Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew

From Goodreads: 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.

This audiobook was a win from Kathy at Bermudaonion's Weblog and, boy, was that a lucky win - I LOVED it! I didn't love it in a perky "OMG it was so cute" way more like it was cathartic because it just left me feeling wrung out. The time period is so tension filled as racial segregation is creeping through the South and the family is a bundle of nerves tiptoieng around their dysfunction. The soft spot for Jubie to land is in Mary's arms, their "girl", their black maid who functions as Jubie's anchor. Reading the dscription, I knew there was tragedy ahead and the suspense just kept me on edge. When the moment finally came, I just wanted to scream at all of them to run and then scream again to berate them for their naivete - how could they not see it coming when my stomach had been in knots for hours? What a good book! Kudos to Anna Jean Mayhew for a wondeeful debu tnovel and thank you's to Kathy for hosting the giveaway!

The audiobook challenge is hosted by Teresa at Teresa's Reading Corner, click on the logo to see my progress.

I am trying to reach 100 books this year - I've never done it before although I have come very close, click on the logo to see how I am doing for this year!


bermudaonion said...

I was so happy when you won that giveaway because I know you love audiobooks. I'm glad to know this one is a winner!! I can't wait to experience the book - every review I've read has been positive.

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