Earth's the Right Place for Love

Earth's the Right Place for Love by Elizabeth Berg is a poignant, emotionally powerful novel about the formative years in the life of 16-year-old Arthur Moses in the late 1940s. Arthur--along with those in his orbit--has been featured in three other Berg novels set in Mason, Mo.: The Story of Arthur Truluv, Night of Miracles and The Confession Club. In this novel, 85-year-old Arthur looks back on his life in 1947 as a high school sophomore. He is greatly influenced by--and looks up to--his dashing older brother, Frank, a charming heartthrob who often locks horns with their father, a brash man with a drinking problem. Kind, gentle and shy Arthur has a crush on his cheerleader classmate, Nola McCollum, who actually has romantic designs on Frank. When Arthur learns of this, he secretly settles on building a friendship with Nola instead. However, a sudden, devastating tragedy befalls the Moses family, and Arthur and Nola become confidants who help each other grow through changes and challenges into young adulthood. Will Nola ever realize how much Arthur truly loves her? And will she ever love him back?

Love stories that probe the human condition are what Berg (I'll Be Seeing You) does best, and this stand-alone story of Arthur's early life shines with a refreshingly wholesome 20th-century sensibility. Well-drawn characters and sensitively written scenes consistently endear readers to Berg's exquisite storytelling. This novel adds to--and further deepens--the enriching appeal of that continuum. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

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