and fortifying as a hot cup of tea on a cold afternoon.… (lisätietoja)
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bentstoker | 109 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 26, 2024 |
This is a generous three stars

There’s nothing wrong with this book but there’s not much there either. Loved the concept of a middle aged woman (who gives advice for a living) being thrown a curveball by her husband who takes a three week holiday in Italy along with four “broken hearted” people she met through her advice job. Result = Found family / less sadness and loneliness. The problem: I didn’t really care about any of them.

As I type I am revising down to two stars.

I guess I want this same framework in the hands of a different author who might provide me with more rounded characters and a more satisfying ending.
… (lisätietoja)
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hmonkeyreads | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 25, 2024 |



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