Lincoln in the Bardo belongs to that rarest of fantasy sub-genres, novels about the society of ghosts living in a cemetery. Like Peter S. Beagle's 'A Fine and Private Place', the inhabitants of Oak Hill Cemetery are confused about their past and have some secrets. Like Neil Gaiman's 'The Graveyard Book' the ghosts are capable of cooperating and attempting to help each other. Like C. S. Lewis' 'The Great Divorce', the inhabitants linger due to their own stubbornness and refusal to face their present reality.
Bardo is one of the most oddly structured novels I have read, consisting entirely of first person narration by multiple characters, interspersed with brief quotes from historical books and articles about Abraham Lincoln. The plot is about the death of Lincoln's 11 year old son Willie Lincoln in 1862. The novel is a moving meditation on death and the necessity of facing the reality of death and moving on, for both the living and the dead.