The Life We Bury is a fiction novel written by Allen Eskens. The book is told in the first-person perspective of Joe Talbert, a college student trying to get ahead in life while distancing himself from the responsibility of caring for his mentally ill mother and autistic brother. When Joe is assigned to write a biography paper for his college English class he meets Carl Iverson, a convicted murderer. Joe begins to unravel Carl's wrongful conviction while reconciling himself with the family responsibilities he can never escape. Truth, honesty, responsibility, and forgiveness are some of the book's major themes.