'Salvage the Bones' by Jesmyn Ward
In the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina, in the small coastal town of Bois Sauvage, 14-year-old Esch isn’t thinking about storing water or evacuating to higher ground. Instead she worries about her emotionally absent father’s drinking, her brother Skeetah's prized pitbull and her new puppies, and most frightening of all, the fact that she’s just discovered she’s pregnant.
In Esch, Salvage the Bones author Jesmyn Ward has created a strong character that any reader, regardless of background, will be able to relate to. Told over the course of 12 days, the reader is left with a strong sense of what everyday life must be like for Esch, as she and each of her family members navigates difficult situations sometimes of their own doing and sometimes not, but always exacerbated by the grinding reality of rural poverty.
This 2011 National Book Award Winner documents the lives of victims of Hurricane Katrina in a way that does not bring their experience during the hurricane to the forefront, but rather highlights the many different forms that love can take.
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward was read and discussed by the Young Prose Book Club at the Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library in February 2013. For more information about this book club, please visit our Meetup page or contact Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org.