Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Fifteen year old Esch is the third child and only daughter in a family of four siblings living in a mostly black rural area of coastal Mississippi. Motherless and raised by a disinterested father, the children have grown up somewhat poor and wild, but these conditions have created a strong family bond among them. Esch, an observant and thoughtful young woman, reports her family’s activities covering a twelve day period—ten days leading up to the arrival of Hurricane Katrina, the day of the hurricane and the day after. Esch makes the reader feel the humanity of each imperfect character in her family and demonstrates the difficulty people in their circumstances had in preparing for the hurricane.  Salvage the Bones was also the 2011 winner of the National Book Award for fiction, so be sure to add this one to your list!