Here we go, I’m back to reading books with my book club again. And now that I have a super tiny commute, I’m listening to audio books too – which means that I listened to about half of this book; the other half I read while sitting in a diner waiting for my car to get out of the shop. Fun times.
THE STORY OF ARTHUR TRULUV is at its heart, the story of three lonely people finding a way to not be lonely, together. Arthur Moses is grieving the recent death of his beloved wife Nola, and visits her grave every single day to have lunch with her. Maddy Harris is an 18 year old high school senior who still misses the mother she lost when she was an infant and doesn’t fit in at school. She is craving affection, yet is completely disconnected from her father – also missing his wife, Maddy’s mother. Lucille is Arthur’s neighbor who never married, and spends her retirement days baking (mostly for Arthur). Her high school sweetheart gets back in touch, giving her a possible second chance at romance.
This is a strong character driven novel, that is quite endearing. Each character wants to break your heart a little, but there is still enough hope and beauty in their blossoming relationships that you are destined to root for them. No one is perfect (though Arthur is pretty close) and it’s okay. Lucille is a hoot and a half, and Maddy matures into someone very special.
My biggest issue is, what on earth are we going to talk about in book group? There are a few situations and choices that maybe we can rehash, but there is nothing particularly conversation worthy here. I’m going to have to track down some possible questions (litlovers.com is usually good for that) but I’m not sure we’re going to do much more than walk down memory lane. And that is all fine and good, but I like a more provocative conversation I guess. None of this means that I didn’t enjoy the book – I thought it was a lovely, feel-good story, but I’m not sure it’s right for a book group.
The Story of Arthur Truluv
by Elizabeth Berg
Random House, 2017