Tag Archives: © 2017 Book Chatter

Review: Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo
By George Saunders
Random House, 9780812995343, February 2017, 368pp.

The Short of It:

A unique and touching story about the loss of a child and what happens next.

The Rest of It:

Young Willie Lincoln dies at a very young age, leaving his father, President Lincoln and his mother Mary, to grieve over his loss.

But…

Willie’s spirit will not leave the cemetery in which he was interred, accompanied by others who have chosen to do the same. For one reason or another, they can’t seem to move out of this “bardo” into the next life yet they all vow to help young Willie because the thought of an innocent child spending eternity in such a grim place, is too much for these characters to bear.

Lincoln in the Bardo includes some very interesting, and sometimes even playful characters and almost reads like a play except that characters express the thoughts and feelings of other characters instead of themselves which takes a little getting used to. But after that, I found myself completely wrapped-up in the story of this young boy trying to find his way.

Things you should know:

  • You won’t learn much about President Lincoln from this novel.
  • Many of the works cited are fictional.
  • There are a lot of characters (160+)
  • Even though the afterlife is discussed, no one religion is emphasized.
  • You will be Googling for Civil War facts while reading, but I suggest you read first and Google later.
  • It helps to have a basic understanding of the Bardo and what it is.

Lincoln in the Bardo is beautifully written.  I highlighted many sentences and I don’t often do that. The subject matter is somewhat somber but it’s lightened-up by the playfulness of the characters. It’s tragic in that these characters can never correct their mistakes and as a result live forever in regret but it has stayed with me long after finishing it and the image of these spirits spending eternity in the cemetery is haunting. Check out this virtual reality experience to get a feel for what I am talking about:

Go to this page and scroll down to the bottom to view. Once there, click around to explore.

I know some readers are divided over the book but I loved it and my book club had plenty to discuss when we met. I plan to buy a copy as soon as the paperback comes out in February.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Sunday Matters: Fall is Almost Here

Sunday Matters

It has cooled down lots around here. We’ve had beautiful 85 degree days and the prettiest skies. I even lit a candle the other day! It feels so good to have cooler weather. I am also so glad that the weather in this country has calmed down a little.  I was so worried when Irma hit but I think I’ve touched base with most of you and the majority of you came out of it okay. I know this was not the case with all of you so I pray that the clean-up and rebuilding goes smoothly.

Right Now:

Just lounging around for a minute and then it’s laundry and all the other stuff I need to do. Some of which will be taken up by dress shopping for homecoming!

This Week:

Music Man auditions are this week. That’s always fun. My life group meets on Tuesday. There are volleyball games and pictures and homecoming at the end of the week.

Guess what? My son was accepted into Disney’s College Program! He leaves in January for at least one semester. If you are not familiar with it, he will be working at Disney World Orlando and taking classes as part of the program. He is very excited. He needed a little good news and he got it.

Reading:

I finished My Absolute Darling and it was a real kick in the gut. Not like A Little Life but similar in how brutal the story is. I keep using “brutal” to describe it but that is truly the word that my mind spits out over and over again.

I just started Bird Box for RIP XII and The Lathe of Heaven for book club.

Don’t forget that King’s new book comes out later this month! Join me for the read along. Click the button below for info:

Watching:

  • Fear the Walking Dead (it seems to have gotten boring again)
  • American Horror Story: Cult (it’s full of clowns and if the main character continues to scream and cry all the time, I am going to lose it).

I feel like watching a comedy classic but not sure which one. Maybe Some Like it Hot.

Making:

It’s not even remotely cold but chili sounds good. The question is, will I actually make some? You know what also sounds good? Apple pie. You can make a meal out if that, right?

Grateful for:

I’ve expanded my volunteer hours to include a new area of need and it’s been good. Really good. My goal this year was to connect more with people and this opportunity certainly allows me to do that.

What about you? Tell me what’s been going on in your life.