The Heart of Henry Quantum

A Novel

The Heart of Henry Quantum

In the bestselling tradition of A Man Called Ove and the beloved film Love Actually comes a quirky, “winsome tale of an unexpected love triangle late in life” (Publishers Weekly) between a socially awkward man—as he goes on a quest to find his wife a last-minute Christmas gift—and the girl who got away.

Henry Quantum has several thoughts going through his head at any given time, so it’s no surprise when he forgets something very important—specifically, a Christmas gift for his wife, which he realizes two days before Christmas. Henry sets off in search of the perfect present for her: a bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume. But much like Henry’s ever-wandering mind, his quest takes him in different and unexpected directions, including running into the former love of his life, Daisy. His wife, meanwhile, unhappy in her marriage, is hiding a secret of her own. And Daisy, who has made the unsettling choice of leaving her husband to strike out on her own, finds herself questioning whether she and Henry belong together after all.

An “at times funny, at times profound” (Kirkus Reviews) debut from author Pepper Harding shows how the seemingly insignificant events of one single day can change our lives forever—perhaps, if we’re lucky, for the better.
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501126819 | 
  • June 2017
List Price $22.00 (price may vary by retailer)

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Heart of Henry Quantum includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Middle-management advertising executive Henry Quantum has many thoughts going through his head at any given moment. With his mind racing from physics to philosophy, it’s no surprise that when December 23 comes around, Henry has forgotten to purchase a Christmas gift for his wife, Margaret. He sets off on a quest to purchase the perfect present: a bottle of Channel No. 5 from Macy’s. But diversions abound as he makes his way through the streets of San Francisco, including a surprise encounter with his former lover, Daisy. Margaret, meanwhile, is on her own quest to meet her current lover for a weekday tryst outside the city. And Daisy, newly separated from her husband, finds herself wondering if she and Henry were meant to be together after all. The Heart of Henry Quantum illustrates the difference a day can make when fate steps in.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Over lunch, Henry claims that he doesn’t demand anything of Margaret, prompting Daisy to respond, “That’s because you don’t love see more

About the Author

Pepper Harding

Pepper Harding is the pen name of a San Francisco writer known for an entirely different kind of literature. Born in far-away New Jersey, educated in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and finally at the University of Chicago, Pepper is a long time resident of the city, with stints in Marin, Berkeley and, currently, Sonoma County. Pepper has two kids, two cars, one spouse, and, some say, multiple personalities.