The Dry Grass of August

The Dry Grass of August

eBook - 2011
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"In this beautifully written debut, Anna Jean Mayhew offers a riveting depiction of Southern life in the throes of segregation, what it will mean for a young girl on her way to adulthood--and for the woman who means the world to her... On a scorching day in August 1954, thirteen-year-old Jubie Watts leaves Charlotte, North Carolina, with her family for a Florida vacation. Crammed into the Packard along with Jubie are her three siblings, her mother, and the family's black maid, Mary Luther. For as long as Jubie can remember, Mary has been there--cooking, cleaning, compensating for her father's rages and her mother's benign neglect, and loving Jubie unconditionally. Bright and curious, Jubie takes note of the anti-integration signs they pass, and of the racial tension that builds as they journey further south. But she could never have predicted the shocking turn their trip will take. Now, in the wake of tragedy, Jubie must confront her parents' failings and limitations, decide where her own convictions lie, and make the tumultuous leap to independence... Infused with the intensity of a changing time, here is a story of hope, heartbreak, and the love and courage that can transform us--from child to adult, from wounded to indomitable. "A beautiful book that fans of The Help will enjoy." --Karen White, New York Times bestselling author "Mayhew keeps the story taut, thoughtful and complex, elevating it from the throng of coming-of-age books." --Publishers Weekly "A must-read for fans of The Help." --Woman's World "Written with unusual charm, wonderful dialogue, and a deeply felt sense of time and place, The Dry Grass of August is a book for adults and young people both--a beautifully written literary novel that is a real page-turner, I have to add. Fast, suspenseful, and meaningful. I read this book straight through." --Lee Smith, author of Last Girls and Fair and Tender Ladies "Because the novel is totally true to Jubie's point of view, it generates gripping drama as we watch her reach beyond authority to question law and order." --Booklist "A masterful work of blending time and place." --The Charlotte Observer "A beautifully written and important novel. Set in the 1950s South, it deals with race relations in an original, powerful way. It's also a great story about complicated family relationships, told with humor, delicacy, and penetrating insight. I wish I had written this book." -- Angela Davis-Gardner, author of Butterfly's Child "Anna Jean Mayhew has a true ear for Southern speech...The Dry Grass of August is a carefully researched, beautifully written, quietly told tale of love and despair and a look backward at the way it was back then in the South." --The Pilot (Southern Pines, North Carolina)"Deeply felt, lasting relationships formed in the mid-20th century South between white families and the African-American women who took care of them. In The Dry Grass of August, Mayhew explores the love and conflicting loyalties in one such extended family, adult and child, black and white. She does so with honesty and sympathy, intimate knowledge and valuable perspective, as well as beautiful writing. This is an important story about the Southern experience and the women who helped to form the American generation now at the peak of its powers." --Peggy Payne, author of Sister India "Once you've experienced The Dry Grass of August, you'll swiftly see that Anna Jean Mayhew's debut novel deserves all the early praise it's getting...the power, bravery and beauty of Mayhew's narrative is beyond contestation and well-deserving of a wide readership." --Book Page "An extraordinary, absorbing novel." --Historical Novel Reviews."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Kensington Publishing Corporation, 2011.
ISBN: 9780758267924
Branch Call Number: EBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (352 pages)
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Feb 11, 2016

Written by a 71-year-old, first-time novelist (that probably says it all, right there) and developed (“honed”) over 18 years in those local “writers groups” that substitute for or alternate with bridge clubs for middle-aged, suburban, Southern white women, "The Dry Grass of August" reads like a narrative record of middle-class life in the South during the 50’s but feels like a documentary, a dull documentary, whose target audience comprises two groups: people who went to high school with and knew the author (such as the friend who recommended that I read it) and other 70-something, middle-class white women, who will say things like, “oh yes, I remember those colors in my kitchen” or “my, doesn’t she do a marvelous job of recreating that time?” There is a dramatic arc, predictable and trite, of course, that might have made a decent short story in the hands of the proper writer, Eudora Welty or Flannery O’Connor, for instance, who would have spared us the trip down detail lane and twisted the story into something new and interesting.

Jul 06, 2015

Read this instead of The Help!

Jun 26, 2014

easy read, enjoyed the story,recommend

Mar 29, 2013

1954 North Carolina. Segregation. Jubie has been raised always having "Mary" helping in the house. She is part of the family. During a summer trip to her uncle's Jubie begins to realize the world's view of segregation and black people generally. It is inconceivable to Jubie. This is a wonderful book. A must read. I highly recommend it for teenagers to adults.

Oct 23, 2012

This is a story about June aka Jubie as she is coming of age while dealing with issues of segragation while in North Carolina and in Florida where her family visits her uncle's for the summer. Interesting experiences happen to allow Jubie finding herself and make a statement in her confusing society. Follow how she becomes a young woman. (similarities to both The Help and To Kill A Mockingbird)

mrsgail5756 Jul 02, 2012

A very good read. I enjoyed this book I would recommend this book for all to read.

A wonderful wonderful story! Highly encourage listening to the audiobook version!

Crheneghan Feb 13, 2012

Mayhew explores the world of Jim Crow through the eyes of thirteen year old Jubie Watts as her family travels from Charleston to Florida. Mahew tells a story not unlike Kathryn Stockett's The Help, but with less humor and more fully drawn characters.

Jan 09, 2012

The Watts take a road trip from North Carolina to Florida with their black maid Mary, and we experience a horrific tragedy through the eyes of Jubie, the 13 year old daughter. The intimacy that builds between the maid and Jubie, coupled by the harsh reality of the racial tensions at the time, help this book demonstrate the horrible realities faced by African Americans at the time. I personally found the story to be intense, gripping, and believable. I fully recommend this book to anyone interested in this genre.

Dec 03, 2011

I enjoyed this book far more than The Help. The story goes much deeper and is more dramatically horrifying. I would skip The Help and read The Dry Grass of August instead!

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