The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

The Story of Arthur Truluv

A beautiful, life-affirming novel about a remarkably loving man who creates for himself and others second chances at happiness.A moving novel about three people who find their way back from loss and loneliness to a different kind of happiness. Arthur, a widow, meets Maddy, a troubled teenage girl who is avoiding school by hiding out at the cemetery, where Arthur goes every...

Title:The Story of Arthur Truluv
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Edition Language:English

The Story of Arthur Truluv Reviews

  • Diane S ☔

    3.5 It is hard not to absolutely adore Arthur, an 82 year old gentlemen. He misses his wife terribly, she passed on the year before ands everyday he goes to the cemetery, taking his lunch and lawn chair, to spend time by her grave. This is where he meets Maddy, 17, doesn't seem to fit in anywhere, not at home where it is just her and her father and certainly not at school. Lillian, is Arthur's elderly next door neighbor, she bakes the most amazing things, but is lonely. These three people will c

    3.5 It is hard not to absolutely adore Arthur, an 82 year old gentlemen. He misses his wife terribly, she passed on the year before ands everyday he goes to the cemetery, taking his lunch and lawn chair, to spend time by her grave. This is where he meets Maddy, 17, doesn't seem to fit in anywhere, not at home where it is just her and her father and certainly not at school. Lillian, is Arthur's elderly next door neighbor, she bakes the most amazing things, but is lonely. These three people will come to play important roles in each others lives.

    This is a sentimental read, a sweet and simply told story. Underneath though are some important themes, the loneliness of the elderly, the importance of family, the one you make, and the one you were born into, the desperation of those who feel that they do not fit in anywhere, and friendship, how extending friendship even those with a huge generation gap, can make a huge difference. This is one of those feel good books, their is no great depth of characterization because there isn't meant to be, this is just centered on a certain spate of time and how it changed everything and those involved.

    One of those books that we all sometimes need. One where you finish and just think awwwwww, in joy and sadness.

    ARC from Publisher.

    Published July 25th by Random House.

  • Liz

    Every now and then I need to take a break from the mysteries and find something that reminds me how sweet life can be. This book fits the bill. Arthur is an 85 year old widow who visits his wife’s cemetery plot every day for lunch. There, he meets Maddy, a 17 year old who is unpopular and doesn’t have much of a family life. Lucille is Arthur’s elderly neighbor who has never been married.

    Berg does a wonderful job capturing the pain of bullying. My heart just went out to Maddy. “She wonders what

    Every now and then I need to take a break from the mysteries and find something that reminds me how sweet life can be. This book fits the bill. Arthur is an 85 year old widow who visits his wife’s cemetery plot every day for lunch. There, he meets Maddy, a 17 year old who is unpopular and doesn’t have much of a family life. Lucille is Arthur’s elderly neighbor who has never been married.

    Berg does a wonderful job capturing the pain of bullying. My heart just went out to Maddy. “She wonders what her funeral would be like...what would her father say? If he were honest, he’d say just four words: I never knew her.”

    The book has elements in common with Our Souls at Night, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine or A Man Called Ove. I think if you liked any of them, you will also enjoy this book. It’s all about how we can find our families through happenstance, luck or just next door. It’s a lovely book. In the acknowledgements, Berg quotes her editor as saying she needs an Arthur in her life and Berg responds, me, too. Well, we all do!

    My thanks to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book.

  • Esil

    A high 4 stars! I so enjoyed reading The Story of Arthur Truluv. It's a short snapshot of what one hopes the world can be like for lonely people who find their way to each other. Arthur is an octogenarian who has lunch at his wife's grave every day. Maddie is an almost 18 year old lost soul who seeks refuge in the cemetery on many days instead of having lunch in her school cafeteria. Lucille is Arthur's neighbour, a retired teacher, a fanatical baker and lonely as hell. Through circumstance and

    A high 4 stars! I so enjoyed reading The Story of Arthur Truluv. It's a short snapshot of what one hopes the world can be like for lonely people who find their way to each other. Arthur is an octogenarian who has lunch at his wife's grave every day. Maddie is an almost 18 year old lost soul who seeks refuge in the cemetery on many days instead of having lunch in her school cafeteria. Lucille is Arthur's neighbour, a retired teacher, a fanatical baker and lonely as hell. Through circumstance and personality, these three come together and form somewhat of a family. It's all a bit predictable, but Berg has created great characters -- I especially liked Arthur. And she keeps the story simple, with little melodrama but stirring up real emotions -- especially in the bond between Arthur and Maddie -- making me teary more than once. Quick, verging on sentimental but worthwhile and completely satisfying. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.

