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What readers think of The Dry Grass of August, plus links to write your own review.

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The Dry Grass of August

by Anna Jean Mayhew

The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew X
The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2011, 352 pages

    Paperback:
    Apr 2011, 352 pages

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There are currently 8 reader reviews for The Dry Grass of August
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Milagros Vargas Neu

An Eye Opener
When I started reading “ The Dry Grass Of August “ I was taken aback from how it touched me emotionally. This is when I knew that this book was going to be incredible. The writer uses vivid descriptions and words to capture the essence of how racism plague the south even today. I learned a lot from reading Mrs. Mayhew’s novel. I was so into the the book that I had to buy her second book, “ Tomorrow’s Bread”. Thank You for writing such a historical fiction with some eye opening facts during and still a turbulent time in our history. Wow, good read!
Power Reviewer
Cathryn Conroy

Unputdownable! A Riveting Snapshot in Time of August 1954 on the Cusp of the Civil Rights Movement
There is only one way to describe this book: Unputdownable. As in, once you start reading, you really will not be able to stop.

Written by Anna Jean Mayhew, this is a snapshot of August 1954 in the deep South, three months after the Supreme Court ruled to integrated public schools in Brown vs. the Board of Education. Jubie Watts lives a white, middle-class life in Charlotte, North Carolina with her (dishonest and abusive) entrepreneur father Bill, her housewife mother Paula, three siblings, and their black maid, Mary Luther. At 13 years old, Jubie is mostly concerned about seeing forbidden Marilyn Monroe movies and sneaking a peek at her older sister's diary. In August, Paula, the kids, and Mary pile into their Packard to travel to Pensacola to visit Pauly's brother. Later, they will meet Bill at Pawley's Island for a week's vacation at the beach. Although traveling with Mary is problematic as she is not welcome in restaurants or motels, they manage. But on the way to Pawley's they are in a car crash in Claxton, Georgia. No one is hurt, but the car repairs will take several days. It is here that a horrific, heartbreaking crime occurs that will forever change the family. Jubie grows up seemingly overnight, making choices that will define who she is forever.

With vividly drawn characters and a riveting plot, this captivating novel is written with such remarkable insight that it is far better than a history book when it comes to exposing the evil underbelly of racism in the deep South at the cusp of the civil rights movement. It grabbed me on page one and never let go!
Darlene Mour

The Dry Grass of August
This book is very relevant to my growing up in the 50's. Most of our families could not afford maids or servants, but living in a town where negros had to be off the streets at night . Anna Mayhew artfully mades the characters come alive. Jubie's parent's were definitely predjudiced or stupid and Mary and the children were unforgettable. I loved this book and highly recommend it.
Karenr

A gem!
Other readers compared this to the Help so I crossed my fingers that it could meet my expectations as I dove into reading it. It absolutely did and was engaging through the last page. I felt I was right there along side and sharing the emotions of the well-developed characters (my favorite being Juby), during this turbulent time in history. I can't wait to read the author's next book!
Beth

A must read
I knew within 5 or 6 pages that I was going to love this book. If I had the time, I would have read it non-stop. For those who loved The Help, the subject matter is similar, race relations and the relationships that were formed between the characters. It differs in that this story is told by a 13 year old girl, the time is the early 1950's in the south. The family is dysfunctional at best, but the author manages to make us fall in love with some of the characters and abhor others. It is a statement about the times, about being strong enough to act on what you believe in, and in the end, just a well written book that I hated to see end.
Power Reviewer
Rebecca R

Some People May Like It
I found myself skimming this book in a lot of places. In fact, I was really torn about the difference between a 3 and a 4 for a rating. For me, it was a clear cut 3, and yet I feel it could appeal to a large segment of other women. Something about the dialogue didn't seem seem realistic to me, scenes did not seem to flow naturally. I was very glad I had checked it out at the library and not paid for it!
Jeanne

Truth
This novel could have been a true story of a family, so accurate in it's depiction of segregation and the dysfunction of families trying to control lives and profits.

It is a well written reflection of the 1950's south; ugly prejudices woven into a series of true events which remind us of the injustices of the past.

The issues are important and this novel is a good reminder to remember the times and continue the work of valuing the lives of everyone.
jknapp

The Dry Grass of August
There were so many things I enjoyed about this book. I liked that the story was told from the perspective of a 13 year old girl rather than the adult characters in the story. I think that Jubie was a very bright,stubborn young lady who loved her Black maid, Mary, very much. Mary was the one person who seem to understand and protect Jubie. There was so much to appreciate about Jubie that escaped most of those around her, especially her parents.
Much of this story is disturbing because of the racial climate during this time frame, but it reminds us that racism is learned, that most children are so accepting of others unless adults interfere.
It also points out that it takes courage and character to stand up for the rights of others when it means defying your own family and the way of life they want to protect at the expense of others.
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