Julie's Reviews > Salvage the Bones

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
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's review
Apr 29, 12

Read from April 17 to 29, 2012

I find that often, when a book (especially an adult book) wins prestigious awards, it does not end up being very readable for me. Call me uncultured, unrefined, unappreciative of the true art of writing well -- I don't care. I am a reader, a paying customer, and I want to be entertained, moved emotionally, motivated to keep turning the pages (or clicking the "next page" button) until the very end. To my (somewhat) surprise, I actually enjoyed Salvage the Bones, a National Book Award winner. The story is told by Esch, who at fourteen finds herself motherless, the only female in a family of four children, living with their father in a depressed part of southern Mississippi. She is pregnant, though she tries hard to hide it, and Hurricane Katrina is making its way right to her front door. Her older brothers have their minds on other things (one, on his fighting pit bull China, and the other on paying for basketball camp), and Esch is often just along for the ride, taking care of her younger brother and father when she is able. The author does a fantastic job of painting a picture so vivid that you can almost feel the humid warmth of summer, hear the peoples' unique accent, and taste the inexpensive canned meat that Esch and her family subsist on. A moving story, and a unique perspective on Katrina, as well.

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