Today's most celebrated American novelist
The American Civil War rages while President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son lies gravely ill. In a matter of days, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy's body.
What bloggers and reviewers are saying......
Saunders’s command of the more fantastical elements – sometimes mournful, sometimes bawdy, always riotously animated.
The narrating trio – Bevins, Vollman and the Reverend Early – make it their business to save Willie from this appalling fate, and much of the action centres on their attempts to influence Lincoln to let his son go.
Picture, as a backdrop, one of those primitively drawn 19th-century mourning paintings with rickety white gravestones and age-worn monuments standing under the faded green canopy of a couple of delicately sketched trees.
This is not a book to be devoured voraciously – it doesn’t allow for it. Like delicate finger-food, the bite-sized pieces are to be savoured individually.