Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward chronicles the life of a family living in small-town poverty in Mississippi. Writing in the rhythm and vernacular of her native Mississippi, Ward vividly displays the daily struggles that make up the mosaic of the lives of her characters. As they live out their lives: worrying over a new litter of puppies from a prized pit bull, hiding the sight of an unexpected pregnancy, dealing with the grief of a deceased loved one, there is the threat of an impending hurricane looming over it all. The name of the hurricane is Katrina. The author skillfully captures the level of unpreparedness and how utterly devastating the storm was. The passages of the hurricane hitting and the family’s struggle to survive are particularly poetic. Ward’s descriptions of the power and destruction coming so suddenly are profound in their pointed simplicity.