The Dry Grass of August

The Dry Grass of August

Book - 2011
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In 1954, 13-year-old Jubie, traveling with her family and her family's black maid Mary Luther--who has always been there for her, making up for her father's rages and her mother's neglect--encounters racial tension and tragedy.
Publisher: New York, NY : Kensington Books, c2011
ISBN: 9780758254092
Branch Call Number: FICTION MAYHEW 2011
Characteristics: 294 p. ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

In this beautifully written debut, Anna Jean Mayhew offers a riveting depiction of Southern life in the throes of segregation and what it will mean for a young girl on her way to adulthood and for the woman who means the world to her.

Jubie, 13, in the segregation era U.S., has been lovingly raised by the family's Black maid, Mary. "Through immediate first-person narration, this first novel gets the prejudice and cruelty in daily life exactly right. We feel the horrible normality of not regarding anyone black as a person ... Read More »

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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.

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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