Reading guide for The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

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The Story of Arthur Truluv

A Novel

by Elizabeth Berg

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg X
The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg
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  • First Published:
    Nov 2017, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2018, 272 pages

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Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Questions and Topics for Discussion
  1. What did the epigraphs mean to you before you read the book? Did they seem to hint at any major themes in The Story of Arthur Truluv? How did the meaning of the epigraphs change for you, after you finished the book?
  2. Arthur has a special connection to the dead. Every day he talks to his late wife, and he sees glimpses into the lives of other people who are buried in the cemetery. Do you think the connection he has with the dead influences how he views and lives his life?
  3. Maddy is bullied by her classmates, both at her school and online. How does this effect the choices she makes early in the book, and how is she eventually able to overcome it?
  4. Lucille is an incredibly talented baker. She puts so much time and effort into her recipes that it seems like more than just a hobby to her. What role does baking play in her life, and in the relationships she has with others?
  5. Maddy and her father have a strained relationship. Why is it so difficult for him to give Maddy the affection and support she needs? Do you feel sympathy for him and the situation he is in? Does their relationship change over the course of the book?
  6. Maddy and Arthur have many differences, the biggest of which is their difference in age. When they first get to know each other, there is a funny scene that highlights this, in which Maddy tries to get Arthur to use a curse word. Do you think differences in a friendship are an advantage or a disadvantage? Can you think of an example where this is true in other works of literature or in your own life?
  7. Although Maddy never knew Nola, she honors her in a beautiful way at the end of the book. Why do you think she does this?
  8. There is a popular adage that says: "Friends are the family we choose for ourselves." That statement feels especially true for the characters in The Story of Arthur Truluv, who build an unconventional family out of friendship. Have you ever had friends that are as dear to you as family, or who are even closer to you than your relatives?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Ballantine Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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