The Life We Bury
by Allen Eskens
Paperback- $9.53

A USA Today bestseller and book club favorite! College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English ...

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  "" by kvanvalkenburgh (see profile) 05/14/15

  "The Life We Bury" by smokey1 (see profile) 07/24/15

Great characters and a different story line.

  "The Life We Bury" by martykalkman (see profile) 10/02/15

Twist and turns with adventure, romance and focus on special circimstances. Very good characters.

  "Couldn't put this book down." by hmattson (see profile) 01/25/16

I loved this book! I finished the book in 2 & 1/2 days. I found myself wanting to talk about it to the ladies in the book club weeks before we were scheduled to meet. I am now going to download other books by this author just because the writing style was so captivating.

  "The Life we Bury" by hans22 (see profile) 02/01/16

This book is one of those you cannot put down once you start it.

  "" by TeCastle (see profile) 02/17/16

  "" by sblakely (see profile) 02/19/16

  "" by holawasr (see profile) 02/23/16

  "The Life We Bury" by whitesc3 (see profile) 02/24/16

The book was very good. Our book club really enjoyed it.

  "" by Smithtr (see profile) 02/28/16

  "Couldn't Put It Down" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/30/16

I read this as part of my book club. Absolutely loved it, lots of twists and turns! This one was hard to put down.

  "Good Book!" by Cindi126 (see profile) 04/06/16

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/21/16

  "" by SandraF (see profile) 04/25/16

There were a few sections of the book that felt a little far-fetched. However, it was a very quick read and enjoyable. I can see this book being made into a movie.

  "" by Tracylou (see profile) 04/30/16

We all enjoyed the book, although we wished it had been more about the relationship between Carl and Joe. It got a bit melodramatic at the end, maybe unbelievable.

  "" by ppreeder (see profile) 05/04/16

  "Pleasantly surprised " by [email protected] (see profile) 05/10/16

I had never heard of this author before so I was very surprised by how good it was. I liked how the author tied it all together in the end. Loved the characters.

  "The Life We Bury" by Smokygirl (see profile) 05/13/16

This was such an easy read. It had all the elements that I like in a book. There was mystery,romance,determination,compassion and kept you on the edge of your seat. A good thriller over all.

  "Great novel!" by RRW21062 (see profile) 05/13/16

I loved the investigative aspect to solve the 30 year old case against Carl Ivers.

  "" by smozer (see profile) 05/14/16

  "" by Kesdoyle (see profile) 05/19/16

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/19/16

  "Mystery quick read" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/19/16

The Life We Bury works on several levels with character and plot driven story line. One book club member stated Joe Talbert's voice was not believable for a 20 year old male. It is a page turner. Jeremy the younger brother provides a subplot that comes into focus towards the end of the novel.

  "Good Character Development" by mopsickmom (see profile) 05/26/16

The beginning of the book had good character development but the end became unrealistic and contrived.

  "" by mnmamabear (see profile) 05/29/16

  "The Life We Bury" by marilynjmay (see profile) 06/08/16

The book started out interesting and kept my interest through out the book. I liked the different aspects of the characters and how they each had a life to bury. Very well written and tied together.

  "" by Grosland (see profile) 06/22/16

  "The Life We Bury" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/08/16

Loved the characters.

  "The life we bury" by lebeau (see profile) 07/15/16

It was a fun fast read. The book started out good and was fast paced from page one. Perfect for anytime but especially summer.

  "" by jeriann (see profile) 07/27/16

  "The life we bury." by suemoros (see profile) 07/28/16

Fast moving. Gripping.

  "Different type of book" by J9danzt (see profile) 07/29/16

The story unfolds and reveals lives of those in prison. Innocent people are there too.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/11/16

  "" by acelis (see profile) 08/17/16

  "The Life We Bury" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/17/16

Page turner and hard to put down!