  • Angela M

    It's sweet, predictably sad yet uplifting , maybe a little sappy , and I loved reading it ! Nothing earth shattering happens except in the small world of eighty five year Arthur who has lost his wife and seventeen year old Maddy who lost her mother at birth and loses her father to his grief. They meet at the cemetery where Arthur visits his wife's grave every day toting his lawn chair and lunch and talking to his beloved Nola. Maddy goes there to escape the kids from school who hate her and to s

    It's sweet, predictably sad yet uplifting , maybe a little sappy , and I loved reading it ! Nothing earth shattering happens except in the small world of eighty five year Arthur who has lost his wife and seventeen year old Maddy who lost her mother at birth and loses her father to his grief. They meet at the cemetery where Arthur visits his wife's grave every day toting his lawn chair and lunch and talking to his beloved Nola. Maddy goes there to escape the kids from school who hate her and to suffer in silence from the years her father pretty much ignored as he just can't seem to communicate with her. She reminds him too much of her mother. There's the kind, bossy neighbor Lucille also lonely, who rounds out this unlikely trio who become an odd family as they help each other dissipate the loneliness that has engulfed them . It a short book so not much more to say except that this is a lovely, touching (cliche I know) story. Good for the soul.

    I received an advanced copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Random House through NetGalley.

  • Karen❄️

    There are three people who this story is about.

    Arthur Moses (Truluv), a sweet widower, 85 yrs old.

    Maddy, a 17 yr old senior in high school, lost her mother to a car accident shortly after her birth, very unpopular at school, a loner.

    Lucille, an elderly neighbor of Arthur's that has never been married and is quite boisterous and a great baker.

    Sad circumstances bring these three lonely people together and it's a beautiful story!

    Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for the ARC!

  • abby

    This book makes overtures to the popular

    -- complete with childless widower, cat annoyance, bossy neighbor, and bittersweet life lessons learned all around-- but with a mere fraction of the charm.

    Arthur Moses visits his wife's grave every day. He doesn't have much human contact outside of his neighbor, Lucille, who is a general irritation to him even if she does bake amazing cookies. Every day at the graveyard, he is surrounded by the stories of the deceased to keep him company.

    This book makes overtures to the popular

    -- complete with childless widower, cat annoyance, bossy neighbor, and bittersweet life lessons learned all around-- but with a mere fraction of the charm.

    Arthur Moses visits his wife's grave every day. He doesn't have much human contact outside of his neighbor, Lucille, who is a general irritation to him even if she does bake amazing cookies. Every day at the graveyard, he is surrounded by the stories of the deceased to keep him company. Then he notices the teen girl who hangs around the cemetery sometimes. She'd be a very pretty girl if not for that nose ring.

    For whatever reason, life has deemed it appropriate to give Maddy Harris a raw deal. When she was a baby, her mother died in a car accident, and her father never got over it. In his grief over his lost wife, he barely notices that Maddy is still alive. The kids at school treat her like an outcast, and Maddy has never been able to figure out why they hate her so much. Her first boyfriend is a total jerk to her. And then she gets pregnant in the most medically improbable (impossible?) manner, a situation which more or less leaves her homeless.

    Lucille is in her eighties, and, at long last, her first love has come back to her. She's been alone for a long time, but there's still time for a second act. She finally sees the appeal of living into her nineties. But then a tragedy strikes and sets Lucille adrift.

    This book is about Arthur, Maddy, and Lucille slowly finding each other and forging an unlikely friendship. I suppose it's meant feel heartwarming, but it didn't work for me. I didn't connected with the author's writing style at all. There's lots of words in

    and lots of exclamation points! I feel like readers can be trusted to place the proper emphasis on words without such copious help. Secondary characters are two dimensional, like Maddy's father and her boyfriend, both of whom serve no purpose beyond making readers feel sympathy for Maddy. In lieu of well-developed characters, this book takes the easy road to jerk tears from readers: birth and death. At 240 pages, this slim volume felt a lot longer.

    I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.

