4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Burying Leo is a novel written by Helga Gruendler-Schierloh. The protagonist, Ingrid Mellner, had something horrible happen to her when she was eighteen and lived in Germany. This forces her to give up her love of music and go to America to live with her sister for the summer to heal. While there, she meets Joe Bassen, a divorced father with two children. After only a month, she marries him and stays in America. Ingrid desperately wants a family with Joe, but he has no interest in having more children and will not even discuss it. Their marriage seems to be gradually imploding.
Her father becomes deathly ill, and Ingrid has to go alone to Augsburg, Germany to be with him. Unfortunately, he passes away before she can get there, and she is stricken with grief. While in Germany, she runs into an old boyfriend who betrayed her in the past. This brought back a lot of bad memories.
After returning home, she becomes good friends with Mick, a musician. He helps her through some dark times. So she can move forward with her life, he encourages her to seek closure on her past. Will Ingrid be able to get justice for herself and take control of her future?
This is not a fast-paced novel. Nonetheless, it got my attention from the beginning and held it until the end. Starting with the present and slowly weaving in the past, the novel goes back and forth in time. This is done seamlessly by giving you a clue before switching times. The author’s fluid writing skills keep the reader engaged throughout the book.
I loved the character development and descriptions. When our story begins, Ingrid just keeps going along with the flow, though she is not happy. With Mick’s help, she becomes strong enough to take the steps towards getting justice for herself and to try to get happiness. However, she does have her flaws. She gets jealous easily, and she is selfish sometimes. Nonetheless, those flaws make her more believable and relatable. Joe is a driven, selfish, and ambitious workaholic who thinks nothing is more important than getting richer. He is constantly asking Ingrid to play up to his prospective business partners to get what he wants. He also demands that she help out with his business, although she really doesn’t wish to. Ingrid never tells him about the trauma in her past because she doesn’t fully trust him, and he is not very empathetic. Mick is a kind, giving, and loving man who brings out the best in Ingrid. He loves music and gets Ingrid interested in singing again. He has his own demons and has to deal with them. Getting to know the different characters was my favorite part of the book.
The settings are well described and easily visualized as well. The descriptions of Augsburg, Germany made me want to visit there.
I really enjoyed this character-driven book and had difficulty putting it down. Therefore, I think this well-written novel deserves 4 out of 4 stars as I did not find a single grammatical error. The only negative thing I have to say about the story is that it is a little dark at times and could be depressing. Therefore, people who need to avoid sad books should probably bypass this novel. Other than that, I think it would be enjoyed by anyone, especially people who like drama and suspense.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like Prisallen's review? Post a comment saying so!