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Where the Line Bleeds
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Where the Line Bleeds

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  413 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
Set in a rural town on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Where the Line Bleeds tells the story of fraternal twins Joshua and Christophe, who are graduating high school as the novel begins. The two boys both anticipate and dread their lives as adults. Joshua finds a job working as a dock laborer on the Gulf of Mexico, but Christophe has less luck: Unable to find a job, and desper ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published December 1st 2006)
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Angela M
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"THE RIVER WAS YOUNG AND SMALL . AT ITS START IT SEEPED FROM the red clay earth in the piney woods of Southern Mississippi, and then wound its way, brown and slow, over a bed of tiny gray and ochre pebbles through the pines, shallow as a hand, deep as three men standing, to the sandy green lowlands of the gulf of Mexico. It slithered itself along, wide and narrow, crossed by the small wood and concrete bridges, lined by thin slivers of white beach, in and out of the trees, before it divided itse ...more
Diane S ☔
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A small town on the Mississippi Gulf coast, twins Christophe and Joshua are set to graduate high school. Raised by their grandmother after their mother left and their father succumbed to the lure of drugs, they want only to get jobs so they can help make her life easier. Joshua gets a back breaking job on the docks, but Christophe gets no call backs. In an effort to make money he turns to illegal activities. This causes a big division between the close relationship the twins had, and a hardship ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Christophe and Joshua are twin brothers living in Bois Sauvage, along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. At the beginning of the book they are preparing to graduate from high school. They are living with their Ma-Mee (Maternal Grandmother) who has raised them since they were children. Their Mother floats in and out of their lives but Ma-Mee is their constant. Upon graduation, the brothers attempt to find jobs while getting high, flirting with girls, getting their hair braided and playing basketball. Th ...more
Sharon Metcalf
4.5 stars
Jesmyn Ward cast a spell over me with her writing. A spell that transported me to Bois Sauvage near New Orleans, helped me inhabit the minds and bodies of her characters so I could see, feel, smell and experience everything they did. The writing was powerful yet gentle. Like butter, her words were soft and smooth, yet capable of sizzling under heat, of scorching the skin with its touch. And just like butter on a chunk a fresh bread, her words took the everday and turned them into someth
Jenni Ogden
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Southern fiction, writers
Shelves: fiction
This is another superbly written book by Jesmyn Ward. For me it was not a page turner in the sense that "Salvage The Bones" was, but it was more an experience to savour. Jesmyn's ability to get inside her characters' heads is phenomenal. I don't think I have ever come across an author who can do it better. By the end of the book I felt as if I knew the twins, Joshua and Christophe, and their beloved Ma-mee intimately, and had gained many new insights into a world that is far from my own experien ...more
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this amazing debut novel by Jesmyn Ward proves that she is a master of spare, unflinching and unsentimental prose just as she is a wizard of innovative, shifty and lyrical language as found in her more famous "Salvage the Bones". For me, I found this novel to be just as much an emotional experience and one of the most beautiful stories about brothers that can get. Twins Joshua and Christophe are handsome, popular with girls, and recent high school graduates in the Bois Savage countryside ...more
Jan 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was captured by the title, after reading her other book in a club read selection "Savage the Bones," then I decided to read her other work. This is her debut novel. While reading nearly halfway, you are able to picture fraternal twins with slightly different traits but want to do things together--basketball, even work, or get the interview as a unit. However, Joshua gets it and makes Christophe frustrated and thinking he only has one route to go--sell weed. I recall my teen years around this a ...more
Brian TramueL
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this story of fraternal twins Christophe & Joshua. Their struggle with adulthood is diverse; raised by their maternal grandmother Ma-mee and watched over by family members whose lives provide a positive influence or a flashing red sign. Their mother, Cille leaves their home on the Mississippi gulf coast for Georgia while the twins are young. Working in retail, she is able to send home funds but that only satisfies a material need, she fails to take care of their emotional needs as ...more
Kristina Smith
I picked this book up at the library, mainly because I heard a story about the author on NPR. The story was about her other book, SALVAGE THE BONES - and I requested both books from the library, but this book became available at the library first. Set along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, this book is about twin brothers, Joshua and Christophe, and the very different paths their lives take once they graduate from high school. Abandoned by their mother, Cille, when they were five, and raised by their ...more
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Twins, graduating from high school, head out into the world with certain expectations. Joshua gets a job doing hard labor on the docks. Meanwhile Christophe isn't hired there or anywhere and ends up falling into selling pot. But that is just a brief outline of what is happening in this beautifully written book. Within the story line we learn about how both their parents independently abandoned them, for drugs or a new life in a new city with opportunity. We learn about how their grandmother rais ...more
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Jesmyn Ward is the author of Where the Line Bleeds, Salvage the Bones, and Men We Reaped. She is a former Stegner Fellow (Stanford University) and Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi. She is an associate professor of Creative Writing at Tulane University.

Her work has appeared in BOMB, A Public Space and The Oxford American.
More about Jesmyn Ward...
“Love don't just go away like that, Cille," Sandman said.
"It do.”
“Christophe peeled the shrimp slowly and carefully: that was his way around her, and it was the exact opposite of his usual demeanor. She knew it for what it was: love.” 2 likes
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