“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 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...Infused with the intensity of a changing time, here is a story of hope, heartbreak, and the love and courage that can transform us - from child to adult, from wounded to indomitable.”
(Barnes & Noble)
I enjoyed reading The Help, which also explores the south during the beginnings of civil rights. However, I enjoyed The Dry Grass of August even more. Perhaps it was the frankness of the narrator as she observes what happens as her family travels south. My generation never experienced the prejudice and ‘normality’ of segregation in every walk of life. People younger than me are even more ignorant of how ‘it used to be’. I think this book helps us to see how unfairly blacks were treated. While we need to move on, and for the most part, young people are blind to color, I do think we should be aware of the injustices of our past.
My rating: 4 stars