Salvage the Bones

Salvage the Bones

A Novel

eBook - 2011
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A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch's father is growing concerned. A hard drinker, largely absent, he doesn't show concern for much else. Esch and her three brothers are stocking food, but there isn't much to save. Lately, Esch can't keep down what food she gets; she's fourteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pitbull's new litter, dying one by one in the dirt. While brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child's play and short on parenting. As the twelve days that comprise the novel's framework yield to the final day and Hurricane Katrina, the unforgettable family at the novel's heart—motherless children sacrificing for each other as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce—pulls itself up to struggle for another day. A wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, Salvage the Bone is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real.
Publisher: 2011
ISBN: 9781608196272
Characteristics: 1 online resource


From Library Staff

List - The Big Easy
MartinRegionalReads May 05, 2020

Enduring a hardscrabble existence as the children of alcoholic and absent parents, four siblings from a coastal Mississippi town prepare their meager stores for the arrival of Hurricane Katrina while struggling with such challenges as a teen pregnancy and a dying litter of prize pups.

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May 08, 2020

I lived on the Mississippi coast shortly after hurricane Katrina. I thought this book would provide some of the struggles the residents encountered but also the resilience of the people and the beauty of the area. The author seems to write well but the subject is too close to the reality of life in Mississippi, IMO. Anyone who has lived in the most disadvantaged state in the USA knows first hand about poverty, ignorance, the adoration of dog fighting, and other depressing facts. If you like that sort of reality in what you read then it might be a good story, but not for me. I stopped reading after about 20 pages.

Apr 06, 2020

Ward’s writing is absolutely gorgeous; vivid and precise imagery fills up every page, and every character was both fully realized and mysterious in their own way. Esch (the protagonist and narrator) and her brothers and friends are all unique and interesting and I deeply cared about them all immensely and immediately.

Mar 21, 2020

National Book Award winner for fiction. Story of a black family living in Mississippi's coastal back country over a period of weeks as hurricane Katrina arrives. Told in the voice of a pregnant teenager. Disappointing story because the majority of the book is about a boy and his fighting pit bull.

Jan 10, 2020

2011 National Book Award Winner

Jan 03, 2020

Incredible book. Very eye-opening.

Nov 06, 2019

Pit bulls fighting and slobber kissing..... unwed teen pregnancy.......alcoholism......poverty.......abuse......death.......Spam and cracker diet......mosquitoes.......houses collapsing......front yard junk to top it all off, redemption in the form of a horrific hurricane. Guess that’s what they liked in 2011—national book award. I think it will take me about 48 hours to forget this tale.

Oct 06, 2019

Don't read this book if you get depressed easily. It seems every turn they make ends up in hopeless disaster. The dog fighting is horrible!

OPL_AnnaW Sep 05, 2019

I love most things Jesmyn Ward writes, and this is no exception. The family at the heart of this book lives in rural Mississippi, and the threat of Hurricane Katrina is looming. The experiences of Esch, the only female in the family, are described in beautiful, relatable ways. I devoured this book, and wanted to know what would become of these vivid characters in their post-hurricane lives.

Dec 01, 2018

Jesmyn Ward is a stand out Author! Brilliant writing style, I felt like I was near this family and had to live through the hurricane to reach the end of the book. Her complex characters live in poverty. They range from brilliant, caring then at times animal like. Esch often used Greek mythology to relate to her, family, friends and her surrounding. This family could be labeled dysfunctional. Esch had no role models for growing up other than men and boys. In the end strong family/friend bonds shine through. Maybe it is enough....

Aug 22, 2018

Ward's comment about her frustrations with white normative literature holding claim to the "classics" like Greek Mythology is so fascinating and accurate. Those timeless tales belong to humanity and are race-neutral just as Esch's fascination with Medea's is, as it courses through the book.
This book is similarly universal: it's simply about the bonds of family in the wake of their mother's death and in the face of the impending Hurricane Katrina.
This is an absolute must-read. Ms. Ward, what a treasure!

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Dec 27, 2018

Where my brothers go, I follow.


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