Both the aspect of discovering more about Carl Iverson's life and past, as well as seeing how Joe was going to deal with his autistic brother and alcoholic mother, were compelling stories and drew me in. I thought the author kept the reader engaged and the characters were very relatable. The Life We Bury sheds light on the concept that each person has their own life story that may not always be the way it seems at first glance. The novel is well paced and I was quite surprised it was a debut novel. I certainly look forward to reading more by Allen Eskens.