Thursday, March 9, 2017

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Summary from Amazon:

February 1862.  The Civil War is less than one year old.  The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle.  Meanwhile, President Lincoln's beloved eleven year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill.  In a matter of days, despite predictions of recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in Georgetown.  "My poor boy, he was too good for this earth," the president says at the time.  "God called him home."  Newspapers report the grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy's body.

My Thoughts:

     I was excited about this book. There was big talk about prior to its release and I thought it sounded like a great biographical/historical fiction book about Lincoln.  That is NOT what this is at all!
     I assumed that this would be a story of Abraham Lincolns’ new presidency and how he dealt with the loss of his beloved son.  This book is a very oddly put together story filled with newspaper and books research quotes to set up the events preceding young Willie Lincolns’ death then even more oddly the story of literally hundreds of ghosts stuck in the in-between. 

     I struggled to get past the choppy-ness of the setup of this story and I was only ever able to “deal with it”.  Honestly, I only got about 48% into this book before I finally gave up! I couldn’t even begin to keep all of the characters straight and I was so very disappointed that this story had very little of it actually dedicated to the Lincolns.  This book was most definitely NOT for me but I will give it 1 star simple for the highly unusual writing style.  1/5 stars


  1. Bummer that this one was such a jumbled mess. I love reading books in this era, but I won't read this one for sure. Thanks for the helpful review.

  2. I was so excited to read something from this era as well but it wasn't (to me) about Lincoln at all. Very disappointed and I am in the minority because it is getting mostly 4-5 star reviews everywhere.