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Review: The Life We Bury

November 15, 2016


College student Joe Talbert has to write a biography of an old person for his English class.  Joe comes from a dysfunctional family and doesn’t know any old people so he heads to the local nursing home to find someone to interview.  The nursing home is reluctant to help him at first but finally agrees to allow him to speak with Carl, a convicted murderer who has been medically paroled because he’s dying.

Joe’s also dealing with family issues and has to bring his autistic brother, Jeremy, to his apartment when his mother is arrested.  Jeremy helps break the ice with Joe’s neighbor Lila, something Joe’s been unable to do.

As Joe learns more about Carl and his background, he can’t imagine him committing the vicious crime he was convicted of.  He decides to dig a little deeper and, with the help of Lila, discovers some things the police overlooked.  Can he and Lila unearth the truth before it’s too late?

I’ve had THE LIFE WE BURY by Allen Eskens for a while but set it aside when it was getting so much buzz because I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the hype.  When my book club selected it to read in October, I finally picked it up and, boy, am I glad I did!

Both Joe and Lila are damaged characters and I found them both very appealing.  In fact, I want more of them and am hoping Eskens will write a follow up featuring the two of them.  I loved their interaction and thought they made a great team.

I thought the storyline of THE LIFE WE BURY was strong and very compelling.  There’s a lot of action and tension so I found myself turning the pages as fast as I could.  I had a hunch about the ending fairly early on but was never quite sure until I was almost done so it didn’t bother me.

I thought THE LIFE WE BURY was terrific and all but one member of my book club agreed with me.  We didn’t find a lot to discuss because we all pretty much felt the same way.  We were all glad we read the book, though, and agreed we’d happily read Eskens’ work again.

My friend Julie sent me this book.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Diane permalink
    November 15, 2016 6:40 am

    I enjoyed this as well but, can understand why there would not be a lot to discuss.

  2. November 15, 2016 7:01 am

    I kindled this one ages ago, but have never really gotten around to it. Sounds like I need to move it up my TBR list. Glad you enjoyed it so much!

  3. November 15, 2016 7:01 am

    I listened to this on audio and thought it was very good! I’m looking forward to reading more by Eskens.

  4. November 15, 2016 7:57 am

    This is my bookclub’s pick for this month. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. November 15, 2016 8:49 am

    I have a friend that has recommended this one to me and thought lots to discuss. I have considered for my book club. I definitely will read though, sounds intense. It is great when you want more on characters.

  6. November 15, 2016 9:06 am

    It’s good to have friends like Julie who send you good books, glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for your thoughts. I’m curious what did the one member of your book club not like about the book?

  7. November 15, 2016 9:13 am

    Well now I have to seek this one out.

  8. November 15, 2016 9:28 am

    I agree with you. I also read it for book club, and, similarly, we all pretty much liked it across the board. I know he’s got a new one out, but I haven’t checked to see what it’s about.

  9. November 15, 2016 10:48 am

    Our book club read this earlier this year and all of us enjoyed it. One member felt it was a little contrived near the end but we all thought the characters were interesting and very human. The devotion he had for his brother was touching and his struggles between his personal desires and caring for his family were real. Great story!

  10. November 15, 2016 11:05 am

    I like the sound of this!

  11. November 15, 2016 12:00 pm

    This story sounds like one that would pull me in, and I would love following the kids in their pursuit of the truth. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Melissa permalink
    November 15, 2016 1:58 pm

    I loved this book too! I’ve recommended it to so many people.

  13. November 15, 2016 2:31 pm

    This sounds like a great read!

  14. November 15, 2016 2:55 pm

    Kathy, this does sound terrific! Thanks for sharing some thoughts about it.

  15. November 16, 2016 3:15 am

    This sounds good.

  16. bookingmama permalink
    November 16, 2016 6:54 am

    I loved this one! Make sure you read Eskens’ other novels because you will see some familiar characters.

  17. November 16, 2016 8:23 am

    I like stories with dysfunctional characters if they’re well-written and from your review this one seems to be a winner. It’s so hard when we fall in love with characters and don’t want to let go of them.

  18. November 16, 2016 8:47 am

    Wow, this sounds like a very good read.

  19. November 18, 2016 10:16 pm

    I like the sound of everything you’ve mentioned about this one. Adding it to my list now.

  20. November 18, 2016 11:44 pm

    Ditto Stacy’s comment above! You know I love a good mystery and this one sounds amazing! Ordering it now 🙂

  21. The Cue Card permalink
    November 20, 2016 6:29 pm

    I’m with everyone else: this book sounds good! thx for your thoughts on it. I will put it high on my TBR list.

  22. Cynthia permalink
    November 27, 2016 12:20 am

    This was a book that moved me like no other. The author’s writing skill’s are superb. I was most amazed this was his first novel.

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