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Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
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Salvage the Bones (2011)

by Jesmyn Ward

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,043918,087 (3.84)243
  1. 10
    Wading Home: A Novel of New Orleans by Rosalyn Story (Citizenjoyce)
    Citizenjoyce: Another look at continuing racism as exposed by Katrina and its aftermath.
  2. 10
    As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (LottaBerling)
  3. 00
    Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward (zapzap)
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» See also 243 mentions

English (91)  Spanish (1)  All languages (92)
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
Bloody hell. This is a tough, tough book to read - a poor black family in rural Louisiana somewhere scraping lives together in the shadow of the looming Hurricane Katrina. The writing is stunning - building dread and sadness throughout, bringing out the tough bonds forged between siblings and completely occupying the voice of Eche, the 14 year old narrator. Like the storm itself, Salvage the Bones builds and builds, slowly upping the tension, before exploding into a finale as ragged, breathless and overwhelming as the hurricane. ( )
  mjlivi | Feb 2, 2016 |
Good story of some interesting people living the 12 days up until Hurricane Katrina. Some interesting themes running through the whole book, probably a great one for a book club. ( )
  KathyGilbert | Jan 29, 2016 |
I wanted to look away but couldn't. A number of difficult subjects, from poverty to dog fighting, told within the destruction of Katrina and wonder of the love of family above all. Amazing. ( )
  ellenuw | Jan 27, 2016 |
This is not an uplifting book. Ward portrays well how the combination of rural poverty and a natural disaster devastates a family that is barely managing to subsist. The novel is a relentless spiral toward ruin. I got a very good sense of what a life of extreme poverty is like and why it is so difficult to break out of it. I think this could be a good book for high school age readers although it does raise the topic of teen pregnancy. ( )
  Cricket856 | Jan 25, 2016 |
I finished this one last night, and I'm still digesting it, most likely will be for some time. This is a beautiful, brutal, heartbreaking portrait of rural, poverty-stricken Mississippi during the time leading up to, during, and following Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane itself is in the background for most of the book, which is really how she was until she came ashore with full force and destroyed the Mississippi gulf coast. The book is more about family, love, and loss, with a young 14-year-old pregnant girl at the center. It's not an easy read, with punches to the gut coming all too frequently, but it's beautiful and not to be missed. ( )
  joyhclark | Jan 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
See now that I, even I am he, and there is no god with me; I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal, neither is there any can deliver out of my hand. -Deuteronomy 32:39

For though I'm small, I know many things, and my body is an endless eye through which, unfortunately, I see everything. -Gloria Fuertes, "Now"

We on our backs staring at the stars about, talking about what we going to be when we grow up, I said what you wanna be? She said, "Alive." -Outkast, "Da Art of Storytellin' (Part 1)," Aquemini
Dedication
For my brother, Joshua Adam Dedeaux,

who leads while I follow.
First words
China's turned on herself.
Quotations
"To give life...is to know what's worth fighting for. And what's love."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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. Meanwhile, 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 make up the novel's framework yield to their dramatic conclusion, this unforgettable family—motherless children sacrificing for one another as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce—pulls itself up to face another day. A big-hearted novel about familial love and community against all odds, and a wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, Salvage the Bones is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real.
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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.… (more)

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