Advance reader reviews of Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.

Salvage the Bones

A Novel

By Jesmyn Ward

Salvage the Bones
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2011,
    272 pages.

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There are currently 17 member reviews
for Salvage the Bones
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  • Donna W. (Wauwatosa, WI)


    Salvage the Bones
    Jesmyn Ward uses extensive detail in the writing of her book, and this leaves the reader with a good feeling for the poorness of the people, the texture of the area around Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and the pain inherent in some personal relationships. However, this extensive detail also interfered with the story for me. I felt the writing was at times disjointed, and I had a hard time getting into the book, and a hard time forming an attachment with the characters.

    Also, the grittiness of some of the interactions, and the grimness of some of the scenes involving the dogs bothered me.
  • Beth M. (Scarsdale, NY)


    Far from perfect
    Set in Bois Sauvage, Mississippi in the days before Hurricane Katrina hit, it's a portrait of a poor rural family trying to survive in the best ways they can. The writing is poetic and the brutal realities are conveyed with a beautiful, raw power. The story is told in the voice of Esch, a fourteen year old girl who's desperate for love and kindness in a life filled with emptiness. Her brother Skeetah satisfies his needs for a loving connection with his violent pitbull who kills the puppies he births. Overall, the book didn't work for me. The story was often confusing to follow and there was little chance for redemption or a glimmer of light. After 260 pages, I hoped there would be some change or an expanded vision. This is not a book I would recommend.
  • Nancy L. (Denver, NC)


    Salvage the Bones
    This book is an eye-opener and heart-breaker! Who knew how the poverty-stricken coped with the idea of a hurricane approaching and finally hitting Bois Sauvage, Mississippi. The family is so real - the mother has just died having her fourth child. The oldest, Randall, is hoping for his school to pay his way to a basketball camp; the second son, Skeetah, is devoted to his pitbull, China, and her newborn puppies. But the main character, Esch, is a 14-year-old girl who discovers she is pregnant by one of their circle of "friends". We live the prelude to Hurricane Katrina thru Esch.
    I hope this author writes more books - she is a poet with descriptive words and phrases.
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