A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch's father is growing concerned. He's a hard drinker, largely absent, and it isn't often he worries about the family. Esch and her three brothers are stockpiling food, but there isn't much to save. Lately, Esch can't keep down what food she gets; at fifteen, she has just realized that she's pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pit bull's new litter, dying one by one. Meanwhile, brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child's play and short on parenting.
As the twelve days that make up the novel's framework yield to a dramatic conclusion, this unforgettable family - motherless children sacrificing for one another as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce - pulls itself up to face another day.
'And then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped' Harriet Tubman Jesmyn Ward's acclaimed memoir shines a light on the community she comes from in the small town of DeLisle, Mississippi, a place of quiet beauty and fierce attachment. Here, in the space of four years, she lost five young black men dear to her, including her beloved brother - to accidents, murder and suicide. Their deaths were seemingly unconnected, yet their lives had been connected by identity and place. As Jesmyn dealt with these losses, she came to a staggering truth: the fates of these young men were predetermined by who they were and where they were from, because racism and economic struggle breed a certain kind of bad luck.
The agonising reality brought Jesmyn to write, at last, their true stories and her own.
The first novel from two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward, a timeless Southern fable of brotherly love and familial conflict Joshua and Christophe are twins, raised by a blind grandmother and a large extended family in a rural town on Mississippi's Gulf Coast. Over the course of a single, life-changing summer, as they struggle to find work and contend with the reappearance of their parents - Cille, who left town for a better job, and Sandman, a dangerous addict - the brothers are forced into a series of decisions that will ultimately damn or save them.
A delicate and closely observed portrait of fraternal love and strife and the bonds that can sustain and torment us, Where the Line Bleeds marks the beginning of Jesmyn Ward's extraordinary career in fiction.