Saturday, January 14, 2017
The Life We Bury/Allen Eskens/315 pgs.
It begins with a college English assignment. Joe Talbert is supposed to interview a stranger, and then write a brief biography of his/her life. Joe decides to go to a nursing home, hoping to find a veteran to interview to fulfill the assignment. He gets more than he bargained for. He is introduced to Carl Iverson, a Vietnam War veteran, who also had been serving a prison sentence for the murder and rape of a young girl years ago. He was paroled to the nursing home because he is in the final stages of pancreatic cancer. He agrees to talk to Joe--it's his "dying declaration." The more Joe talks to Carl, the more convinced he becomes that he was unjustly accused of murder. However, if Carl didn't murder the young girl, who did? There are family secrets, complex characters, dysfunctional families--what more could a reader ask for in a book? It's a very good debut, and one that I highly recommend!