Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Dry Grass of August

Finished The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew. Jubie is thirteen years old in the summer of 1954. Her mother drives her, her three siblings, and their black maid Mary, from North Carolina to Florida for a family vacation. Jubie's mother takes them to visit her brother, Uncle Taylor. Uncle Taylor is warm, kind and caring. His home becomes a refuge for Jubie's mom, suffering from the heartbreak of her failed marriage, and for Jubie, suffering the literal scars from the latest beating she received from her father. Jubie's mother is distracted, distant and unsympathetic. It is Mary, their maid, who Jubie and her younger siblings turn to for comfort and reassurance.

As they travel through Georgia, Jubie immediately notices differences in the deep south, and not just in the landscape. The loud and blatant signs of segregation startle her. The tragic and violent events that take place when they are traveling only serve to reinforce her idea that adults are out of control and not to be trusted. Jubie takes matters into her own hands to do what she thinks is right. She is brave and valiant. Another pretty raw coming-of-age story. I couldn't put it down.

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