Bookreporter.com and just about every reviewer in the literary
world is promoting this novel by George Saunders, prize winning author.

 Did you know Lincoln had a son?   Willie Lincoln was laid to rest in 1862 at the young age of eleven....Shattered by grief, Abraham
Lincoln visits the crypt to spend time with his son's body.

LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available; read by Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and a full cast
It’s February 1862, and 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 11-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. The boy 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. Reviewed by Alex Bowditch.


I can't seem to find a really good book. I follow the reviews, read the recommended books and than....Blah!
Here's three disappointing books I recently finished:
The Private Life of Mrs Sharma by Kapur, The History of Wolves by Fridlund, and The Girl Before by Delaney. All were recipients of very positive reviews. the writing was exceptional (a saving grace) in two out of three..so what happened?

Publishers Weekly mentioned two new releases for February that sound like they have potential. I'm getting desperate....

Optimists Die First

Susin Nielsen

The accidental death of Petula de Wilde’s younger sister, Maxine, has fractured her family, perhaps irrevocably. Her parents are retreating into their passions for books, music, and cats; Petula, who blames herself for Max’s death, has adopted the attitude that “tragedy can strike when you least expect it” and worries constantly about earthquakes, walking past construction sites, shaking hands, and catching rare diseasesPetula’s anxieties have landed her in youth art therapy (YART) at school, where she gets to know new student Jacob Cohen, a talented filmmaker with a bionic hand and his own tragic past. Grief and guilt permeate Nielsen’s (We Are All Made of Molecules) empathic and deeply moving story, balanced by sharply funny narration and dialogue. “It’s like a twisted version of The Breakfast Club,” says Jacob of YART, whose members struggle with bullying, substance abuse, and anger. Readers will be riveted by Petula’s rocky attempts to repair damaged relationships with her parents and a friend she drove away, connect with the members of YART, and open herself up to the idea of romance with Jacob.

Dead Letters

Caite Dolan-Leach 
When news of Zelda Antipova’s death reaches her buttoned-down twin sister, Ava, the latter returns home to her family’s central New York vineyard from Paris. She helps her ailing mother and estranged father with funeral arrangements, yet Ava is suspicious of her townie sister’s supposed demise in a barn fire, and it isn’t long before she begins to receive email messages from Zelda, who claims to have faked her own death. Following a series of clues left by Zelda, Ava begins to piece together her sister’s troubles, from massive debt to drug addiction. Along with her old high school boyfriend, Wyatt, she immerses herself in Zelda’s world, hoping to find her sister at the end of the puzzle. Dolan-Leach’s debut is a smart, dazzling mystery with a twist that not only shines a new light on the novel’s title but also leaves the reader hunting for the next clue. Dolan-Leach revels in toying with both Ava and her audience, placing small hints and red herrings throughout her text, and the result is captivating.