For those of you who missed this the first time around, coming Jan 29, 2019. Plus the fact that the character Paula was not a strong person - dave s I think probably both Bill and Paula were raised as products of their environment where whites thought themselves to be completely superior to blacks. I love the title and the imagery it conjures up. The topics are very similar in the two books, however, I have to say I did not feel a huge connection between any of the characters in Dry Grass of August. But her having a license made that trip different from any others, because if she hadn't had it, we never would have been stuck in Sally's Motel Park in Claxton, Georgia, where we went to buy fruit cakes and had a wreck instead. Plus, the deep racism of 1950s Florida and Georgia heighten the tension to it's inevitable climax. On a scorching day in August 1954, thirteen-year-old Jubie Watts leaves Charlotte, North Carolina, with her family for a Florida vacation.
But she could never have predicted the shocking turn their trip will take. The book includes a lot of historically accurate detail about the time, and the story is compelling — but it felt a bit too long and somewhat oversimplified. A family vacation to Florida takes a shocking turn and now the family must learn how to deal with the tragedy. Even though Secret Life described a terrible time in American history, because the majority of the main characters were people with incredible souls and personalities, it was an easier book to read The Dry Grass of August is Anna Jean Mayhew's first book and it reminded me a lot of the book, The Secret Life of Bees. I loved that it was about the civil rights, although told from the perspective of a young teenage white girl, it had such a gritty feel and brought up several interesting points. There are two stories told thru her eyes. It's not only a 'coming-of-age story' for the 13-year-old narrator, but maybe even more so for her mother.
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. In the 1950s the South was going through a major upheaval regarding Civil Rights, from the decision on Brown vs. The writing was good, and it was a quick read. No one talks about the love, the bond these servants formed with the youngest members of the household and I loved that it treated such a sad and hard time of our history with such aplomb. We see the indignities of separate and definitely unequal bathrooms, restaurants, and sleeping accommodations that Mary faces. 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. I will be pre-0rdering and looking forward to reading! Disaster was avoided, and Essie got better, but she still fears what lurks inside her, even as her daughter gets older and she has a second baby.
The dry grass of August in a really interesting and engaging novel and while a lot of people seem to be comparing it in one way or another to The Help, I am not going to do this as I feel this book needs to be read and enjoyed in its own right. So, here you go: it has a dysfunctional family, child abuse, childhood emotional neglect, attempted sexual abuse of a house maid, criminal business practices, marital infidelity, substance abuse, racism, racial injustice, to name a few issues. A beautiful book that fans of The Help will enjoy. Her parents are not as idealized as Atticus Finch, but rather complicated and deeply flawed. The topics are very similar in the two books, however, I have to say I did not feel a huge connection between any of the characters in Dry Grass of August. I felt The Dry Grass selection was trite, the characters stereotypical, and the author uses sensationalism throughout the story, and it will not be elevated in a way that Mockingbird has been for years. For Jubie, nothing will ever be easy again, and she learns that growing up means seeing the world beyond basic black and white.
The Dry Grass of August is a carefully researched, beautifully written, quietly told tale of love and despair and a look backward at the way it was back then in the South. When I'm undecided about reading a book, I go straight to the panning reviews--for some reason that I haven't bothered to analyze, these are often more helpful maybe it's just that I'm slightly cynical myself. Just as Jubie notices the changes happening to her own body, like needing a tin of deodorant powder from her Meemaw while her other sisters receive charm bracelets and hair ribbons, she becomes aware of the increasing racism toward Mary as they head deeper and deeper south. What he suggests is something that will shatter every preconceived notion Carly has. The front door is open. Mockingbird is a true classic and will be read over and over. As such, the style and content of each review will vary.
Stell seems to be the golden child while Jubie always seems to be in trouble. Lee Smith, author of Last Girls and Fair and Tender Ladies Written with unusual charm, wonderful dialogue, and a deeply felt sense of time and place, The Dry Grass of August is a book for adults and young people both a beautifully written literary novel that is a real page-turner, I have to add. None of them seem to really delve into anything below the surface. The book jumped around so much at the end, I didn't know what was the point of all the incidences after they drove through Georgia. The Dry Grass of August is a true coming of age story about 13 year old Jubie Watts whose life is turned upside down by a tragic event that takes place Wow, this was a fantastic debut novel by Anna Jean Mayhew.
So closely did I identify with the target reader that I decided to read the book--and I thought it was excellent. There is something very 'personal' about this book which has been lacking in other similar books I have previously read. Uncle Taylor's nosy neighbor makes sure Mary doesn't sully the Gulf waters and lower her property values. . And her family will be whole and perfect. When a new novel gets compared to some of the biggest hits of the last 10 years like The Help and The Secret Life of Bees, its author has some awfully big shoes to fill. Her younger sister Puddin Carolina is adorable and sweet, and her toddler brother Davie can do no wrong because he is a baby, but more importantly, he is a boy.
When thirteen-year old Jubie Watts embarks on a road trip with her mother, siblings, and the family's black maid named Mary, Jubie witnesses in full effect how racism becomes more prevalent driving from North Carolina to Florida. It also paints a picture of life for a white wife and family during this time and it's not all 'Leave it to Beaver'! So the book is centered around life in the Carolina's during the 50's and how one young girl survived. You can get on her website and read an interview with her. She has a good heart, and I would like to know what happens to her as an adult. This was recommended to me by the owner, who said it was well-written, after she asked me what I liked to read.