Published by Random House on November 13th 2018
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I highly recommend reading “The Story of Arthur Truluv” before reading this book. It is the book where many of these characters are introduced and their stories continue from that book. Could this book work as a stand-alone? Possibly, but I don’t think one can truly appreciate this book without reading its predecessor first.
“That is the gift of love, not only that you have somebody but that you are changed by somebody.”
Lucille Howard is a spit fire of a women. She is known for her honesty and telling it like it is. She may come off as gruff, but she has a heart of gold and a giving nature. Her late friend, Arthur Truluv, inspired her to begin teaching baking classes (he did this in The Story of Arthur Truluv) and she now has a successful baking class business. She is up there in years and due to the popularity of her classes, she has hired, Iris, a divorced woman who is coming to terms with the choices she has made in her life.
If running a baking business is not enough, Lucille has become a babysitter for her next-door neighbors when tragedy strikes their household. When not baking and babysitting, she enjoys visits from Maddy and Nola, her adopted family (again, you will know Maddy from The Story of Arthur Truluv).
“What she knows now is that no one is ever through with love. No one ever should be.”
Iris is new to town and is happy to have made friends with her neighbor Tiny, a large man with a heart of gold and crush on a local waitress. Will he ever make his move? Will Tiny and Iris’s friendship cause people to think they are a couple? Will Iris ever make peace with her divorce? Will Lucille ever know the effect her friendship has had on others? How has friendship with one man, Arthur Truluv, changed the lives of both Lucille and Maddy?
“Never underestimate the joy of being the one who is cared for…”
I found this book to be absolutely charming and gave it high marks for the feel good, enjoyment factor. Will this book win literary rewards? I don’t know but it has won my heart! It was lovely to visit these characters again and see what was occurring in their lives. I enjoyed the new characters induced in this book and their stories. All of them fit together nicely and effortlessly. I found this book to be well written, perfectly paced, well thought out and like a breath of fresh air. If you are a softie like me, you may want to read with tissues nearby. This book is heavy on the feels – I laughed, I cried, and I was so happy that I was given the chance to enter these characters lives once again. The beauty of this book is in the writing and the relationships that the characters have with each other. The characters live in a small town and live normal ordinary lives yet in the hands of Elizabeth Berg, their stories are extraordinary!
This book is full of beautiful passages and I found myself hightailing large sections of this book. I love Elizabeth Berg’s writing.
“Let it never be said that Nola was not given good-night kisses. Let it never be said that she didn’t practically drown in them.”
If you enjoyed The Story of Arthur Truluv then I am quite certain that you will enjoy this book as well. I could go on and one about this book, but I will stop and simply say that I highly recommend this book.
Thank you to Random House Publishing and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.