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Summary

Bloomsbury presents Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, read by January LaVoy.

A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch's father is growing concerned. He's a hard drinker, largely absent, and it isn't often he worries about the family. Esch and her three brothers are stockpiling food, but there isn't much to save. Lately, Esch can't keep down what food she gets; at 15, she has just realised that she's pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pit bull's new litter, dying one by one. Meanwhile, brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child's play and short on parenting.

As the 12 days that make up the novel's framework yield to a 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.

©2011 Jesmyn Ward (P)2021 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic reviews

"Fresh and urgent." (New York Times)

"Masterful.... A palpable sense of desire and sorrow animates every page...Salvage the Bones has the aura of a classic about it." (Washington Post)

"A brilliantly pacy adventure story.... Ward writes like a dream. A real dream: uneasy, vivid and deep as the sea." (The Times)

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DNF, too grotesque for me

It was ultimately the very grotesque descriptions that made me turn this recording off (such as the very detailed description of the birth of some puppies)

But even aside from that, I was not enjoying this book. I have enjoyed other books by Ward, but if I hadn't known this was written by her, I would have thought it was fan fiction written by a teenager.