I didn’t finish this book. I didn’t like it for the first fifty pages — the style is very different, it’s written sort of as a play without stage directions, all dialogue.  And, about half of it is quotes from historical sources about Lincoln.  It owes a debt to Thorton Wilder’s Our Town — although the concepts of death in the two are a bit different, there’s the same idea that the dead we bury may simply be waiting in the cemetery, talking with each other.

I started to get into this book around 100 pages in, the format wasn’t bothering me as much, I was starting to like the characters that are in the cemetery with Willie Lincoln. But I’m not going to finish this book any time soon. Because the same day that I got into reading it, I got the call that my Mom was dying.  And she did.

So I will say, Lincoln’s grief in this book as written by George Saunders felt very accurate to me. His comfort with the body of Willie Lincoln resonated.  The hard thing is not being with the body of your loved one.  The hard thing is letting this last thing that you have go.  The hard thing is trusting your loved one’s body to strangers, and knowing that you won’t see her again.