I recently reviewed the book The Life We Bury. This post is my book clubs review.
I was excited for this review and curious what the Bookies would think about this read by a Minnesota author, centered around a college student, an autistic brother, a non reliable mother, and a dying murderer.
Our discussion was really centered around the character development in the story. Each of the characters are well-developed, something we agreed that we like in our reading. We had a chance to get to know everyone represented – and each of them had something in their life that they buried. It really made the title so appropriate, after all… don’t we all have something in our life that we bury, work to keep from resurfacing?
We felt as a whole that book was one that was easy to fall right into. From page one many of us sank right into the smooth writing. While the group felt over all that the story was a little predictable, no one faulted the book because it was such a well written read.
Each of the characters that surround this book have a story. Some, as in most books, we were able to see flush out more than others. Author Allen Eskens however gave us enough bread crumbs on the less developed characters to see who they really were as well.
Over all the book for us rated a solid 4 out of 5. We enjoyed the book and enjoyed the Minnesota setting which we found familiar. Plus… we learned a little more about SPAM. 😉
Why Does This Book Make For A Good Book Club Read?
- The life We Bury provides a Midwestern setting that is evenly paced. The book never feels overly hurried, giving readers a chance to really sink into the character development.
- There are great opportunities to discuss what we feel we bury in our own lives – either past or presently.
- The fact that our protagonist Joe is from Austin Minnesota, the home of SPAM (which Joe states in the book) opens up some fun opportunities for your group to explore SPAM either through cooking or through trivia. Our group did a little of both 🙂
Discussion Questions and ideas for your group
Above: We had fun finding food that went with the book. Thai Curry spam meatballs, spam with cheese and red potatoes, fish to represent the fishing in the book, and lots of yummy extras of wild rice soup, bread, bars, dips, crackers, bread and cheesecake.
Note: The sandwiches upper right were my quick recipe of wanting to make something with SPAM. They were Hawaiian rolls, spam, and Swiss cheese. I heated them in the oven until the cheese melted. I called them SPAMwiches, Spliders (SPAM Sliders), and SPAM burgers. 😉
5 thoughts on “The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens – Bookie Book Club Review”
Are we really willing..or comfortable enough to share that which we have buried? I don’t ‘think so….not me, anyway..
I think if you have a close group of friends or people you trust – yes. In our book club we have had some amazing discussions – sometimes that leave us pretty raw and vulnerable. For myself, I feel safe sharing with this group and not worrying that they are going to take it anywhere outside our group. We have all been together for a long time and I know that trust and openness builds. Of course I am sure for all of us there are things that are just too buried.
I think it is wonderful to be able to share openly with people we trust. Love the SPAM aspect of your gathering!
I doubt I will be able to share even with someone I trust! That book discussion meal looks scrumptious
The title of this book is intriguing, I may read it. Spam, not so much intriguing.