Monday 24 September 2018

Review: Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had the book for ages but held back to read it with my in person book group. It is one of those "couldn't put down" books - the Audible version read by actress Cherise Booth is a 5 star narration to my mind . Easy to see why it won the 2011 National Book Award winner for fiction.

It is the story of one family's survival through hurricane Katrina in rural Mississippi. Set as 12 days/chapters leading up to the phenomenal description of their Katrina encounter in chapter 11, this is a very human story. its final chapters truly touched me. The description of the storm and the family's flight and fight to survive could only have been written by someone who themselves survived.

Some people might find the dog fighting scenes hard to handle but they are crucial to the book - in fact Skeet's dog China is actually a character in the book; others may find the casual attitude to sex disturbing particulary for such a young narrator, 15-year-old pregnant Esch, but surely we all find the overwhelming familial love heartwarming as we grow to know the family - widowed father Claude, Randall, Skeet, Esch and Junior.

The writing is extremely good, the author exceptional in her ability to convey the poverty of the family and their bonds of loyalty and love.

ashramblings verdict 5* A knock out read I can't recommend enough.

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