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Our Daily Bread Paperback – October 1, 2011
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--(Starred Review) The Quill & Quire
"Absorbing, strikingly-written, and subtly-honed . . . a page-turner!" -- Gordon Hauptfleisch, blogcritics.org/books/article/book-review-our-daily-bread-a/
"full of remarkable moments. . . a level of detail that puts us in the beating hearts of imperiled souls. . . . simple, brave, powerful scenes, skillfully written with an anger no less effective for being tempered - scenes that sit with the soul long after the book is closed." - Alan Cuymn, THE GLOBE & MAIL
Longlisted for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Named as one of the "Very Best Books of 2011" by THE GLOBE & MAIL and the BOSTON GLOBE.
"Thrilling . . unflinching . . unforgettable. Davis makes us care about her characters . . imaginatively transformed by exquisite prose. Her moral fiction calls us to empathize, read, imagine and hear. This is a story of getting lost in the woods, of meeting the monster and getting out alive." Jean Randich, Truthdig.com
From the Author
I write to figure out what I think about things and to attempt to find meaning. I try to find metaphors in which to explore my feelings and thoughts on what obsesses me.
As I pondered my concerns about the ever-widening gaps I noticed around me, a story from my past kept rising to the surface. I lived in Nova Scotia for a brief time in 1972-1973. While there, I heard stories about a community up on a nearby mountain. They were terrible stories, involving incest, aborted and deformed babies, prostitution, bootlegging and so forth. I told myself these dreadful tales couldn't be true. I believed, naively, that if they were true, surely someone would have done something about it. Then, in the early 1980s one of the children of the Goler clan told her story of generational abuse to a teacher. This teacher came from another province and hadn't been in Nova Scotia very long. She in turn called an RCMP officer, who also hadn't been in the community for very long. They insisted an investigation begin and eventually many of the clan adults were in jail and the children in foster care.
I was horrified, but also mystified. If all those rumors were true, why had it taken so long for someone to intervene? Well, the answer seemed to be that the people who lived on the mountain had, for generations, been considered "Those People" as in "What do you expect from those people?" The people who lived in the prosperous Annapolis Valley nearby, in communities founded hundreds of years earlier on Puritanical religious principles, believed their neighbors were so "Other" as to be beyond the pale.
The extreme marginalization of the community and the terrible repercussions of ostracism haunted me and it seemed the perfect framework to explore how such ordinary people could do such dreadful things, or permit such dreadful things to continue.
I have had several instances in my own life of feeling like the "Other." Although I explore the theme more personally in my previous novel, THE STUBBORN SEASON, in which a young girl battles the tyranny of living with a mentally ill mother during the Great Depression, in OUR DAILY BREAD the character of Ivy Evans is based on some of my own experiences with marginalization. My family, afflicted by mental illness and alcoholism, was going through a rough time the summer I was nine. I was an only child, and adopted, and rather bookish and prone to making up stories, all of which helped to make me 'Other' in the eyes of some of the children in the neighborhood. That summer, a lady who owned a little antique shop near my house let me hang around the store. I'm sure she never knew just how much that meant to me, but it was a refuge from loneliness and bullying and I've never forgotten it.
Top Customer Reviews
Despite the rough underbelly of the subject matter Lauren finds moments of radiance in each character and their tragic lives. She is a classic storyteller, and this book leaves the reader satisfied knowing they have been guided along by the sure hand of someone who has mastered her craft.
It's a moving story. As the climax built, I honestly feared for some of the character's lives. I can't say I recommend this one, because while it has a strong pace and doesn't sound off-key even while playing such a societal dirge, it does describe very nasty things. It's hard to read about sick, abusive people.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This intense, gripping novel brilliantly explores social decay in the small town of Gideon and its environs. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mitchell J. Kaplan
I bought this book because it was nominated for the Canadian Giller Prize. It's the kind of literary book that is so compelling, you can't stop turning the pages. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Judy Pettersen
Accidentally ran across this book, then couldn't put it down. Keeps you interested and wanting more. Was sad when it ended.Published 15 months ago by KThomas
The only reason I gave this book a 4 and not a 5 is because it was hard to stomach. The writing is great, and the characters pull you in. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Missy
Memories of this book are still with me a year after reading it. It is a story about heroism and self sacrifice. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Louise Macaulay
I have to admit that I found the book hard to read in parts. But once the author swept me up into the story, I was compelled to finish reading it. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Laraine
Our Daily Bread is a beautifully written novel about a not so beautiful subject that unfortunately happens everyday in every part of the world. Read morePublished on July 20, 2013 by Tamara B.
this was an interesting story and may surprise many people to find out some of it was loosely based on a true story.Published on June 20, 2013 by Paula Sjostedt
Ms. Davis is an awesome writer. I had a hard time putting this book down. The book opened my eyes to how damaging our opinions, stereotypes, and unacceptance of what is... Read morePublished on January 21, 2013 by Melissa B