Salvage The Bones

Salvage The Bones

A Novel

eBook - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Enduring a hardscrabble existence as the children of alcoholic and absent parents, four siblings from a coastal Mississippi town prepare their meager stores for the arrival of Hurricane Katrina while struggling with such challenges as a teen pregnancy and a dying litter of prize pups.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2011.
ISBN: 9781608196272
Characteristics: 1 online resource


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

SPPL_Betsy Mar 09, 2018

Esch Batiste is a fourteen-year old girl quickly coming-of-age in an impoverished, coastal Mississippi town. Her mother died several years earlier, and she is left to live with her alcoholic father and three brothers. The story begins twelve days prior to Hurricane Katrina. The family is busy preparing for the storm as Esch experiences her own inner storm; she is pregnant. The full realization of her pregnancy occurs to Esch while watching her brother’s beloved pit pull give birth to puppies. The theme of motherhood continues to weave itself throughout the story as the Batiste children scramble to collect food and protect their home from the impending storm.

The winner of multiple awards, including the National Book Award for Fiction (2011), Salvage the Bones is an excellent choice for fans of literary fiction. The poetic nature of Ward’s writing, along with the emotional telling of one family’s endurance will appeal to those who enjoy thought-provoking, gripping story lines.

Mar 09, 2018

This is an exquisitely written novel that follows the narrator, 14-year-old Esch, her family, and friends over the course of 12 days. Set in Bois Sauvage (the Wild Woods), Mississippi, Jesmyn Ward's lyrical writing contrasts vividly with Esch's harsh and savage world.

From the loss of Esch's mother and her alcoholic father's rough indifference to the raw cruelty of dog-fighting, to the casual passion of sex and the fierce loyalty of her brothers, Ward creates characters and a story as unforgettable as Esch's beloved Greek mythology. It's not an easy read, but it's worth every minute.

Highly recommended.

vm510 Nov 30, 2017

This story is primarily about a young girl's heartbreak, her grief over her mother, and the isolation she feels even while surrounded by her brothers and father. It is a story about family and a story about this young girl trying to love and be loved. Ward's writing makes you feel like you are there: you smell, you taste, you hear every moment. The tension and anxiety builds from the beginning and then culminates with Hurricane Katrina's arrival.

JCLEmilyD May 11, 2017

This story sticks with you. It's about poverty, teenagers, family, dogs, love, and hurricanes. Written as a family works to prepare for the coming hurricane Katrina. Along with poverty and absent parents the children deal with teenage pregnancy and a dying litter of puppies. The impending tragedy of Katrina keeps you waiting as neglect and despairing poverty intertwine to tell the story of four children.

Apr 11, 2017

This book is amazing! Some scenes get pretty gritty (spoiler: dog fighting). But it allowed me to see a different world and walk in someone else's shoes. All the while, I felt the longing of every member of the family. And the author handled the setting and weather extremely well. It felt so real!

Mar 11, 2016

Paints a disturbing tense picture. Couldn't put it down

Nov 15, 2015

Not sure if I enjoyed this or not - quite a sad little story, well written.

Aug 02, 2015

Hauntingly beautiful

LPL_KateG Apr 28, 2015

Incredibly powerful novel of community, loss, and hope. Jesmyn Ward is a master of pacing - at times slow and deliberate as a sweltering summer day, at others as fast-paced and intense as a dog fight or a hurricane. Looking forward to reading more by this author!

Dec 19, 2014

A masterful book about a tight-knit African American family living as best they can and facing the onset of Hurricane Katrina. The unity and bond between family members is very uplifting and memorable, along with the close friends of the children. I look forward to more writing by Jesmyn Ward.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at WPL

To Top