Discussion Questions for The Life We Busy by Allen Eskens

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Here are questions you are welcome to use for your own discussion of the book, The Life We Bury.  Partially taken from the Authors website.


  1.  Was this book an easy book to fall right into or did it take a while to get the picture?
  2. With the Title, The Life We Bury, we can look at all the characters and see they are burying something.  Take each character, what do they bury:  Joe, Lila, Carl, Joe’s mom…
  3. In our own lives, either current or in the past, what do we find that we each bury?
  4. What scene really stayed with you after the novel was finished?
  5. When first introduced to Carl, what was your initial feeling about him?  Did that feeling change as you read through the book?  In the end, how did you feel about Carl?  Is he a hero?  A victim?  A criminal?
  6. Is this story character driven or plot driven?  Do you find you have a preference?
  7. How does guilt play a part for each of the characters?
  8. How would you describe Joe?  What are his strengths?  His weaknesses?
  9. When you look at the nursing home setting and how Carl was treated/judged, what does that make you feel about nursing homes as a whole?  Discuss the care of the elderly in homes.
  10. Is there anything you would change about this story?  If so, what would it be?
  11. It is never really explained why Carl watched the neighbor girl so closely.  What are your thoughts on this?
  12. Before it was revealed, did you know who did it?