Bestselling author Jesmyn Ward won the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction for this poignant and poetic novel.
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 interest in 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 fifteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pit bull’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 a dramatic conclusion, the unforgettable family at the novel’s core—motherless children sacrificing for one another as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce—pulls itself up to face another day.
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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.