The Story of Arthur Truluv

The Story of Arthur TruluvThe Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg
Published by Random House on July 25th 2017
Pages: 240
ISBN: 1400069904
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

“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.

four-stars