T. Greenwood's Reviews > Salvage the Bones

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
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it was amazing
bookshelves: for-teaching

5/18/13 I just re-read this for a workshop I am teaching. Still love every raw bit of this book. Be prepared though...it's the kind of book that wrecks you.

3/19/12 I feel like I want to write a love letter to this author. This book just earned a spot on my list of all-time favorites.

It is the story of fourteen year old Esch and her family who live in the Bois Sauvage in rural Mississippi. It takes place over the ten days leading up to Hurricane Katrina. Esch's mother is dead, her father is a drunk, and she is pregnant. They live on "The Pit," a destitute and wild place, as almost feral children.

I fell in love with Esch and her brothers, particularly Skeetah, who is driven nearly mad in his attempt to keep his beloved fighting pit-bull, China, alive after she gives birth to puppies. I found myself aching for each of them as they sought the simplest of things: attention, love, survival.

I have never read something so beautiful about subject matter that is so difficult: dog-fighting, rural poverty, and teenage sex. It is also about family and loyalty, about survival and the cruelty of nature. The language is masterful; every single line of this novel sings with gorgeous brutality.

I borrowed this from the library but intend to buy the hardcover to add to my own library. And you should too.
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Reading Progress

September 4, 2011 – Shelved
April 30, 2013 – Started Reading
April 30, 2013 – Shelved as: for-teaching
May 18, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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Michelle Wow - will read for sure!


Patty I love your review and heartily agree! Jesmyn Ward's mastery over words is absolute; the highest form of the craft is displyed here. I would read anything written by this author, she's that good!


message 3: by T. (new) - rated it 5 stars

T. Greenwood She has a memoir coming out this fall: Men We Reaped.


Shawn I'm going to pick up Men We Reaped at the library right now! I ordered it a couple of months ago :-) but there were so many people. (Los Angeles)
I agree with all the positive reviews. I love Jesmyn Ward.
I do not understand the negative reviews I saw. Forgive me, I judge those reviewers harshly in my own mind. I do not believe a person who is capable of compassion toward children can review Ward's book negatively.


Shawn I'm going to pick up Men We Reaped at the library right now! I ordered it a couple of months ago :-) but there were so many people. (Los Angeles)
I agree with all the positive reviews. I love Jesmyn Ward.
I do not understand the negative reviews I saw. Forgive me, I judge those reviewers harshly in my own mind. I do not believe a person who is capable of compassion toward children can review Ward's book negatively.


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