Burden of Proof
Nov 3rd, 2020
Burden of Proof by Davis Bunn is a story of second chances. A man held captive by his failure and missed chances learns how to move forward with hope. It is a story where readers will ask, “If I could go back and relive my life, would I do things differently?”
The author noted, “I wrote the first sixty pages and then walked away from it. I came back twice, but nothing came to me. Then the summer before last, I got an email from the chief publicist and director of marketing asking about a title and book cover. I wondered, for what book? I had nine weeks to finish this book I started.”
He further commented, “So much of life is not shaped by past events, but the way people perceive them. How do people carry the emotional baggage day to day? The big issue in the book is how Quantum Physics defines time. My nephew is the mathematician, not me. We had thirty-minute sessions where he tried to show that there is no way to calculate the past, present, and future, with every point in time existing simultaneously.”
It begins with Ethan Barrett paying homage to his late brother, Adreian, by doing his favorite sport, Kayaking. Now in his fifties, he has been diagnosed with terminal skin cancer and only has a few months to live. As he tries to come to grips with his fate, he looks back on his life that is filled with regrets, the biggest one, not being able to save his brother. After receiving a surprise visit from his sister-in-law and his niece, he is given an opportunity to undo the past, but there is a catch. Saving the past for his brother will cost Ethan his future. Sonya is a scientist in the field of quantum physics, and she knows that Ethan is dying. She makes him a startling proposition; she can send him back in time to save his brother’s life and change destiny.
“I wanted to write a story where Ethan is given an opportunity to enter his own past with his own consciousness. There is a gap between the man who he should have been and the man he has become. He regrets not saving his brother’s life and capturing the killer as well as not winning the contest. I have been surfing since the age of fourteen and grown up around “watermen” like Ethan. They are as rigid as Frontier guys, unable to see any other life other than their own.”
Since this book appears to be part science fiction and part mystery, Bunn says that the book falls into the genre, “near time science fiction,” which basically adds to the present life. He did this in the book but only gave Ethan a few months to live so he would not make a drastic altercation to the world at large but can only change what happened to his family.
The question throughout the book, did Ethan change his own timeline, or did he change fate? It is a story of tragedy and redemption, and the ability to move on.