This is an extraordinary work of the imagination. Willie Lincoln, the beloved 11-year-old son of Abraham Lincoln, died of a fever in February 1862. Contemporary accounts suggest that a distraught President Lincoln visited his tomb and held his son in his arms, after he was interred. From this heartbreaking detail, Saunders draws a world where the spirits of the dead remain in the cemetery, the Bardo, a Tibetan word meaning in-between or transitional. The spirits tell the story of Lincoln’s visits, as well their own lives and deaths, interspersed with actual contemporary accounts of Willie’s sickness, death, funeral, and the aftermath for the Lincolns. A powerful story of love and loss.