The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg Fiction 2017 Random House Finished on October 10, 2019 Rating: 4/5 (Very Good) Publisher's Blurb: From New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg comes 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. 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. Several weeks ago a friend asked me for a recommendation for a "feel good" book that he could give to his mother-in-law. Nothing came to mind, so I scanned the sidebar of my blog, hoping something would jump out at me. Nope. (Apparently I read a lot of depressing or gritty books.)Had he asked a few weeks later, I would have been able to tell him about this gem off a novel which warmed my heart and made me smile as I turned the last page. One could easily read it in an afternoon, but it was perfect for my stop-and-go reading style while on a road trip in our RV. I recently read the second book in this trilogy and have to say that I enjoyed that novel a little bit more than this one, but both are entertaining and definitely fall into the category of heartwarming or uplifting books. I'm looking forward to The Confession Club, which is the final installment in this series and due out next month.
Amy & Will Estancia La Jolla Photo Credit: Jordan Voth
What a month! We headed out on our two-month road trip on Labor Day, with our ultimate destination of San Diego for our daughter's wedding on the 22nd. We had a great time traveling down the coast (Hwy. 101), visiting family and exploring new areas along the way. We spent a dozen days in San Diego and the wedding was all we could have ever wished for Amy & Will. We celebrated for an entire week prior to the big day with a bridal brunch, meet-the-family dinner, bridal girls night out, family picnic, and rehearsal/rehearsal dinner. So.Much.Fun! And, yet, we were ready to get back on the road and continue our road trip up Hwy. 395 once Amy and Will were married and off on their own adventures to Greece and Italy (!!). As you can imagine, reading has not been high on my list of things to do, but I did manage to finish one audio book and two novels. I doubt I'll get much read in October since we spend so much of our days exploring and the evenings are devoted to travel journaling, catching up on social media, and an episode or two of Game of Thrones. Never a dull moment around here!
Books Read in September (click on titles for my review): The Rainbow Comes and Goes by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt Atonement by Ian McEwan After Her by Joyce Maynard First Lines: My mother comes from a vanished world, a place and a time that no longer exist. I have always thought of her as a visitor stranded here; an emissary from a distant star that burned out long ago. (The Rainbow Comes and Goes) The play, for which Briony has designed the posters, programmes and tickets, constructed the sales booth out of a folding screen tipped on its side, and lined the collection box in red crepe paper, was written by her in a two-day tempest of composition, causing her to miss a breakfast and a lunch. When the preparations were complete, she had nothing to do but contemplate her finished draft and wait for the appearance of her cousins from the distant north. (Atonement) A little over thirty years ago, on a June day just before sunset--alone on a mountain in Marin County, California--a man came toward me with a length of piano wire stretched between his hands, and the intention of ending my days. I was fourteen years old, and many others had already died at his hands. Ever since then I have known what it is like to look into a man's eyes and believe his face is the last thing you will ever see. (After Her) Movies and TV Shows:
Game of Thrones - Seasons 4 and 5: These continue to be highly entertaining and addictive. I'm glad we still have three more season to watch! Outings and Trips:
I could fill this post with hundreds of photos from our road trip (and we're only five weeks in!), as well as that many from our daughter's wedding (and all the events leading up to it), but that will come later when I share more complete posts about this trip just as I did with last year's Texas road trip. Until then, here are a few pictures from this past month, some of which have already been shared on Facebook and Instagram.
Rod and my auntie Sue playing Kristofferson songs.
Such a sweetheart! I adore my great-nephew Declan.
Our gracious hosts for well over a week.
Ana, Declan and Mark (my sister-in-law, great-nephew, and brother).
Rod and our beautiful granddaughter Shaylyn.
A short, but sweet visit!
The proud parents.
Waiting to walk down the aisle!
Me and my dearest friend since high school.
Kristy is also Amy's godmother.
Mr. and Mrs. William Barron!
I hope you are all enjoying the cooler weather that comes with fall. We've experienced some very chilly temps with a low of 27 this morning in Lee Vining, CA! We still have another three weeks or so of this road trip, weather permitting. Stay tuned for more pictures and travel posts later this year!