This month, we're reading Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders. 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, dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. In a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying, Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul as his grieving father keeps vigil over his body.