  • Cheri

    Thorton Wilder,

    It was six months ago, in November, the month when Arthur’s beloved wife Nola was buried, and he’s had a lunch date with her every day since. He heads to the cemetery on the bus, strolls his way through the headstones before he sits by her,

    Thorton Wilder,

    It was six months ago, in November, the month when Arthur’s beloved wife Nola was buried, and he’s had a lunch date with her every day since. He heads to the cemetery on the bus, strolls his way through the headstones before he sits by her, sometimes he talks to her, sometimes he just listens. Either way, he’s in no hurry, she will be there.

    This day, he stops in front of another headstone that seems to be calling out to him. A woman, born in 1897, died in 1929. He adds this in his head, she was thirty-two, but he does it again because he it would be disrespectful of him to stand there thinking about her, and getting such an important and intimate detail wrong. He pictures her in his mind, her hair, the colour, how she wore it, her life story pulling him in further. The colour of her eyes, her jewelry. Holding her little ones. And then the vision of it all fades. He heads over to sit with Nola.

    He looks around at the signs of spring everywhere, a new beginning in the buds everywhere, the softening of the earth, and he wishes that his wife could return like that, again and again. A new beginning for her, surrounded by life, by renewal. Where she belongs.

    He sees the girl sitting on the ground off in the distance, her back against a tree. He has seen her here before, he waves in her direction, she reacts as though she is frightened, and so he turns and goes to wait for the bus to return home. The girl, Maddy, feels badly, she hadn’t meant to scare him off.

    Arthur is eighty-five years old. His doctor says he’ll live to be one hundred.

    Maddy is seventeen years old, in high school where she feels like an outcast. She likes to take pictures and she writes poems, and she likes to read. Her mother died shortly after she was born, but sometimes Maddy feels as though she’s watching her, senses her presence in the eyes of a doe.

    Lillian is Arthur’s next door neighbor, an older, lonely woman he talks to now and then, helps her out with her yard, puts the star on her Christmas tree. She loves to bake, and she is very good at it.

    These three lonely people, whose lives have been tossed about, left with the invisible bruises of heartache, and yet life somehow manages to gather these three together, binding them collectively as one. A family, of sorts, each lending their strength, their talent, some compassion, an ear, love, and, most of all – love. We all have gifts to share, it just takes the one soul to share them and another to appreciate them.

    Elizabeth Berg has written a simple story, simply told, about everyday people, who together, allow love in so they can, for the first time, or maybe even once again, become real.

    --Margery Williams Bianco, “The Velveteen Rabbit”

    Pub Date: 21 Nov 2017

    Many thanks for the ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group / Random House

  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    Arthur Moses misses his wife so badly that he goes to the cemetery every single day to have lunch with her. One day he spots a young girl there and the two of them become unlikely friends. Maddy is the young girl that has had a sorta bad life. Her mom died when Maddy was just a couple of weeks old and her dad is very unemotional towards Maddy. (I felt this was kinda lame..I've seen and read way more serious life problems but what do I know..not much. I do know I thought one part of Maddy's story

    Arthur Moses misses his wife so badly that he goes to the cemetery every single day to have lunch with her. One day he spots a young girl there and the two of them become unlikely friends. Maddy is the young girl that has had a sorta bad life. Her mom died when Maddy was just a couple of weeks old and her dad is very unemotional towards Maddy. (I felt this was kinda lame..I've seen and read way more serious life problems but what do I know..not much. I do know I thought one part of Maddy's story was funky.

    They along with the weird lady that wears a crooked wig and Arthur's cat forge a sweet little book. It's one of those that a friend of mine used to call a "potato chip" book.

    You kinda wanted it at the time but you never felt really full.

    (It did kinda feel like a trying to hard version of the much better

    )

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  • Debra

    "What is it that makes a family? Certainly no document does, no legal pronouncement or accident of birth. No, real families come from choices we make about who we want to be bound to, and the ties to such families lie in our hearts."

    This is a book about three individuals who have relatively little in common but find themselves bound together in an unconventional but loving family. Arthur Moses a.k.a. Truluv, is an 85 year old man who goes to the cemetery each day to have lunch with his deceased

    "What is it that makes a family? Certainly no document does, no legal pronouncement or accident of birth. No, real families come from choices we make about who we want to be bound to, and the ties to such families lie in our hearts."

