Earth’s the Right Place for Love

Books on Tape Mar. 2023. 7:58 hrs. ISBN 9780593677636. $66.50. F
Berg’s prequel to The Story of Arthur Truluv focuses on Arthur Moses as a young adult. Unlike his high school peers, Arthur is interested in nature but not sports and wants to live in his hometown of Mason, MS, forever. Kind, respectful, and interested in others, he looks to his older brother Frank for advice, especially about girls. Arthur falls in love with Nola McCollum, but she sees him only as a friend. Supported by the neighborhood adults, he bides his time and tries to be the best friend he can be. When tragedy strikes the Truluv family, however, his life is changed forever. Set in the post–World War II era, Berg’s novel paints a picture of a simpler time in an idyllic little town where neighbors know and help each other. The setting allows plenty of commentary about the nature of love, relationships, and mortality. Berg provides a wonderfully warm reading of her work, perfectly injecting emphases and pauses to bring out the story’s poignancy.
VERDICT Although this story can stand on its own, Berg’s many fans will enjoy learning about the backstory of her popular character Arthur Moses. Recommend to readers of coming-of-age stories and fans of Anne Tyler and Ann Hood.
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