The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
Arthur Pepper and I got together by one of those lists that offers e-books right there in your mailbox. I chose it because I wanted the reading equivalent of comfort food, and because I have dear friends named Pepper, who I miss a great deal. The novel starts with Arthur at that time of life I never want to be: one year after the passing of his wife. He's a bit of a stick in the mud, hiding from neighbors who only want to offer kindness, wearing the same drab outfit every day, grumbling about just about everything. His only friend is a fern he keeps on his window sill and waters daily. But, on that year anniversary, he decided it's time to clear out some of his wife's clothing from the wardrobe, and in doing so, discovers a charm bracelet, hidden away in the toe of a boot. It's a pretty little thing, and he's absolutely never seen it before.
What happens next is a true journey of several sorts. Arthur begins on a quest to discover more about the charm bracelet and in doing so, discovers more about his wife of many years-- things he'd never known. But there's also the challenge of self-discovery and the possibility of reshaping his own life.