    This is a book about three individuals who have relatively little in common but find themselves bound together in an unconventional but loving family. Arthur Moses a.k.a. Truluv, is an 85 year old man who goes to the cemetery each day to have lunch with his deceased wife. Arthur is a little lost since losing his wife. He is a kind and loving man who stops at various tombstones and wonders about the person's life. Maddy is a 17 year old girl who does not fit in. She often skips school and goes to the cemetery to take pictures and sit under a tree. She is a lost teenager whose Mother died two weeks after she was born. She has always felt like a burden to her father and gets into an unhealthy relationship looking for love. Lucille is Arthur's next door neighbor who makes Arthur cookies and is excited about a chance to be with her first love after so many years apart.

    "I'll love you forever in darkness and sun, I'll love you past when my whole sweet life is done."

    Arthur meets Maddy at the cemetery where they have both been quietly observing each other. When Arthur waves at Maddy she decides to wave back and the two strike up a friendship. Maddy calls Arthur "Truluv" for his devotion to his wife and daily "lunches" with her at the cemetery. Arthur likes having someone to look after and Maddy feels accepted and safe with Arthur. She has always felt like an outsider at home and school but not with Arthur. After a heated argument with her father, Maddy runs away and eventually finds herself living at Arthur's home until College begins. While Maddy and Arthur are forming a friendship, Lucile has re-kindled her romance with her first love after having been contacted with him. She dreams of a future with him when tragedy strikes.

    Arthur, Maddy and Lucile have all known loss. Each one has his/her cross to bear but they are able to forge a bond and become an unlikely family. Arthur is my favorite character and he steals the show in this book. He is generous and kind and maybe a little reckless - who would invite a virtually unknown person into their home to live? It reminds me of the quote " I always depended on the kindness of strangers." from A streetcar named Desire. I found this book to be an extremely fast sweet read. It's a sweet book - but not syrupy sweet. I found the story to be uplifting and light even though it dealt with loss. and I enjoyed the story. I especially enjoyed how the unlikely trio formed a family and provided something each one needed: acceptance, a sense of belonging, a sense of being needed, love, friendship, community, and hope.

    I received a copy of this book from Random House and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    See more of my reviews at

  • Margitte

    A cemetry in Mason, Missouri, became the place where 85-year-old Arthur Moses and 17-year-old Maddy Harris would meet and turn their lives around. Among the gravestones, where Arthur ate lunch every day with his deceased wife Nola, and troubled Maddy found solace against the cruelties of high school and her lonely life at home, two souls collided unexpectedly. Maddy had to withstand the onslaught of the students who loved to be entertained by cruelty and chose her as their target. She also endur

    A cemetry in Mason, Missouri, became the place where 85-year-old Arthur Moses and 17-year-old Maddy Harris would meet and turn their lives around. Among the gravestones, where Arthur ate lunch every day with his deceased wife Nola, and troubled Maddy found solace against the cruelties of high school and her lonely life at home, two souls collided unexpectedly. Maddy had to withstand the onslaught of the students who loved to be entertained by cruelty and chose her as their target. She also endured the loneliness of a young woman who grew up without a mother, and a father who lost his taste for words. Arthur had to add meaning to a life which became quiet after Nola's passing. Loss and loneliness surrounded them at that crucial moment in time.

    Arthur would become 'Truluv' to Maddy, and Maddy would be known as 'Sunshine' to Arthur.

    Between The Waltons, and Hallmark cards, a sweet new tale of kinship, friendship and love began in a modern world where friendship does not define itself in the same terms as before anymore, and loneliness never gets a second chance like this. The meaning of family changed.

    Lucille Howard, Arthur's octogenarian neighbor and retired school teacher, got new meaning in her life when Arthur inspired her to open a cooking school where she could feel validated again. After reconnecting with her old school boyfriend, life added another hue of happiness to her lonesome life, but not with the ending she anticipated, so soon. Frank used to say:

    Arthur had to remind her of the meaning of the words when she thoughts everything was hopeless.

    Nobody could equal Lucille orange blossom cookies, lavender shortbread, lemon drop cheesecake, pinwheels, maple cake with maple syrup frosting, cocoa marshmallow cake, lemon snaps, pudding cake, apricot bars and marigold cake. It was soon clear that the aromas escaping her kitchen brought a brand-new dimension to the trio's quest for family and friendship.

    This is a perfect read for the Christmas Holiday Season. Touching, fun, sweet, nostalgic, sad and beautiful. We all need to be reminded of goodness from time to time, and where, in comparison, we fit in. Perhaps we have it in us, but don't know how to express it anymore. That's why we need to read books like these.

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