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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Earth's the Right Place for Love

Narrator: Elizabeth Berg

Random House Audio

ISBN: 9780593446799

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 3/21/2023

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4.5 Stars (ARC)

This beautiful new novel by the beloved author of Open House and Talk Before Sleep tells the story of two young people growing up in Mason, Missouri, and how Arthur Moses, a shy young man, becomes the wise and compassionate person readers loved in The Story of Arthur Truluv.

Nola McCollum is the most desirable girl in Arthur’s class, and he is thrilled when they become friends. But Arthur wants far more than friendship. Unfortunately, Nola has a crush on the wrong Moses—Arthur’s older brother, Frank, who is busy pursuing his own love interest and avoiding the boys’ father, a war veteran with a drinking problem and a penchant for starting fights. When a sudden tragedy rocks the family’s world, Arthur struggles to come to terms with his grief. In the end, it is nature that helps him to understand how to go on, beyond loss, and create a life of forgiveness and empathy. But what can he do about Nola, who seems confused about what she wants in life, and only half aware of the one who loves her most?

Full of unforgettable characters and written with Elizabeth Berg’s characteristic warmth, humor, and insight into people, Earth’s the Right Place for Love is about the power of kindness, character, and family, and how love can grow when you least expect it.

My Review

Master storyteller Elizabeth Berg rewinds her popular The Story of Arthur Truluv (5 stars) novel (Mason series) for a prequel (Mason .5) —EARTH'S THE RIGHT PLACE FOR LOVE. Readers get a look at Arthur Moses in his younger years for a charming, heartfelt and emotional coming-of-age tale.

Set in the forties to early 1950s in Missouri, we get the backstory of Arthur Moses, otherwise known as Arthur Truluv. Arthur is sixteen years old with an older brother Frank who is an inspiring writer.

Arthur and Frank are very close and spend much time at night in their twin beds talking about their passions, love, and life.

Their father is a war veteran with PTSD and a drinking problem. He is abusive, especially with Frank, and violent. The dad has problems since he lost his job and cannot find work.

The loving mom just tries to maintain peace. The boys cannot understand why she stays with him. The boys have to walk on eggshells when they are home. They love their mother but fear their dad, and his violet rages.

Arthur is a quiet, sweet, thoughtful boy—an old soul and wise beyond his years. He is different from the popular, good-looking boys like his brother Frank. He is smitten with a girl named Nola.

They are friends, but she does not like him in a boyfriend-girlfriend way. However, she does have a crush on Frank, but he is having a secret affair with his English teacher, Mary.

Arthur is such a loveable boy, a hard worker, runs errands for the neighbors, and tends flowers and gardening with a widowed lady, and she enjoys talking with him.

Taking advice from Frank, Arthur works up the nerve to ask Nola to the movies, only to have their date called off when a tornado rips through town and other issues. However, he does not give up, even when she leaves town and he walks her to the bus stop.

Mary is pregnant, and Frank's plans for them to move to New York change when there is an accident. A tragedy occurs, and Arthur is grieving. His dad finds a job and raises his spirits, and Arthur's luck finally changes for a happy ending with Nola and his neighbor's house with the rose garden.

What a nostalgic, beautiful story of love, loss, and joy. Fans of Berg and the Mason series will enjoy this one, as well as fans of author Catherine Ryan Hyde and Fredrik Backman.

A big fan of Elizabeth Berg, I enjoy her writing and heart-warming characters blended with humor and insights. I loved the close relationship between the two brothers and fell in love with Arthur and his love of nature and trees.

Thank you to #RandomHouse and #NetGalley for a gifted ARC in exchange for an honest review. #RandomHouseInfuencers

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Pub Date: March 21, 2023


"A poignant tale of love, grief, and the resiliency of the human spirit." —Kirkus Reviews

"{B}erg does a nice job tending to the slow-burn romance between Arthur and Nola, which readers of the earlier book know will lead to a lifelong marriage. The author’s fans ought to be satisfied."

—Publishers Weekly

“I so loved this story. Few authors write with more heart, wisdom, and human insight than Elizabeth Berg. Do yourself a favor and dive in. I promise you won’t be disappointed.”

—Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“This is a warm, generous, and utterly satisfying novel, and its characters are vibrantly, terrifically human. I read it raptly, rooting for them all from the first pages.”

—Claire Lombardo, New York Times bestselling author of The Most Fun We Ever Had

“Elizabeth Berg is our great American storyteller. This wise and winning life/love story takes place in Missouri in the halcyon 1950s when girls wore saddle shoes and boys bought them root beer floats. Shy Arthur Moses (who becomes Arthur Truluv) is in love with beautiful Nola McCollum, even though the popular girl has her cap set elsewhere and often. But Arthur, who takes his cues from the splendor of nature, is a perennial, and remains unwavering in his ardor until life, in its pain and unpredictability, has other plans. If Earth’s the Right Place for Love, it is also the right place for humor, wisdom, and transcendence.”

—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of The Good Left Undone

“Compassionate, witty and delicate, here is a story about the people who find themselves on the sidelines and yet who manage—despite losses of their own—to be true to themselves and find their way. A celebration of small communities and the small kindnesses that, bit by bit, change a life.”

—Rachel Joyce, New York Times bestselling author of Miss Benson’s Beetle

The Story of Arthur Truluv

ISBN: 978-1400069903

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 11/21/2017

Format: Hardcover

Series: (Mason #1)

My Rating: 5 Stars

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

About the Author

Elizabeth Berg is the author of many bestselling novels, including The Story of Arthur Truluv, Night of Miracles, The Confession Club, Open House (an Oprah's Book Club selection), Talk Before Sleep, and The Year of Pleasures, as well as the short story collection The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted. Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year. She adapted The Pull of the Moon into a play that enjoyed sold-out performances in Chicago and Indianapolis. Berg's work has been published in thirty-one countries, and three of her novels have been turned into television movies. She is the founder of Writing Matters, a quality reading series dedicated to serving author, audience, and community. She teaches one-day writing workshops and is a popular speaker at venues around the country. Some of her most popular Facebook postings have been collected in Make Someone Happy, Still Happy, and Happy to Be Here. She lives outside of Chicago. WEBSITE



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