"Job has nothing on 15-year-old Esch. She’s poor and pregnant and plain unlucky. Mama’s dead, Daddy’s a drunk and dinner is Top Ramen every night," writes Paruh Sehgal for the New York Times December 30, 2011 Sunday Book Review of Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.
Oliva Laing describes Esch in her Saturday, December 10, 2011 article for The Observer, "She's so tough, in fact, that it takes a while to realise how deprived these motherless children are. Details seep out like involuntary revelations. Food is strictly rationed, and a meal of squirrel, shot in the forest and barbecued, is gulped down with stolen bread."
In Ron Charles review of Salvage the Bones for the Washington Post on November 8, 2011, he writes about Ward's description of the relationship that Skeetah has with his beloved pit bull, China. "This may be Ward’s most masterful move: her ability to capture the tenderness between a boy and his dog, while also rendering their joint enthusiasm for these vicious fights sickeningly believable."
After a glowing review, one reviewer writes caveat emptor: "This would probably be the right place to mention that if you have a problem with dogfights, this might not be the book for you. Or girls having casual sex with their older brothers' friends at age 12, for that matter," writes Carolyn Kellogg for the Los Angeles Times on December 4, 2011. Indeed, I agree, the book is hard to read and at the same time hard to put down.
Hillel Italie for the Huffington Post in his article titled, "National Book Awards: Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones Wins., describes the book as "a bleak but determined novel about a black community in Mississippi devastated by Hurricane Katrina." He writes, "Ward's acceptance, the culmination of a night of emotional speeches and tributes to those who had been silenced, noted that the death of her younger brother had inspired her to become a writer."
I'm an expert amateur or maybe an amateur expert.