Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward


Salvage the Bones is an intense book, with powerful, direct prose that dips into poetic metaphor . . . We are immersed in Esch’s world, a world in which birth and death nestle close, where there is little safety except that which the siblings create for each other. That close-knit familial relationship is vivid and compelling, drawn with complexities and detail.

In stock (can be backordered)

SKU: 9781608196265 Categories: , , , , ,


Our Bookseller says…

“If you are like me, and you like novels set in rural, southern towns that examine the dynamics of a single family before tragedy strikes and demands them all to put aside their differences and come together, then you will love Salvage the Bones. Jesmyn Ward, as usual, writes masterfully; each sentence ebbs and flows. There’s a distinct rhythm to all of her work. The story here will pull you in with tenderness before thrusting you away, again and again. This is one of the best authors working right now, maybe the best!”


A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch’s father is growing concerned. A hard drinker, largely absent, he doesn’t show concern for much else. Esch and her three brothers are stocking food, but there isn’t much to save. Lately, Esch can’t keep down what food she gets; she’s fourteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pitbull’s new litter, dying one by one in the dirt. Meanwhile, brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child’s play and short on parenting.

As the twelve days that make up the novel’s framework yield to their dramatic conclusion, this unforgettable family-motherless children sacrificing for one another as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce-pulls itself up to face another day. A big-hearted novel about familial love and community against all odds, and a wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, Salvage the Bones is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real.

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward