Extended Audio Sample

Download The Dry Grass of August Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Dry Grass of August Audiobook, by Anna Jean Mayhew Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,592 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anna Jean Mayhew Narrator: Karen White Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2011 ISBN: 9781470805241
Regular Price: $19.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

In this beautifully written debut, Anna Jean Mayhew offers a riveting depiction of Southern life in the throes of segregation and 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. 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, wounded to indomitable.

Download and start listening now!

BK_BLAK_004699

Quotes & Awards

  • The Dry Grass of August is a haunting debut about family bonds that stretch without breaking and a panoramic glimpse into an older America and the dying of an age. Young Jubie Watts is the perfect heroine and narrator of this tale with her clear-eyed look at the inconsistencies of the adults around her, and for her courage to ask ‘why?’ Ms. Mayhew creates authentic characters and a Southern setting that will make you feel and smell a summer day from half a century ago. A beautiful book that fans of The Help will enjoy.”

    Karen White, New York Times bestselling author

  • “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. Fast, suspenseful, and meaningful. I read this book straight through.”

    Lee Smith, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Jubie is a compelling heroine…This mesmerizing story takes place when segregation is being challenged in the highways and byways of the Deep South…and…the setting emerges as a pivotal character in this important debut novel.”

    VOYA

  • “Mayhew grew up in Charlotte in the 1950s, so the voices ring unflinchingly true. Jubie is a compelling heroine in the mold of Lily Owens in The Secret Life of Bees. This mesmerizing story takes place when segregation is being challenged in the highways and byways of the Deep South, no matter what the Supreme Court has ruled. Local color dominates with a tent revival, a traveling carnival, Claxton fruitcakes, sandy white beaches, and white gloves and heels, as the setting emerges as a pivotal character in this important debut novel.”

    VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

  • “A beautifully written and important novel. Set in the 1950s South, it deals with race relations in an original, powerful way. It’s also a great story about complicated family relationships, told with humor, delicacy, and penetrating insight. I wish I had written this book.”

    Angela Davis-Gardner, author of Butterfly’s Child

  • “Deeply felt, lasting relationships formed in the mid-twentieth-century South between white families and the African American women who took care of them. In The Dry Grass of August, Mayhew explores the love and conflicting loyalties in one such extended family, adult and child, black and white. She does so with honesty and sympathy, intimate knowledge and valuable perspective, as well as beautiful writing. This is an important story about the Southern experience and the women who helped to form the American generation now at the peak of its powers.”

    Peggy Payne, author of Sister India

  • “A must-read for fans of The Help.”

    Woman’s World

  • “Mayhew gives readers a compelling and insightful protagonist…Mayhew keeps the story taut, thoughtful, and complex, elevating it from the throng of coming-of-age books.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Because the novel is totally true to Jubie’s point of view, it generates gripping drama as we watch her reach beyond authority to question law and order.”

    Booklist

  • A Sir Walter Raleigh Award Finalist in 2011

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jackie | 2/20/2014

    " I absolutely loved this book. It is a very powerful and emotional read. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys coming-of-age stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gail | 2/10/2014

    " Good read, similar in some ways to The Help, but certainly more gritty. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cassandra. | 2/9/2014

    " I suppose I would have enjoyed this book more if I had not read THE HELP, MUDBOUND, and THE KITCHEN HOUSE. Same subject in the first two and an earlier period of history in the third. They were excellent. I had difficulty connecting with the characters in THE DRY GRASS OF AUGUST. I did finish reading the book, but it was not one that I could not wait to get back to. Perhaps because it was written from the point of view of a 13 year girl. I think it would have been a better read for middle school age. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 2/2/2014

    " Started off very slow, but the story picked up in the second half. The book gives a glimpse into the history surrounding the south during the 1950's through the eyes of a thirteen year old. This is a quick read, but a touching story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 1/31/2014

