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Dry Grass of August, The by Anna Jean Mayhew

Dry Grass of August, The (edition 2011)

by Anna Jean Mayhew

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5234419,336 (3.78)23
Title:Dry Grass of August, The
Authors:Anna Jean Mayhew
Info:Kensington Publishing (2011), Upplaga: 1, Paperback, 352 sidor

Work details

The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew

  1. 30
    The Help by Kathryn Stockett (clowndust, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The Help is a moving novel about a young white woman who discovers the effects of racism on black women and their families in mid-1960s Mississippi; The Dry Grass of August portrays similar discoveries for a white teenage girl in the mid-1950s.… (more)
  2. 10
    Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (BookshelfMonstrosity)

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Would give this book 4.5 stars if that was possible. This is a beautifully written novel. I read this book in less than a day and was sad to have to tell the characters goodbye when I was finished. Truly remarkable. Highly, highly recommend this one! ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
This was an audiobook downloaded from my library's electronic site. The narrator, Karen White, was quite good especially with doing the different accents of white and black people. The setting is the Deep South of the US just after the US Supreme Court ordered desegregation of schools. As a Canadian it still shocks me how the white culture of that time treated the blacks. This book shows that but also shows that some whites realized the treatment was wrong.

June Watts is an adolescent white girl living in Charlotte North Carolina. Her father is an owner of a construction company. Her mother is the traditional housewife of the time although she doesn't do much of the drudge work because they have a black maid, Mary. There is one older daughter, another daughter younger than June and an infant son. When the book starts all the children, their mother and Mary are heading to Pensacola Florida to vacation with the mother's brother. There are hints that there are problems in the marriage and when the family gets to Pensacola June finally learns that her father had an affair with her uncle's wife. That broke up their marriage but June's parents have stayed together. We also learn that June's father has a violent temper and June is still bruised from his beating her. The maid, Mary, is the rock of the family and all the children love her. On the trip down to Pensacola we see how segregation affects the blacks as Mary has to use outhouses and eat in the car and stay in shacks when they stop for the night (if they can find a motel to even accept her). Then on the way back to the Carolinas an even worse example of white supremacy occurs. June is profoundly changed by this and the reader has some hope that society as a whole will improve.

While I found the white/black interactions interesting and some parts moving most of the time I was angry and appalled. The father ran roughshod over his wife and children and also over his employees. And yet, June and the others seemed to genuinely care for him when they weren't hiding from him or trying avoid his wrath. Even in the end when the marriage has broken up and his business is lost I still didn't feel he had suffered enough for his actions.

A disturbing book about a disturbing era. ( )
  gypsysmom | Jul 8, 2016 |
Liking it so far! This is one of the best books that I have read this year. I especially liked the fact that at the end of the book, there was a price to pay, and that it did not end "happily-ever-after." ( )
  RhondasReading | Jun 2, 2016 |
A rather sad book about civil rights in the South in the 50's. The family's maid is a black woman whom they rely on for their very being but really do not know much about her. One daughter cannot understand why there is a barrier but adheres to it as her family does. When the maid is killed protecting the young girls, their entire world (as they know it) collapses.
A great read. ( )
  joannemonck | Apr 28, 2016 |
I like southern fiction, and I was happy to find this book. It elicits strong emotions by the second chapter, drags a little in the middle, but gets you again in last quarter with tragedies which were common in the South. This literary fiction takes place during the times of segregation, but recently after the Brown v. Board of Edu. Supreme Court decision. Jubie, the narrator, is a 13 year old white girl with an abusive alcoholic father, and who is being raised (for the most part) by her family's maid, Mary. I feel like the ending could have been developed a bit more, but it was a good book to be the author's first novel. ( )
  Bambi_Unbridled | Mar 19, 2016 |
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In the midnight hour
When you need some power
When your heart is heavy
Steal away, steal away home
I ain't got long to stay here.

-African-American spiritual
for Jean-Michel and for Laurel
First words
In August of 1954, we took our first trip without Daddy, and Stell got use to the driver's license she'd had such a fit about.
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Book description
In 1954, thirteen-year-old Jubie Watts' eyes are opened to the harsh realities of racism when tragedy strikes her family while on vacation in Florida.
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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.

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