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The Dry Grass of August
"A must-read for fans of The Help." - Woman's World
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Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

Created: 12/03/11

Replies: 15

Posted Dec. 03, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 385

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Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old? How would the story have changed if it had been told from Paula's perspective, for example?


Posted Dec. 03, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bethp

Join Date: 04/28/11

Posts: 8

RE: Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

I loved the fact that it was narrated by a 13 year old. It is an age where feelings are so deeply felt, one becomes aware of what is really happening an feelings can be shared openly. I don't think it would have worked to have Paula narrate it. For one thing, she is not anywhere as likeable as Jubie and I would not have been drawn to the book Jubie'a character made the book for me...


Posted Dec. 04, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dorothym

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 21

RE: Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

I think an author can portray events more accurately through innocent eyes- perhaps with the reader's understanding that the child really doesn't understand much of what they are witnessing.


Posted Dec. 04, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
laurak

Join Date: 12/04/11

Posts: 2

RE: Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

I loved that the story was told by Jubie. Her love for Mary was so genuine and pure, it was the perfect contrast to the bigotry of that time period in the south.


Posted Dec. 05, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sarahd

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 84

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RE: Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

I agree with Dorothym, and I enjoyed the subtle irony that Mayhew uses when she allows Jubie to think one thing, while sending a different message to the reader. Jubie is an astute, compassionate thirteen year old, but she's still a child, so many things are lost on her. Mayhew does a great job, though, of making sure those things aren't lost on the reader, and I came away with a greater understanding of the situation because of Mayhew's ability to navigate these waters. It would have been a completely different novel if it had been told from an adult's point of view, and it would not have been better for it.


Sarah D
Posted Dec. 08, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 40

RE: Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

Definitely enhanced. Jubie is a fine narrator, and seeing things from her perspective makes the book accessible to young adults/older teens as well as older adults. I really can't imagine Paula as narrator, and she would have been the only other choice except for a third person omniscient author narrator.


Posted Dec. 08, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
susanlsimon's Gravatar
susanlsimon

Join Date: 12/05/11

Posts: 8

RE: Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

I loved the story being told by a much wiser than her years Jubie..Jubie's heart is what makes the story so engaging..She is an observer.. whereas the other characters seemed more wrapped up in themselves.


Posted Dec. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bettyt

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 96

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RE: Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

This book reminded me of "Saving Ceecee Honeycutt". I loved that book because the main character was a young girl who was so wise beyond her years. The story worked because of her. I loved Jubie and her love for Mary. Mary loved Jubie and Jubie showed she would defy anyone for Mary.


Posted Dec. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
janetp

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 3

RE: Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

I loved Jubie. Her character reminded me somewhat of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. She was an excellent narrator.


Posted Dec. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jknapp

Join Date: 04/11/11

Posts: 37

RE: Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

I agree with janetp about the character reminding me of Scout. There is also another book called "Peace Like a River" that has the same "feel" to it that this story does with a young man telling that story.


Posted Dec. 29, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jeant

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 3

RE: Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

I think the story was greatly enhanced as a result of being narrated by Jubie. I felt the author offered us the opportunity to feel a much deeper sense of compassion for, and connection with, the confusion, hurt, and resentment experienced by a child in the midst of of such a chaotic dysfunctional family system. I can't imagine I would have felt a similar emotional response if the story had been told from the viewpoint of an adult who's only vantage point, no matter how well intentioned, is that of looking down upon the experience of the child.


Posted Jan. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 80

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RE: Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

I think that it was greatly enhanced. It would have been a totally different story if it were told from an adult perspective. We could see the story through the very innocent eyes of Jubie. If the story had been told by an adult, we would have gotten excuses for the bad behavior - with Jubie , we just get the story.


Posted Jan. 30, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sharonp

Join Date: 04/27/11

Posts: 9

RE: Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

I think it was much more realistic and credible because it was told in the voice of the person whose story it was. If it had been told by one of the adults, it would have "second hand" , without the intimate knowledge of the feelings and the reasons for her actions.


Posted Feb. 11, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jenniferb

Join Date: 12/29/11

Posts: 3

RE: Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

I also feel the story was enhanced by being told from Jubies limited-niave age. It would have been a totally different story narrated by Paula or Mary.


Posted Feb. 11, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Carolina

Join Date: 12/05/11

Posts: 14

RE: Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

I never really gave consideration to having anyone else tell this story...it was Jubie's from the get-go, from when I wrote the first paragraph in 1987. I appreciate all the comments on this topic...every so often someone disagrees, which I find interesting, and must admit that I have pondered how the story would have been different if it had been told by Paula (would have been a story about her and Bill, I believe) or Mary (would have had much more emphasis on the inequality of Jim Crow)...oh, well, 'tis done the way i wanted it to be.

Thanks for your comments!

--A. J. Mayhew (author)


Posted Apr. 15, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dorothyl

Join Date: 04/15/12

Posts: 34

RE: Do you think the story is limited or enhanced as a result of being told by a thirteen year old?

I think the narrator was great. It is in the best tradition of coming of age stories but is so much more....


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