Today Phaedra Patrick’s blog tour for her charming debut, ‘The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper’ is stopping by my blog. Many thanks to lovely Kiya and Hannah from MidasPR for inviting me to this tour and to lovely Phaedra for her guest post.
The Allure of Charm Bracelets
I was lanky and russet-haired when I received a charm bracelet for my sixth or seventh birthday. I was fascinated by the lure of the empty silver links and the tiny keyhole in the heart-shaped fastener.
From then on, I received charms as presents. My favourites were the ones that moved, an acorn opening to reveal a tiny squirrel, the owl and pussycat rocking in their boat, and a penny dropping into a silver piggybank. I bought my own charms too, on a visit to the National Rail Museum in Yorkand on holiday in Llandudno. I still remember the excitement of taking the charms to a jeweller to be soldered in place. You had to collect it an hour later, but it seemed to take forever. Afterwards I’d wear the bracelet, jangling on my wrist, and it would feel a little heavier.
When my son was smaller (he’s ten now) he used to enjoy playing with my bracelet and I told him where each of the charms came from. A friend had sadly passed away and I started to think of a story about Arthur Pepper, an elderly man who discovers a mysterious charm bracelet in his late wife, Miriam’s, wardrobe. He sets off on a journey to find out the story behind each of the charms.
Miriam Pepper’s charms are much more exotic than mine. Her elephant, tiger, book, thimble, ring, flower, paint palette and heart charms take Arthur on an unexpected journey from London to Paris, and even as far away as India.
But each charm and bracelet is personal to the wearer. Each charm tells a story, whether that’s a wedding, exam, new baby, birthday, or a time you just fancied a treat. And when the bracelet is no longer worn or passes onto someone else, its sentimental story continues and grows even bigger.
I don’t wear my own bracelet that often these days. It tends to jangle against my laptop as I’m writing, but I do still look and play with the charms. Now they not only encompass my childhood stories, but also my son’s story of playing with them, and how The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper came to be.
My publisher in The Netherlands is working with a local jeweller to recreate Miriam Pepper’s charm bracelet and I can’t wait to see it. It would be so lovely to put the two bracelets side by side – my old silver childhood one, and Miriam Pepper’s gold make-believe one. What stories the two of them can tell.
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
Published by MIRA
Published on 7.4.2016
Buy on amazon.co.uk or Buy on amazon.com
Having been married for over 40 years, 69-year-old Arthur Pepper is mourning the loss of his wife. On the anniversary of her death, 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 from London to Paris and India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife’s secret life before they met, a journey that leads him to find healing, self-discovery, and love in the most unexpected of places.