Release date Nov 21, 2017
Kindle, 240 Pages
Also available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook
Genre(s) Women’s Lit
Other books by this author
Open House, Talk Before Sleep, The Year of Pleasures, Durable Goods, Joy School
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review
What it’s about…
Nora has been dead for six months and is buried in the town cemetery. Arthur Moses travels across town to the cemetery every day to have lunch with her.
Maddy Harris is a girl who is about to become a young woman without having had a childhood. Her mother died shortly after she was born. Her father shut himself off from her.
Lucille is Arthur’s next-door neighbor. She loves to cook and bake and talk. She has just gotten a letter from the love of her life who married another woman back then.
This is the story of what happens when these three people meet and life does what life does.
The cover is absolutely wonderful! Not only is it appealing and what made me want to read the book, but it totally relates to the story and is a great metaphor for Arthur himself.
The storyline is simple and sweet.
The characters are the whole story.
The pace is the pace of life itself.
The tension is the same as waking up each morning and not knowing what will happen that day.
The quality of the writing is magical. Ms. Berg creates a slice of everyday life and invites us to share it. This little corner of Americana. This is happening on a daily basis somewhere in our world, it just may not be playing out quite this way. Three people collide and life happens. In this case, magic happens because of the love of one of them.
And this is where you STOP if you don’t want to see any SPOILERS…
The good, the bad, and the ugly…and how much it lit up my life… ✰✰✰✰✰
O…M…G! This is really magic! The reason I called the cover art a metaphor for Arthur is because Arthur has so much love inside him that he tries to take care of everyone. He tries to shelter Maddie and Lucille. He tries to shelter Gordon, the cat. His talking with the spirits in the cemetery is his way of sheltering them, too. He has so much to give that he does it without thinking about it. It’s his automatic response. So that little scene where he shares his umbrella with Maddie at the bus stop is a perfect metaphor for Arthur Moses.
It’s amazing the amount of life in these 240 pages. We have a young woman sneaking out to give her sleazebag older boyfriend a blowjob just to get his attention. The same young woman running away from home now pregnant with the sleazebag’s child. She, of course, has had a lousy childhood due to a dead mother and a distant father. Then we have a fluffy old lady who cooks, bakes, and gossips. Then she takes up with the guy who got away until he dies. Then she grieves so hard so can’t take care of herself. And that’s without Arthur!
If we add in Arthur, we have so much more. Do we say Arthur is senile because he speaks with the spirits of dead people in the cemetery? Or is he a medium? How do we explain the fact that he can see into the past lives of those spirits and know how they lived before they died or how they died? Or exactly what they looked like and what they wore when they were buried? And whether or not they were happy with that?
Who or what is Arthur Moses? Is he a special spirit sent to spread love in this world and into the afterlife? He certainly seems to do that. The only person he seems to not care for is Maddie’s sleazebag, but he threatens him in defense of Maddie. When Maddie is prepared to move out because Lucille is going to move in, Arthur convinces her that having Lucille there will be a good thing so that Maddie will stay. When Lucille isn’t too sure about continuing her cooking school because her students might disrupt Arthur’s home, he tells her he’ll be thrilled to have them in his home. He tries to take care of everyone so that they are happy.
And in turn, everyone wants to take care of Arthur. And Arthur needs caring for because he is getting older and doesn’t really pay any attention to taking care of himself. So when it came his time to die, he had people around him to take care of him who loved him.