If you liked The Help, you might want to try The Dry Grass of August. It’s the story of a white family and the black woman who works for them in the South during the 1950s. The narrator of the story is thirteen-year-old June “Jubie” Watts. Jubie and her siblings has been cared for by the family’s housekeeper, Mary Luther, for as long as she can remember. Jubie’s father is abusive while her mother doesn’t pay much attention to the children. Mary, on the other hand, loves the children unconditionally.
Jubie and her family go on a vacation to Florida. During their drive through the South, they see evidence of the racism that plagued the U.S. during that time. A tragedy occurs during the trip that no one could have predicted. In the aftermath, Jubie must decide how to deal with her parents’ flaws, as well as learn how to move on.
I enjoyed this debut novel from Anna Jean Mayhew. The characters were well written, and their personalities really came through. If you like historical fiction that deals with racial tension, give this book a try.