The Life We Bury

The Life we BuryThe Life We Bury by Allen Eskens


Rating: 5 out of 5 Magical Coffee Cups

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College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe’s life is ever the same.

Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran–and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

As Joe writes about Carl’s life, especially Carl’s valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory. 

Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl’s conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it’s too late to escape the fallout?

I have had this book sitting on my bookshelf for a long time.  I bought it because it looked interesting and it was on sale.  I put it on my bookshelf and sort of forgot about it after a while.  Not gonna lie.  But I finally got around to reading it…

Wow, I am not sure if I am upset with myself for waiting so long to read this book, or if I am thankful for saving the awesomeness of this book for a thrilling summer read.

I felt comfortable with this book from the first page.  You might be asking “what does that mean?”, I’ll try my best to explain.  I often feel like it takes me a few pages at least, to feel like I am really into a book.  You have to get to know the setting or characters, you spend a few pages reading about the background before you really get into the story.  With this book I felt like I sat down with an old friend who was telling me a tale.  The main character, Joe, was so easy to get to know.  He might have made some questionable choices throughout this book, but I really enjoyed my time with him.

I don’t want to say too much about this book because I don’t want to accidentally spoil the mystery.  I will say that I found it very difficult to put this book down.  I even read parts of this book walking to work, yeah, walking and reading.  A dangerous habit, I know.  I should let Mr. Eskens know that he sort of put my life in danger with his amazing book.

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