I’m about halfway through The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens. It’s about a college student who has an English assignment to interview a stranger and write his or her biography. With time running out, he hurries to a nearby nursing home and meets someone willing to talk–a dying Vietnam veteran who’s also a convicted murderer.
I didn’t expect to like this story, but was desperate for something to listen to while exercising, since I couldn’t find anything else that appealed to me. Over thirteen thousand audible.com “readers” gave it a four and a half star rating, so I thought I’d give it a shot.
The readers’ ratings proved absolutely correct. The author’s phrases are lyrical, the story heartfelt, and the narrator terrific. Even so, I’m getting more out of this story than I’d intended.
Both the protagonist, Joe, and the murderer had buried secrets that affected their lives, and it started me thinking about the secrets we all bury. I unexpectedly found myself soul searching for the buried secrets that affected my behaviors and shaped my interpretations of everything around me–made me the person I am. It also gave me an insight into using secrets to help me create more complex characters.
Do you have secrets that molded your life?