    " this being the era of books like "The Help", I thought this would be as gripping. I was somewhat disappointed in that there were parts that dragged and some areas that were fragmented. goods story but vague at times "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren Margolin | 1/18/2014

    " painfully slow book. kept waiting for the action, peak, climax of the book. once it did, i enjoyed it a bit more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 1/18/2014

    " Very good. Easy read. If you liked the help, read this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 12/27/2013

    " If you liked "The Help," you'll like this one. I could hardly put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melanie | 12/21/2013

    " This isn't the most well-written book but the story is very compelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keena | 12/20/2013

    " this is a must read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra | 12/18/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. The setting is 1954, the South. The story of a family, narrated by a 13 year old girl, Jubie, and her family experiences and segregation in general. The writing is simple but captivating. It meandered a bit in the middle and really picked up in the end. Good story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 11/29/2013

    " Similar in time period and themes as The Help. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 11/26/2013

    " Good...not great. I've heard it compared to The Help, but its not even close. Still a good read though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tosha | 10/14/2013

    " South Carolina and Georgia in the 1950's. A young family with an alcoholic father and a self absorbed mother. The four children take more to their maid Mary then they do to their parents. A simple and enjoyable read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana | 9/1/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. There were some questions that the author never really answered, but I had trouble putting it down. I would definitely recommend it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bethany O'neil | 7/31/2013

    " Loved, loved, loved this book! I couldn't put it down, read it straight through! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ange | 4/4/2013

    " A good read, could have been better with deeper characters and a more developed story line. It felt very contrived and just thrown together at the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brenda | 1/20/2013

    " Very similar to The Help. Interesting story, but full of abuse, disfunctional family and didn't have good resolution at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caryn Lewis | 10/19/2012

    " Great book - sad but a glimpse of what segregation what like in the 50's. definitely recommend. Couldn't put it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen V | 10/13/2012

    " I finished this book over the long holiday weekend. It was a wonderful read. A topic that everyone should learn. Very similar in genre to the Help, but perhaps a little deeper. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 9/12/2012

    " I liked the characters and thought the story was interesting. However, I have also read better books with a similar theme. I did like it though and think it will make an interesting subject for book club next month. It should be an interesting discussion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Evi | 6/4/2012

    " This was a quick read as I was unable to put it aside. Beautiful story about a young southern girl growing up in the 50's and her relationship with Mary, the black housekeeper. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret | 5/20/2012

    " If you liked The Help, you will most definitely like this one...the main character is a little younger but just as headstrong and the story is a little more tragic. Great read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 4/16/2012

    " I'm not sure how I found this book but it was worth reading. I have southern friends who are offended by this subject, saying they are unfair portrayals and others who totally relate to them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky Koesel | 4/2/2012

    " Loved this book! If you loved The Help or Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt you will love this too! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 3/28/2012

    " Really enjoyed the book but was disappointed in the end - I wanted more! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula Hartman-Carlo | 1/29/2012

    " Read this along with The Help and see which is the better book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Reshma | 12/11/2011

    " A good book that could have been so much better. The book is very slow at start and most of the events happen in the last 1/4 of the book. There weren't many details surrounding these events and it didn't quite stand out for me. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Anna Jean Mayhew

Anna Jean Mayhew, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, has never lived outside the state, although she often travels to Europe with her Swiss-born husband. Much of her work reflects her vivid memories of growing up in the segregated South. She has been both production editor of a major medical journal and editor of a science fiction fan magazine. In earlier careers, she ran a court reporting agency and worked in opera management. She has been a member of the same writing group since 1987 and now leads two groups herself. She is a writer-in-residence at the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities and a former member of the board of trustees of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Her credits include a book of trivia about South Carolina, a guide for medical writing, and a story in Writers of the Future, Volume I. The Dry Grass of August is her first novel.

About the Narrator

Karen White is a classically trained actress who has been recording audiobooks since 1999. An Audie Award finalist, she has earned eight AudioFile Earphones Awards. Her reading of The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed was named one of AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2009.