Review: The Life We Bury
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.