By: Elizabeth Berg
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 11/21/2017
My Rating: 5 Stars
Loved this book!
Talented storyteller Elizabeth Berg returns following The Dream Lover and Make Someone Happy: Favorite Postings with one of her most charming books yet, THE STORY OF ARTHUR TRULUV. Emotional and powerful, mixed with humor – three unlikely souls with their own loss, find solace in one another in this heartwarming tale.
Arthur Moses’ wife, Nola passed six months earlier. He has a routine. He tends to his cat Gordon, his rose garden, and takes the bus to the cemetery with his fold-up chair, to visit his beloved late wife for lunch. He is 85 years old.
Lucille Howard is Arthur’s neighbor. A bit nosy; however, she loves to cook and makes sure Arthur has plenty to eat. She is in love with her high school sweetheart, Frank. She is 83 years old. (very funny) She is excited about her second chance until she receives devastating news.
Maddy Harris is a troubled teen who sees Arthur at the cemetery. She has a strained relationship with her dad, bullied at school, a boyfriend who does not care about her, and a mother who died when she was but a baby. She is intrigued by Arthur and his relationship with his dead wife. She is 18 years old.
A little naive, she takes the bus to the cemetery. To be with people. She loves photography; however, feels isolated and soon finds herself pregnant. With no support from her own dad, she turns to Arthur for help.
Her own mother was cremated and she wished her mom had been buried at the cemetery. She finds graveyards comforting. She feels her dad blames her for his wife’s death. She lived, and her mother did not.
Maddy and Arthur strike up an unlikely friendship. Arthur is a selfless man and thinks of others. He listens and offers his time. He loves talking to his wife and keeping her updated with engaging stories.
The teen soon names Arthur “Truluv” due to his devotion to his wife. Maddy soon finds herself pregnant and when everyone turns against her, Arthur is there to assist. They soon become best friends and then Lucille becomes a part of the group and the three move in together.
What they did not expect was to learn something about themselves in the process. A second chance at life. An unexpected friendship. Arthur soon finds he has a housekeeper and a cook. A lively and interesting home full of love and laughter.
Elizabeth Berg has a remarkable and unique talent of peaking inside the lives and hearts of people and life. Her characters are real and authentic. You feel their emotions and they jump off the page.
If you have read Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge and Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove, you will see a difference in the character, Arthur. Everyone loves Arthur. He is not grumpy and is selfless. We all would love to have an Arthur in our lives!
Was reminded of the movie “Our Souls at Night”, starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. A widow and widower who've lived next to each other for years, who barely spoke; ultimately make a connection. (minus the sex) with Arthur and Lucille.
A light-hearted, a deeply moving novel (with a powerful takeaway), Berg once again delivers a thought-provoking tale of the resilience of the human spirit in the midst of grief and loneliness. Proof people can bond, outside of family across generations.
In our world of doom and gloom, it is pleasant to read such a charming book to lift your spirits.
A special thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.