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Salvage the Bones

A Novel

by Jesmyn Ward

Salvage the Bones
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • Published in USA  Sep 2011
    272 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 20 reader reviews for Salvage the Bones
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Eileen P. (Pittsford, NY) (06/29/11)

Lyric and heartbreaking
What an incredible book! Salvage the Bones is a moving portrayal of a family, made up mostly of children, trying to do their best amidst rural poverty. The social and natural landscape where these characters live is unforgiving and harsh, but Jasmyn Ward shows how it is also a place where kindness and love play a particularly important role. It would be an excellent discussion book as it raises so many important social issues in an enlightening and nonjudgmental way.
Power Reviewer Donna W. (Wauwatosa, WI) (06/28/11)

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) (06/27/11)

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) (06/27/11)

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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