Literary Fiction

Salvage the Bones

by Jesmyn Ward

Quick take

The award-winning story of a young girl and her brothers, who band together to survive a deadly hurricane nearing their small Mississippi town.

Good to know

  • Heavy Read

  • Famous Author

  • Slow Build


They heard it on the radio: A hurricane is coming, threatening the town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi. Esch's hard-drinking father can feel it in his bones. Esch and her brothers are trying to help prepare, but there are other worries, too. Skeetah is watching his prized pit bull, helpless as her new litter dies one by one. Randall, when not preoccupied with basketball, is busy looking after the y...

Member thoughts

42% Love
36% Like
18% Dislike
  • Benita B.

    Denver, CO

    "Ms. Ward takes the reader on a journey through one of the most catastrophic weather event in our present day history while weaving the story of a loving family trying to make it another day......... "

  • Janet S.

    Portland, OR

    "A beautiful and searing book about an impoverished black family’s life a week before Hurricane Katrina. I greatly admire this author and highly recommend her books."

  • Tori M.


    "Wow... the characters in this story were so life-like; the story had me constantly putting myself in their shoes... This book really grabs you and will not let you put it down. "

  • Nicole L.

    Madison, WI

    "Jesmyn Ward once again pulls me into an amazing world full of vivid characters and a story to pull out my heartstrings. "

  • Carrie M.

    Milpitas, CA

    "Gorgeous, elegaic prose, and a narrative with unforgettable characters who hit us just as hard as the storm hits them."

  • Susan M.

    Fort Worth, TX

    "I loved the duality of the life altering changes that the main character endures. Jessamyn Ward yet again gives us a strong female protagonist trying to beat the odds."

  • Christy G.

    Sugar City , ID

    "Great read. Thanks"

  • Alyssa W.

    North Mankato, MN

    "Ward is a very talented writer. I really struggled with China and the dog fighting parts. I can't decide if Ward was attempting to glamorize or normalize abusing animals... :/"

  • Stephanie C.

    Sioux City, IA

    "This book seemed a little slow at times, but overall a strong read."

  • Kelli G.

    Laurel, MS

    "Very real and eye opening story of a family’s struggle during Katrina. "

  • Kelli G.

    Laurel , MS

    "Katrina is not the main character in this book. The family’s struggles are comparable to a natural disaster. Strong characters and relatable setting make this book worthwhile. "