The Dry Grass Of August

The Dry Grass Of August by Anna Jean Mayhew - 289 pages
Book Blurb:
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.
My review: 3 stars
Again I’m in the minority of other reviewers. Perhaps coming on the heels of the black care-taker and young white girl relationship in books like The Help or The Secret Life Of Bees, this book seemed flat. However this novel may in fact be the closest in accuracy to describe the times and the segregation that was paramount in the south. Author has a knack for conversation and overall was a fine writer.

Tags: Historical, Fiction 2011

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