Night of Miracles

Night of MiraclesNight of Miracles by Elizabeth Berg
Published by Random House on November 13th 2018
Pages: 288
ISBN: 052550950X
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Absolutely Charming!

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.

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
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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