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/17/16

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/17/16

  "The Life We Bury" by dminor (see profile) 09/02/16

The story is addictive and well written. The twists and turns keep readers turning pages to see what happens next and how the story will unfold. The brotherly love is also inspiring.

  "the life we bury" by Carolynr (see profile) 09/05/16

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.

joe unravels the truth slowly but may not be in time
this was an easy ready and a very good story!!

  "" by Beth4Books (see profile) 09/12/16

  "" by Djbg1 (see profile) 09/13/16

  "" by pattea25 (see profile) 09/15/16

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  "" by marcijo (see profile) 11/14/16

  "" by Tlamarche (see profile) 11/30/16

  "The Life We Bury" by delucial2 (see profile) 12/02/16

Our book club loved this book. It convincingly meshed two separate stories into one. It was both plot driven and character driven with lots of tension, and exciting ending.

  "The Life We Bury" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/05/16

Caught my attention from the first chapter. Once I started I didn't want to stop reading.

  "" by rf2learn (see profile) 12/06/16

  "" by madority (see profile) 01/02/17

  "The Life We Bury" by ccroft78248 (see profile) 01/02/17

Quick read! Very entertaining. Enjoyable.

  "" by Speyton (see profile) 01/10/17

  "" by lmncpa (see profile) 01/11/17

  "too YAish for me" by ebach (see profile) 01/11/17

On the recommendation of a friend who loves my book recommendations, I read THE LIFE WE BURY. I am not as impressed with it as she is but not because it isn’t a good book. I found it too young adultish. Although many adults like YA novels, I mostly don’t.

Joe is a young college student who has escaped a lousy home life. His slovenly mother drinks too much, spends too much time at bars and casinos, and does not seem to care for her other son, Joe’s autistic half brother who is physically abused by his mother’s boyfriend. But that’s just a side story. The real story begins with Joe’s assignment for his English class.

The assignment is to write someone’s biography. So Joe finds in a nursing home an old dying man, Carl, who has spent the last 30 years in prison for a crime he claims he did not commit. Now the real story begins when Joe becomes convinced that Carl is, indeed, innocent. So he takes it upon himself to prove it.

I almost forgot Joe’s female college-student neighbor. Of course, you guessed it, they fall in love and she helps.

The blog Bookpage calls THE LIFE WE BURY “compulsively suspenseful.” Some will agree. I found it predictable. Yet, I did enjoy most of the book. Even if it is predictable, it goes the way I want it to.

This is Allen Eskens’s debut novel. He’s written a couple of others since THE LIFE WE BURY, and I’m going to try one. I read an excerpt of his THE GUISE OF ANOTHER, and it doesn’t sound YAish.


  "Excellent Read" by Bottlepond (see profile) 01/13/17

Enjoyed by our Book Club members. With this being Eskens first novel, we expect more wonderful works to come from this author.

  "" by quilted (see profile) 01/16/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/14/17

  "The Life We Bury" by DebbyH (see profile) 02/22/17

An excellent read, very well written.

  "" by mel29 (see profile) 02/27/17

  "" by elatal (see profile) 03/13/17

  "Mystery with great characters" by CathyMeyer (see profile) 03/15/17

Fast read, it's a mystery with developed characters. I found it a really well done first book. It does lean a bit towards Young Adult but I really like young adult books.
Good choice for book club times when no one has lots of time to read.

  "The Life We Bury" by 1chacha (see profile) 03/16/17

This book has everything a great book should have. There is a lot to discuss. Very well written, and also an easy read. Looking forward to other titles from this author.

  "" by tholt (see profile) 03/22/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/05/17

  "Good discussion" by pfoust (see profile) 04/07/17

Readers can relate to this book because we all have events in our past that we choose to bury.

