The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg
Penguin Random House: 11/21/17
eBook review copy; 240 pages
The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg is a feel-good novel with life-affirming messages. This is about
three people who have lost someone, are
lonely, but ultimately find companionship and a family with each other.
"Arthur thinks that, above all, aging means the abandonment of
criticism and the taking on of compassionate acceptance."
Arthur Moses, eighty-five, lost his beloved wife, Nola, six months ago.
His days consist of caring for his roses and Gordon the cat, and taking
the bus to have lunch at the cemetery with Nola. Arthur is an optimist,
but he desperately misses his wife.
Quite by chance, Arthur meets Maddy, a high school student who will be
turning eighteen soon. She skips lunch and classes to avoid her
classmates. Often she goes to the cemetery where she sits and take
pictures. Maddy's mother died shortly after she was born and her father
blame her for the death. Maddy craves love and acceptance. To make
matters worse, her classmates
relentlessly bully her. Once she and Arthur meet and form a friendship,
she gives him the nickname Truluv.
Across the street from Arthur lives his neighbor Lucille. She is a
retired school teacher who often calls Arthur over to sit on her porch
when she sees him. More importantly, she sends delicious baked goods
home with him. Lucille lost her one true love in high school and is over
joyed when he reconnects with her. When circumstances cause these three
people to bond together, they not only support and help each other,
they form an unlikely family of sorts.
This is a wonderfully written, charming story of how people can help
each other and form their own family through their friendship,
compassion, and emotional support. Set in Mason, Missouri, a small town
of five thousand people, The Story of Arthur Truluv has a
small-town-Fannie-Flagg feeling to it. It is a simple story, but
charming. There are not any shocking surprises - it is not that kind of
story. And while there are some harsh and challenging things that
happen, our characters are going to get through it. We know they will
because it is that kind of story. You know it will provide positive
messages and have a feel-good ending. And, you know, sometimes that is
what you need.
My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.