The Story of Arthur Truluv

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg. New York: Random House, 2017. 130 pages. *****

Arthur Moses climbs the steps of a bus every day with a packed lunch and a fold up chair to have lunch with his deceased wife, Nola.  Arthur is eighty-five years old and hopes to live to be one hundred. Since he started going to the cemetery, a part of a person's life story reaches Arthur as he passes the tombstone. It doesn't happen for everyone, just a few, but somehow he knows that what he sees is true about the person buried there. It is at the cemetery that Arthur sees Maddy for the first time and wonders why she isn't in school. He's not sure of her age, fourteen or fifteen, dressed in a t-shirt, ripped jeans with spiky black hair, she looks ready to run when she realizes he has noticed her. Maddy often visits the cemetery to take pictures and hang out until school is over for the day. When Maddy inevitably meets Arthur and hears his story, she nicknames him Arthur Truluv because of his love for Nola. Maddy is bullied at school and has no friends so Arthur is happy to take her under his wing. Arthur's next door neighbor, Lucille, is lonely, loves to bake, and invites Arthur to keep her company. All three bond by their loss, love, and need for understanding and friendship.

Elizabeth Berg's books resonate with people of all ages. She often writes abut circumstances that alter one's chosen path and unexpected possibilities that offer something better in life. She has insight that few share and can express. Berg made me laugh, cry, and wish for more. Her unassuming characters form a friendship that when it exists, it's to be treasured and valued. In the Acknowledgements, Berg writes about sending the manuscript to a friend with the hope that she "gets" it. I got it, loved it and will recommend it to friends.

I received an ecopy for review.

Elizabeth Berg is the author of many best novels, including Open House, Talk Before Sleep, and the Year of the Pleasures, as well as the short story collectionThe Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted. Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year. To learn more visit elizabeth-berg.net or Facebook.com/bergbooks

No comments: