Kristi's Reviews > Salvage the Bones

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
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did not like it

** spoiler alert ** Wow, this was a rough book to read from page one. I understand that the author wanted to paint a vivid picture of poverty in the present day South, but I feel like she painted this picture in a bubble. At times it felt artificial, like she was trying too hard and as if the story was taking place in 1890. Maybe that was her point. But what I really didn’t get was the whole point of the book at the end.

This wasn’t a story of struggle, determination, inspiration and hope. It was just a story that read like a colorful newspaper account of an event – with lots of added cuss words and sex. There was absolutely no purpose to it at the end. I didn’t feel more connected to the characters after reading it. I honestly felt nothing for them because I felt like they felt nothing for themselves. This book was simply graphic, vulgar and awful in most parts. It was about people feeling and living like animals and treating animals better than humans. Big Henry was the only character with any tiny glimpse of humanity, and it just wasn’t enough in a story where characters value pit bulls eating each others faces off as their main purpose in life. This could have been a story of change and hope set during a disaster, but it’s not and it just left me hopeless, disgusted, sick to my stomach, and wishing I never read it.



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Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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Ns-gene If anything, this book validates the sad truth that Charles Murray so cogently describes in "Coming Apart"; that we have a bifucated society of the elite minority in the Super-Zips focused on promulgating positive social behavior and the rest of the impoverished majority engaged in a largely immoral, unchanging existence in "Fishtowns". I was hoping to see some development in at least one of the characters to breakout but sadly this story portrays the all too stereotypical cycle of an underclass engaged in theft, pre-marital sex, dog fighting, drunkeness.... I too am sorry I spent time with this one.


Kaora I couldn't agree more.


message 3: by Luz (new) - rated it 1 star

Luz I have not finished it and doubt I will. I think I am on day 3 and so far completely agree with your review.


Austin There are smart people and really dumb people. This book won the National Book award and you gave it one star. Guess which you are. Go back to Dan Brown, and watch a sit com or something. Ugh.


patty I felt these children had a surprising amount of humanity and loyalty toward each other. I definitely won't say your opinion is wrong, just that I felt like I read a completely different novel.


Sarah (CoolCurryBooks) I'd agree with Patty - you say that the people care more for animals than humans, but (view spoiler)


Sarah If just reading about what poverty looks like makes you sick to your stomach imagine how it feels to live in it. The fact that the boom caused such a visceral response is an indication of a very well written novel, not liking the subject matter does not make it a bad book.


Sarah *book


Donna It's our January book club pick and I won't be finishing it. Brutal and ugly and I don't want to continue


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