08 February 2012

Salvage The Bones ~ Jesmyn Ward

**** RECOMMEND ****

National Book Award : Winner 2011
Tournament of Books : 2012

Brutal and beautiful
From the heart, disarming and emotional

This is a slow build over a few days. And these are the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina. An already devastated family, coping with death and poverty, is about to face the wrath Karina and deal with further loss. The family is poor, black, motherless, and living in a Mississippi bayou.

It could all be so melodramatic. But it's not. It could all be so depressing. But it's not. There is wonderful emotional depth. There is a lot of brutality and neglect but the overall story is of family loyalty and support. It is told through the eyes of a young girl, old before her time, and spoken with a clear and haunting voice.

This is one of those novels you want to describe with "___ and ___" descriptions :
lyrical and savage; poetic and raw; poverty and resilience; uncompromising and confronting; unsettling and uplifting; powerful and real ... and I could go on ... all these and more.

I may have to come back and change this from "recommended" to "favourite" ... I have a feeling that it is one that will haunt!