An emotionally powerful novel about three people who each lose the one they love most, only to find second chances where they least expect them
“Fans of Meg Wolitzer, Emma Straub, or [Elizabeth] Berg’s previous novels will appreciate the richly complex characters and clear prose. Redemptive without being maudlin, this story of two misfits lucky to have found one another will tug at readers’ heartstrings.”—Booklist
For the past six months, Arthur Moses’s days have looked the same: He tends to his rose garden and to Gordon, his cat, then rides the bus to the cemetery to visit his beloved late wife for lunch. The last thing Arthur would imagine is for one unlikely encounter to utterly transform his life.
Eighteen-year-old Maddy Harris is an introspective girl who visits the cemetery to escape the other kids at school. One afternoon she joins Arthur—a gesture that begins a surprising friendship between two lonely souls. Moved by Arthur’s kindness and devotion, Maddy gives him the nickname “Truluv.” As Arthur’s neighbor Lucille moves into their orbit, the unlikely trio band together and, through heartache and hardships, help one another rediscover their own potential to start anew.
Wonderfully written and full of profound observations about life, The Story of Arthur Truluv is a beautiful and moving novel of compassion in the face of loss, of the small acts that turn friends into family, and of the possibilities to achieve happiness at any age.
Praise for The Story of Arthur Truluv
“For several days after [finishing The Story of Arthur Truluv], I felt lifted by it, and I found myself telling friends, also feeling overwhelmed by 2017, about the book. Read this, I said, it will offer some balance to all that has happened, and it is a welcome reminder we’re all neighbors here.”—Chicago Tribune
“Not since Paul Zindel’s classic The Pigman have we seen such a unique bond between people who might not look twice at each other in real life. This small, mighty novel offers proof that they should.”—People, Book of the Week
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Date of Birth:December 2, 1948
Place of Birth:St. Paul, Minnesota
Education:Attended the University of Minnesota; St. Mary¿s College, A.A.S.
Read an Excerpt
In the six months since the November day that his wife, Nola, was buried, Arthur Moses has been having lunch with her every day. He rides the bus to the cemetery and when he gets there, he takes his sweet time walking over to her plot: she will be there no matter when he arrives. She will be there and be there and be there.
Excerpted from "The Story of Arthur Truluv"
Copyright © 2017 Elizabeth Berg.
Excerpted by permission of Diversified Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Reading Group Guide
pie crust makes 2
1 cup Crisco
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup ice-cold water
Use a pastry blender or fork to mix the Crisco into the flour, salt, and sugar until the dough is pea-sized. Add the water gradually until the dough forms itself into a ball (you may use a bit more or less water, as needed). Divide the dough and roll it out with a good rolling pin on a floured surface (I use a pastry cloth); move quickly, rolling in one direction, not back and forth. Act like you know what you’re doing. The pie crust will rebel if it knows you’re afraid.
1. What did the epigraphs mean to you before you read the book? Did they seem to hint at any major themes in The Story of Arthur Truluv? How did the meaning of the epigraphs change for you, after you finished the book?
2. Arthur has a special connection to the dead. Every day he talks to his late wife, and he sees glimpses into the lives of other people who are buried in the cemetery. Do you think the connection he has with the dead influences how he views and lives his life?
3. Maddy is bullied by her classmates, both at her school and online. How does this effect the choices she makes early in the book, and how is she eventually able to overcome it?
4. Lucille is an incredibly talented baker. She puts so much time and effort into her recipes that it seems like more than just a hobby to her. What role does baking play in her life, and in the relationships she has with others?
5. Maddy and her father have a strained relationship. Why is it so difficult for him to give Maddy the affection and support she needs? Do you feel sympathy for him and the situation he is in? Does their relationship change over the course of the book?
6. Maddy and Arthur have many differences, the biggest of which is their difference in age. When they first get to know each other, there is a funny scene that highlights this, in which Maddy tries to get Arthur to use a curse word. Do you think differences in a friendship are an advantage or a disadvantage? Can you think of an example where this is true in other works of literature or in your own life?
7. Although Maddy never knew Nola, she honors her in a beautiful way at the end of the book. Why do you think she does this?
8. There is a popular adage that says: “Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” That statement feels especially true for the characters in The Story of Arthur Truluv, who build an unconventional family out of friendship. Have you ever had friends that are as dear to you as family, or who are even closer to you than your relatives?