By: D. M. Pulley
Publisher: Lake Union
Publication Date: 8/23/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars
When Althea Leary abandons her nine-year-old son, Jasper, he’s left on his uncle’s farm with nothing but a change of clothes and a Bible.It’s 1952, and Jasper isn’t allowed to ask questions or make a fuss. He’s lucky to even have a home and must keep his mouth shut and his ears open to stay in his uncle’s good graces. No one knows where his mother went or whether she’s coming back. Desperate to see her again, he must take matters into his own hands.
From the farm, he embarks on a treacherous search that will take him to the squalid hideaways of Detroit and back again, through tawdry taverns, peep shows, and gambling houses.As he’s drawn deeper into an adult world of corruption, scandal, and murder, Jasper uncovers the shocking past still chasing his mother—and now it’s chasing him too.
Buy the Book
A special thank you to Lake Union and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
D.M. Pulley returns following her award-winning debut, The Dead Key (2015-highly recommend), with an absorbing historical fiction, family saga: THE BURIED BOOK: beautiful, yet harrowing; mixed with mystery, suspense, and intrigue.
A determined nine-year-old boy’s desperate journey into the dark corners, in search for answers about his missing mother and unraveling of shocking family secrets.
Jasper was nine years old, it was 1952 and his mother, Althea Leary left him at his Uncle Leo’s farm. He begged his mom not to go. She said she was coming back. His mom wanted his uncle to keep him safe. No one would answer him or give him any explanations about his mother. He was told to keep his ears open and his mouth shut.
Desperate to find answers about this mom. What was she running from? What if she was dead or someone had killed her? Some people were looking for her. What happened to his mom? A house burning down, a grandfather dying, and his mom’s secrets . . leaving him behind.
A coming-of-age domestic family suspense, a rural noir--a young boy slowly unravels the mystery of his misunderstood mother and the circumstances surrounding her leaving. He hears things about his mother. He is determined to discover the truth. Who took her away and why?
A book, a Bible with paper’s hidden. A book heavy with secrets. From 1928, Jasper reads his mother’s story. A mother tormented, desiring forgiveness, abuse, a bad man - and a boy who loves her deeply, and wants to understand.
What is the truth? Justice. A conflict from violence to loyalty. A strong bond of mother and son. A boy faced with the brutal evils and dangers of the world. From corruption, lies, scandal, and murder. An enthralling and gripping mystery, in a rural atmospheric setting, and a boy you will root for.
“There is a bond between you. You must look inside yourself, and you will find her.”
The Buried Book depicts life in rural Michigan in the early 1950s – a family saga, from Ojibwa tribes, to language, customs, and cultures. A mother’s worn leather diary. A son. A book which held the answers to everything about her. A tornado and ugliness, which tore apart the world. Your heart will break for Jasper.
I enjoyed the inspiration behind this well-researched historical tale and the note from the author: a stand-alone mystery inspired by the unexplained disappearance of one of the author’s family members, in 1950s Michigan.
From interesting pieces of her dad’s life on a dairy farm; a blending of factual true events as a backdrop for a fictional heartbreaking journey. Pulley includes an index of intriguing events and places, historical context and extensive research which adds to the engaging, THE BURIED BOOK.
In addition to the advanced reading copy, happened to be traveling and purchased the audiobook as well, narrated by Luke Daniels for an engaging performance.
Well-written, a powerful story, no one is safe from the scattered fragments of history- the author delivers depth, lushly described settings, and an inter-generational battle between good and evil, taking you through a tornado, from fear, danger, killers, thieves, gangsters, Major Crimes Act of 1885, Prohibition, Indian Reservations, as well as taverns and other small communities and landmarks.
Recommend to fans of historical country noirs, Gothic, compelling characters, and those who enjoy smartly constructed intriguing family stories, and heartfelt prose
August Top Reads
“An evocative, deeply-felt story of innocence lost that glows with the slow burn of suspense.” —Lou Berney, Edgar-nominated author of The Long and Faraway Gone
“A beguiling family drama that sucks you in and never lets go.”
—Simon Wood, author The One That Got Away
“With a remarkable protagonist, a fully rendered setting, and plenty of surprises, D.M. Pulley weaves an enthralling mystery while also showing the power of a child's love for his mother.”
—Ann Howard Creel, bestselling author of While You Were Mine
About the Author
D. M. Pulley lives just outside Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. She is a professional engineer who specializes in rehabbing historic structures as well as conducting forensic investigations of building failures. Pulley’s structural survey of an abandoned building in Cleveland formed the basis for her debut novel, The Dead Key. Read More