Ms. Ward previously wrote the excellent Salvage The Bones, and this new book is even better. The setting is Mississippi, a multi-generational family struggling to live, to love and to survive. Past atrocities live on in the form of ghosts. There are indelible portraits in this story: a thirteen year old boy trying to find his place in the world, his mother who is incapable of loving her children, his mixed-race grandparents. Powerful and evocative storytelling.
The writing in this books reminds me of Toni Morrison, so high praise. There is a strong sense of impending doom for a Mississippi family (poverty, dog-fighting, teen-age pregnancy) while Katrina bores down on them. Excellent descriptive writing.