  "" by KimReid (see profile) 04/07/17

  "" by lucydog (see profile) 06/08/17

  "the life we bury" by agnesd (see profile) 06/25/17

One of the worst books I've ever read. A poorly written
Hardy Boys book.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/05/17

  "" by loladep (see profile) 07/08/17

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  "" by BrumbyMiller (see profile) 07/13/17

  "" by hernanka (see profile) 08/10/17

  "The Life We Bury" by nbaker (see profile) 08/29/17

I’m not sure if this story was about the life we bury or the life we unearth. A Vietnam veteran, a loner with little social interaction is charged and convicted of raping the teenage girl next door. Serving a life sentence, he is released after 30 years to a nursing home as he is dying from cancer with little time left.

A college student enrolled in a biography class has an assignment to write a paper about someone who has experienced a life altering event, most likely an elderly person. With a family circle of only two people (and one of those being an autistic brother) and even fewer friends, he turns to the local nursing home in hopes of interviewing a resident. Unfortunately, most residents in such places have diminished faculties, except for one – a known and convicted murderer.

As the student digs deeper into the past of a convicted killer and his demons, he has to wrestle with his own demon – in the form of his mother - who is often absent and inebriated to the point that she cannot be parent to her teenage autistic son. Mental challenges arise as he struggles with his role of responsibility for his brother and, even more, in his conviction that perhaps an innocent man is soon to die with a false accusation over his head.

The author cleverly wove both stories together to create a touching and moving story of assessing one’s heart and seeing the truth. In life there are times when guilt and shame can cause you to put up blinders to bury facts or even bury the lies. It’s like walking around with a pebble in your shoe – until you remove the source of your pain, you’ll never feel comfortable. The ending may have been tied up a bit too squeaky clean, but it brought to mind a well-known Bible verse, “Then you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

  "great discussion" by cindywiser (see profile) 09/08/17

We had a very lively discussion about "The Life We Bury" so I would certainly recommend it for any book club.

  "" by Robinoneal123 (see profile) 09/28/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/05/17

  "Don't judge" by cpowers (see profile) 11/14/17

It just goes to show you that there are more to some people than you might think.

  "The Life We Bury" by Sedelle79 (see profile) 12/01/17

Very well written. Many issued well addressed.
Look forward to reading other books by this author!

  "" by gallup40 (see profile) 12/09/17

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  "" by becelise (see profile) 01/12/18

  "Wow, a real page turner mystery." by teatime (see profile) 01/25/18

We loved this one. It spiked interest from the start and kept us hooked to the end. Wonderful writing. Highly recommend.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/09/18

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  "" by lisaschultz18 (see profile) 04/26/18

  "Literary Pap" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/09/18

Lightweight, low-cal fare that leaves the brain unexercised (and unnourished) with it's predictable, clichéd plot.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/31/18

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  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/17/19

We all agreed it was a good read but “meh”. It moved a little slow in middle and was a bit unrealistic with the kidnapping and crime solving. However the story arch with the autistic brother was great.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/22/19

  "" by BeaSou (see profile) 02/16/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/17/19

  "A good pick for bookclubs" by lpollinger (see profile) 03/11/19

Joe Talbert is interviewing Carl Iverson for a college course. Carl is a decorated Vietnam Veteran who is dying of cancer. He is also a convicted rapist and murderer. Carl insists he was wrongly convicted and Joe along with his next door neighbor Lila and some help from his autistic brother begin to unravel the truth about Carl Iverson.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/31/19

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  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/07/21

It was fun to see the changes in Joe as the book progressed. He started out by procrastinating and thinking he was taking the easy way out by finding someone old at a nursing home. That made me chuckle. But he ended up putting everything he had into something he truly believed in. Also interesting how his motivation changed from doing the assignment because it was a requirement to doing it for Carl and then it became personal for him as it helped him let go of his guilt around his grandfather’s
death. I really enjoyed this book.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/22/21

Loved it! Was hooked immediately!

  "" by Kschneider0929 (see profile) 02/23/21

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/24/21

Loved it! It was addictive making me want to keep reading!

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