Jennifer's Reviews > The Dry Grass of August

The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew
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Jun 21, 11


I almost couldn't put down this novel set in the segregated South in the early 1950s--Mayhew's first--and wouldn't have if it weren't for that pesky thing called a job.

The story of the summer that 13-year-old June "Jubie" Watts comes of age is a breathtaking glimpse into the relationship between a black maid and her white charges. Like the best-selling The Help, Mayhew breaks new ground exploring the dynamics of this relationship.

When an unspeakably tragic event occurs, Jubie is forced to follow her own heart about the issue of race and what it means to be a decent human being. Jubie's voice is so authentic that the character echoes Scout Finch, but with preteen hormones!

Her parents are not as idealized as Atticus Finch, but rather complicated and deeply flawed. Stell Ann, Jubie's older sister, seems to be a good person but is, at 16, worried about appearances. Jubie's parents are never idealized. Her alcoholic, philandering father is by no means Atticus Finch, and her mother is a deeply flawed being. Still, the novel ends with some hope for Mrs. Watts.

It's been a while since a book actually made me cry. Highly recommended for fans of Southern fiction, historical fiction, and even teens who will find a real kinship with Jubie.

Oh, and big thanks to my little sis for going through so much trouble to get me a copy of this thing!
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl Rated #5 by BookPage on list of best books of 2011 (so far)!


Heather Sullivan Have you read Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall? You will love it!


BJ Perry I so agree with Jennifer. This book kept me wanting more and though I am a bit embarrassed to admit this...............I quit reading the novel with one chapter left.Why?? I did not want it to be over. I looked at it daily for one month before picking it up to finish the story. Tremendous story!


Heather Sullivan Haha BJ Perry...that is funny! I know what you mean about not wanting books to end...I love taking my time reading!


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