The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg | Book ReviewThe Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg
Published by Random House Publishing Group on November 21st 2017
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women, Family Life, Literary
Pages: 240
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

“I dare you to read this novel and not fall in love with Arthur Truluv. His story will make you laugh and cry, and will show you a love that never ends, and what it means to be truly human.”—Fannie Flagg

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

I really was not sure what to expect with The Story Of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg. I haven’t actually read anything by Berg before so it isn’t as though I knew what to expect going in. However, the fact that this was a relatively short book about an elderly person appealed to me. Then those super early glowing reviews came out and I just knew that I needed to prioritize this book.

The Story Of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg is about three main characters – Arthur Moses, Maddy, and Lucille. Arthur is an old man whose wife died. He goes to the cemetery everyday to have lunch with Nola, his wife. One day he sees another person in the cemetery, a high school girl named Maddy. The two strike up a friendship. Meanwhile an old neighbor, Lucille, is about to get a second chance at love, but tragedy strikes. Together, Arthur, Maddy, and Lucille form the bonds of a ragtag family.

Arthur is kind and gentle. He is patient. Like he is not that stereotypical grumpy old man. Rather, he delights in other people and in children. He is so considerate. I found that I immediately enjoyed his character. Plus he has this cool thing where the people in the graves he walks by speak to him, he can see a snippet of their lives. Also he owns a cat whom he really cares about. I think that I want to have a heart that is more like Arthur’s.

Maddy has had a rough go of life. Her mother died in a car accident when she was two weeks old. This, FYI, was really hard to read about as the mother of an infant. I don’t like to put myself in the shoes of Maddy’s mother. Anyways, so Maddy was raised by her father who is just consumed deeply by his grief. Longing for a connection with another person, she makes an ill advised decision about getting into a relationship with this guy who is just terrible. Anyways, Maddy and Arthur become friends due to spending all this time together in the cemetery. A lot actually happens with Maddy’s development that I won’t get into. I warmed up to her though and was satisfied with how her story resolves.

Lucille is probably the most difficult character to warm up to in The Story Of Arthur Truluv. She gets her redemption though. Lucille is a former school teacher and this amazing baker. She gets in touch with a man who she dated as a teenager and had planned to marry, only he knocks another woman up and does the right thing by the other woman. Years and years and years pass. They reconnect and rekindle old love. Tragedy happens, of course it does. Lucille falls deep into the depths of despair. But you know, hope and light thankfully win out. I loved seeing how things start to turn around and get better for Lucille. She’s a good egg, in the long run.

Overall, this is such a quick and sweet read. I loved how it really is this quiet story about three unassuming people that you can’t really help but grow to care and be concerned about. The only thing I didn’t care for was that the ebook I read didn’t seem to have chapters and I am a sucker for chapters — I need a natural stopping point, you know. Otherwise, The Story Of Arthur Truluv was out of the realm of what I normally read and entirely refreshing.

Other Reviews of The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg:

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Thanks for the link to my review. I LOVED this book.

  2. Hi there, this looks like a goodie. Please bring this over to Books You Loved: February so everyone can see it. Cheers from Carole’s Chatter