Salvage the Bones, winner of the National Book Award for Fiction in 2011, is the profoundly harrowing story of a young teenage girl, Esch, and her father and brothers, as they prepare to face a hurricane threatening to upend their lives in Bois Sauvage, Mississippi. It is a story about what it means to be black and poor in the South today, about burgeoning sexuality, about family and community and secrets, about the destructive power of nature.
Jesmyn Ward is a master of language and narrative, with a sharp, uncanny ability to craft a world that glitters with realness and chafes with grit. Her characters seem to emerge from a deep well of human understanding, they are nuanced and determined, tender and fierce, each one a survivor, hardened by the painful difficulties of life. Salvage the Bones houses both brilliance and heavy sorrow, what an intense and necessary book.