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|Print List Price:||$17.00|
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Salvage the Bones: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 272 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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The story is told from 15 year old Esch Bastille's perspective shortly after she has finds out she is pregnant. Motherless herself since her youngest brother Junior was born, Esch is trying to hang on to the impoverished but emotionally rich life of her family in 'the pit', their home is Bois Sauvage, Mississippi. Her oldest brother Randall has the potential to be recruited for a college basketball scholarship but lately his knee has been swelling a lot whenever he works out. Skeetah, her other brother, loves his pit bull China with a fierce and total passion. China has just given birth to puppies and her maternal instinct is in question. She is a fighting dog and the scenes of dog fights are visceral but essential to the core of the novel.
What transfixed me was the mythological backdrop to the narrative. Esch, a good student, has a book on Greek mythology that she is reading for school over the summer. Her character is super-imposed on the Jason and Medea story and Esch notices that "in every one of the Greeks' mythology tales, there is this: a man chasing a woman, or a woman chasing a man. There is never a meeting in the middle. There is only a body in a ditch, and one person walking toward or away from it." As Esch deals with her feelings for Manny, the baby's father, she reflects on the Greek myth.
While this novel's narrative focuses on a poor black family trying to survive a brutal and unforgiving act of nature in the face of very adverse conditions, it is really timeless. It is about connection, love, family and loss. It is about those things that are bigger than what we perceive on the surface, the geological core of our being. As Esch says, "I will tie the glass and stone with string, hang the shards above my bed, so that they will flash in the dark and tell the story of Katrina, the mother that swept into the gulf and slaughtered. Her chariot was a storm so great and black the Greeks would say it was harnessed to dragons."
I will not forget this book. It has worked its way into my heart and being It is one of my all-time favorite books.
This read is difficult, and I'll admit to at times feeling disconnected--but I think that says more about me, and my personal distance from the setting of this novel and the stories it inhabits. A distance too many of us felt and still feel when it comes to Hurricane Katrina.
What tilted me towards 5-stars on this rating is the simple fact that each character had his/her own power, and that is a success worth celebrating, truly. The discomfort and frustration I felt through the reading was earned by the author, and poignant, and powerful.
Gonna read all of her books now.
You will not want to put the book down once you start it.
I don't want to spoil the freshness of the book by giving away any of the plot; just let it be said that the author writes so descriptively and masterfully that not only was I drawn completely into the story, sometimes breathtakingly, but also sometimes I had to stop and re-read passages because they are written so achingly beautifully, I could almost weep at the use of language.